Fruit is a naturally sweet treat. But fruit contains carbohydrates. If you are on a low carb or keto diet, too much fruit could put the brakes on fat loss. In this post, I share the carb content of different fruits and sort them for you, so you know which ones are the most low-carb friendly and which ones to avoid.
Fruits Listed by Lowest to Highest Net Carbs
Fruits Listed by Lowest to Highest Total Carbs
Low Carb Fruit Options [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- Why fruit may be a problem if you’re trying to lose weight!
- The carb content of many kinds of fruit.
- Resources for starting a low-carb diet.
Serving Size & Fiber
I have a blog post that goes in-depth into why fruit may be a problem on your diet. That article will be helpful if you have trouble losing weight. But for this post, we are going to focus on the actual carb content of different fruits. And, I’m going to jump right into that after two quick points:
- First, I’m using 100 grams, which is 3.5 ounces, as a standard serving so that we have an even playing field when comparing the fruits.
- Also, when it comes to fruit, it is good to consider the fiber content because that is what locks in the natural sugar called fructose and therefore slows its absorption into your body.
OK, with those things in mind, we can start with two categories of fruits that are low carb friendly, and they are berries and melons.
Carbs in Berries
If you are trying to keep your carb intake low, but you’d like to include some fruit, berries are best, in my opinion. Not only because of their relatively low carb content but also for their deep, rich color, which tells you that they are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.
And, of the berries, strawberries are a good choice because they are widely liked and contain just 7.7g of carbs with 2 grams fiber.
You can also choose blackberries or raspberries, which are both packed with fiber.
Blueberries are a bit more middle of the range when it comes to their carbohydrate content. We see that a serving of blueberries has 14.5g of carbs. However, keep in mind that we are looking at a 3.5-ounce serving, which is about ¾ of a cup of berries.
When you follow a low-carb or keto diet for a while, most people find that their desire for sweetness diminishes, so you may find that a smaller serving mixed into something like yogurt or on top of a salad is all you need to add to the enjoyment of your daily diet.
Carbs in Melons
Melons are also low in total carbs by weight, which is thanks, in part, to their high water content, which is evident if you’ve ever bit into a juicy watermelon.
Using our standard serving size, we see that watermelon has only 7.6g of carbs, cantaloupe has 8.2g, and honeydew melon has 9.1g. So, melons rank as lower carb fruits, however, they are also some of the lowest fiber fruits, so if you are looking for fruits to boost the fiber content of your diet, melons will not get you far.
Carbs in Citrus Fruits
Compared to some other fruits coming up in this video, citrus fruits are relatively low in carbohydrates.
We see that grapefruit is a good citrus choice with 10.7g of carbs and 1.6g of fiber followed by oranges and mandarins, which you might think of as clementines, tangerines, or cuties.
In general, a large mandarin piece of fruit contains around 13g of carbs, 2 of which are fiber. These fruits tend to be favorites of kids because they can peel them themselves, and they are naturally sweet, so if you have young kids around and you’re looking for a natural alternative to junk food, these small oranges may do the trick.
Carbs in Peaches, Apricots, Plums
To round out our list, let’s look at additional fruits and rank them from the most low-carb friendly to the least. And for that, peaches start our list with 9.5g of carbs, 1.5 of which are fiber.
Apricots are also reasonably low in carbs with just over 11g as are plums which have 11.4g per serving.
However, if you dry that plum, it becomes a prune, and it is no longer low-carb friendly. When the water content of the plum is removed, it concentrates the natural sugars in the fruit, causing the carb content of the same 3.5-ounce serving to skyrocket to almost 64g.
Carbs in Pineapple, Apple, Kiwi
In the middle of the rankings come fruits like pineapple, which has 13.1g of carbs and kiwi, which is a bit higher in carbs at 14.7g, but also higher in fiber. Apples also fit in this middle range with just under 14g of carbs per serving.
However, I find that one apple can go a long way, and very little is needed for a sweet accent. For instance, a medium-sized apple will last me many days because I use a few slices a day as a salad topper and then wrap it and stick it in the refrigerator until the next day.
If you follow my channel, you are familiar with my 3Es, which mean that to stick with your diet long enough to get results, your diet must be easy-to-follow, enjoyable, and effective.
The natural sweetness from that small portion of apple goes a long way toward satisfying the enjoyable element, and if that helps you stick to your plan, then you’ll reach your goal.
Carbs in Mango, Pear, Cherries
As we continue to evaluate fruits, we see the total carb content creep up with fruits like mangos, pears, and cherries.
Carbs in Grapes, Bananas
And, two fruits that you might be disappointed to learn that they are high in carbohydrates and fructose are grapes and bananas.
Carbs in Lemons, Limes
There are some fruits that I did not include in the lists above. One of them is the lemon. Lemons are low-carb fruits with 9.3g of carbs and 2.8g of fiber in our standard 100g serving.
I did not include them on the list because 100g is 3.5 ounces, which would be a lot of lemon. Most of us use lemon as a flavor enhancer for drinks or food, and for those purposes, lemon is fine to include with your low-carb diet.
Carbs in Coconut, Avocado
I also excluded coconut and avocados from the list. These are very good low-carb fruits, but they stand out from the rest of the list because they are not as naturally sweet.
Carbs in Tomatoes (Technically a fruit)
Tomatoes were also excluded. Although technically a fruit, they are typically thought of as a vegetable and have a carbohydrate content that is more in line with vegetables, with 3.9g of carbs and 1.2g of fiber per 3.5-ounce serving.
Fruit is an enjoyable food, and if you choose wisely and keep your portions under control, they can add to the enjoyment of your low-carb diet. If you’d like a comprehensive list of 100 low carb foods, you can download it on my website.
About the Author:
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.