Can you eat fruit on a ketogenic diet? In short, it’s best to avoid most fruits except for berries, which you can eat in moderation. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the fruits you can eat on a low carb diet and what you should avoid.
When people switch to a ketogenic diet, fruit can be an area of confusion. Fruit has been marketed as healthy for many years and generally has a positive stigma behind it. While some fruit can be healthy in moderation, on a ketogenic diet we aim to keep our carbohydrates restricted to under 30g per day. In most cases, one piece of fruit would be the majority of the carbohydrate intake for the day.
Since fruits are packed with natural sugars (fructose), we have to carefully watch the amount of low carb fruit that we intake each day. This usually makes berries (notably raspberries and blackberries) the fruit of choice for anyone on a ketogenic diet. If you’re having trouble with what type of foods to eat, make sure you check out our in-depth keto food list >
As a general rule of thumb, avoid any medium and large sized fruits as they will have too many sugars for a ketogenic diet.
Common Fruit and Their Carb Counts
If you’re on a low-carb, ketogenic diet and want to indulge in some fruit occasionally, that’s no problem at all. Try to stick with berries and lower carb fruit that can fit within your macro ranges. Remember that you want to stick to 30g or less carbohydrate intake per day.
Some people may argue that you have to eat fruit to be healthy. This is not the case. The ketogenic diet allows for a good amount of vegetables to be eaten. You can easily get any nutrient from vegetables that you can from fruits, except with a significantly lower amount of sugar. While a sweet treat may be desired once in a while, there really is no need for it.
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the lowest carb fruits, their respective carb counts per 100g, and the average size of that serving. Scroll down to see a more in-depth explanation of each fruit and some ideas on which fruit to avoid completely. At the bottom, you can find a visual list of all common fruits and their respective carb counts per serving.
Note: Always be careful about fruit added into prepared items. Fruit juice, canned fruits, and fruit snacks tend to have added sugar and are not considered keto friendly. Always check food labels before purchasing items.
|Fruit Type||Net Carbs (per 100g)||Serving Equivalent|
|Avocado||1.84||About half a medium avocado|
|Tomato||2.69||One small vine tomato|
|Rhubarb||2.74||About 2 full stalks|
|Starfruit||3.93||About one medium|
|Blackberry||4.31||About 3/4 cup|
|Raspberry||5.44||About 3/4 cup|
|Strawberry||5.68||About 3/4 cup, whole|
|Honeydew Melon||5.68||About 8 honeydew balls|
|Coconut Meat||6.23||About 1 cup, shredded|
|Lemon||6.52||About 2 lemons|
|Watermelon||7.15||About 8 watermelon balls|
|Cantaloupe||7.26||About 7 cantaloupe balls|
|Peach||8.05||About 3/4 small peach|
|Cranberry||8.37||About 1 cup, whole|
|Apricot||9.12||About 3 apricots, pitted|
|Plum||10.02||About 1 1/2 plums|
|Clemetine||10.32||About 1 medium|
|Granny Smith Apple||10.81||About 3/5 medium apple|
|Kiwi||11.66||About 1 1/2 kiwis|
|Blueberry||12.09||About 3/4 cup|
Note: Most other fruits that are not listed in this table should be avoided as their sugar content will be too high. Always remember to check nutrition information prior to consuming fruits as they can quickly add up in carbs and can cause a halt in your weight loss progress.
Below, you’ll see a visual representation of the table. Feel free to save and use it as needed! Keep scrolling down to read about the carb counts of the most commonly used fruits and their respective health benefits.
Carbs in Raspberries
Raspberries are one of the go-to berries for most people on a low carb diet. They’re low in carb, high in nutrients, and can be incorporated into both savory and sweet recipes quite easily.
Berries are well known for their antioxidants which may protect from free radical damage and help fight inflammation. There have even been studies linking berries to lower cholesterol levels and a reduction in heart disease. Raspberries, in particular, have a high polyphenol content, which can help reduce blood pressure and preventing platelet buildup in the arteries.
About half a cup of raspberries contain only 3.5g net carbs, so they can be consumed on a ketogenic diet. If you want to find a way to incorporate more raspberries into your ketogenic diet, we recommend trying our Raspberry Lemon Popsicles.
Carbs in Blackberries
Blackberries have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. Romans and Greeks even used them to treat illnesses and gout. They’ve been cooked and served in a wide variety of dishes as well. While they are delicious, they also have some surprising health benefits.
Blackberries are loaded with vitamin C, K, and manganese which can help with brain and motor function, promote healthier skin, and reduce inflammation. They have a high content of ellagic acid and anthocyanin, which has also been to show to help suppress cell mutation and slow the growth of cancer.
Blackberries are also fibrous like raspberries, containing 8g of fiber (and 7g net carbs) per 1 cup serving. This can help lead to decreased appetite and an increased feeling of fullness which can help with the weight loss process when combined with other high-fat ingredients.
Carbs in Strawberries
When summer rolls around, the first thing that pops into my head is making some strawberry lemonade popsicles. Strawberries can be extremely refreshing! As with all berries, strawberries share many of the health benefits that the other berries have. Strawberries tend to be a little bit higher in carb counts so you may have to watch your intake more strictly than with blackberries or raspberries.
Strawberries can help improve blood sugar levels. In some studies, strawberries have led to a reduction in insulin levels and improvements in insulin sensitivity compared to groups that did not consume berries. In combination with a ketogenic diet, this is especially true and can be harnessed when eating berries in moderation.
At 5g net carbs per 3/4 cup (100g) serving, strawberries can be consumed but should be moderated when eating. They can quickly add up in carbs, but when being diligent about the sugars you consume should be easy to fit into any low carb diet.
Carbs in Blueberries
Like the other berries, blueberries contain a dense amount of antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help promote healthy skin. In some studies, blueberries were even shown to have an antiviral effect on infections affecting the skin.
Blueberries are the berries with the highest amount of carbs, totaling at 17.4g net carbs per 1 cup serving. While they do share many of the health benefits as other berries, they have a much higher fructose content and should be carefully moderated when consuming.
If possible, substitute raspberries or blackberries in place of blueberries for your recipes to save on carbs.
Carbs in Avocados
Avocados are commonly eaten on a ketogenic diet due to the high-fat content. They’re loaded with fiber and other important nutrients and can be easily taken with you and stored. The high monounsaturated fat (healthy fat) content which is linked to reduced inflammation, make them a great option to choose.
Studies show that avocados improve heart disease factors and lower cholesterol. Studies even show that they can dramatically increase the amount of antioxidants that you take in from other plant sources.
They even have more potassium than a banana, so if you’re experiencing the Keto Flu due to low on electrolytes, an avocado with added salt can really help! With only 4g net carbs per avocado and containing well over 75% calories from fat, they are a great fruit to eat while on a ketogenic diet.
Carbs in Tomatoes
While sometimes referred to as a vegetable, tomatoes are pretty important to mention here. They are commonly consumed on a ketogenic diet in the form of sauces or added as a flavor enhancer in many recipes.
They do contain many micronutrients and essential vitamins, but they are most commonly used for their acidic properties. If you are following a nightshade free lifestyle, you can use vinegar and mashed, cooked zucchini to replicate the taste and some of the texture that tomatoes have.
Tomatoes can add up in carbs quickly, so make sure to use them sparingly and as a flavor enhancer only.
You can find many low-carb tomato sauces on the shelf at grocery stores now, so make sure to double check nutrition labels!
Carbs in Starfruit
While starfruit is not as commonly eaten, it’s a fantastic fruit if you’re missing out on texture. I like to describe it as a mix between a grape and an apple. It’s somewhat softer in texture but offers a sweet and sour flavor.
At only 4g net carbs per 100g, it’s a great fruit to keep in your rotation and use when you need a sweet treat. Many people don’t know about this fruit but it has a good amount of fiber for the size and high amounts of vitamin C. It also has plant compounds in it which show to prevent fat cell formation and reduce fatty liver and cholesterol in animal studies.
Starfruit is also known as carambola, so keep an eye out when you are looking in the store. It’s got a distinct, star shape to it.
Carbs in Melon
Melon isn’t usually thought of when you think of low carb fruits, but they can contain surprisingly low carb counts and can be consumed in moderation. Below, you’ll find the carb counts of the 3 melons with the least amount of sugars:
- Honeydew (Casaba) Melon – 5.7g net carbs per 100g
- Watermelon – 7.15g net carbs per 100g
- Cantaloupe – 7.26g net carbs per 100g
You can usually include some melon in your ketogenic diet, but as with other fruits you should always be mindful of how much you consume. Use a kitchen scale to measure and don’t overconsume fruits when they are not needed.
If you need a refreshing treat in the hot summer months, a little bit of watermelon could be a good idea as long as you can keep the serving sizes realistic.
Carbs in Apples
While there are many types of apples to choose from, they generally all should be avoided due to their high sugar content. Granny Smith apples have the highest content of compounds to help prevent disorders associated with obesity but did not show any effect on weight loss. They also have the least sugar of any apple variety, but still come in at a whopping 10.8g net carb per 100g serving (about 3/5 an apple).
Gala, Golden/Red Delicious, Liberty, and Fuji apples all come in a bit higher in sugar content, at about 11.5g per 100g serving.
If you’re following a ketogenic diet, apples are just too high in sugar content to be considered for consumption. Avoid these where possible as they quickly add up in carb counts. If you just can’t live without apples, try to use them sparingly across portion sizes. For example in our Apple and Ham Flatbread recipe, we use just a small amount of apple over many portions to give that sweet and familiar taste.
Carbs in Bananas
Bananas have 25g carbs per 100g serving (the size of an average medium-sized banana), so you should not consider eating them when on a low carb, ketogenic diet. Even their less-sweet cousin, plantains, contain 30g carbs per serving due to their starches. They’re starchy fruits and will impact blood sugars greatly.
If you’re a lover of banana, don’t worry too much though. We’ve used banana extract in a few of our recipes before and it really adds a fantastic flavor (without the carbs). Mix banana extract into low carb bread and smoothie recipes, or add it to ice cream and waffles to bring in new flavors to your treats.
Carbs in Honey
While not a fruit, honey is often referred to as a natural, healthy sweetener. Honey is one of the most nutritionally dense sweeteners but is packed full of fructose and, like the other “healthy” sweeteners to avoid on keto, lead to negative health effects. Most processed honey also has added sugars and is usually pasteurized, losing most of the nutritional benefits it has.
One tablespoon of honey typically contains 17g carbs which is well over half of our daily allotted amount. There are many other ways to sweeten your foods with a much less glycemic index.
To learn more about the best and worst sweeteners to use on a low-carb diet, click here >
Recipe Ideas with Fruit
Many of you may be thinking that the ketogenic diet sounds very restricted judging from the amount of fruits that are limited. While we should keep an eye on our fruit intake, there are still many low carb recipes that we can make with fruit. Below, you’ll find a few examples of our favorite recipes to create with low carb fruits.
Low Carb Smoothies
Smoothies can be nutrient dense and very refreshing in the hotter seasons. They can also be very easy to make and convenient to keep meal-prep time down. Many people add MCT Oil to give themselves a boost in the morning, but you can customize them a number of ways.
Here are a few examples of low carb smoothies that you can prepare at home:
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Low Carb Jam
Jam doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. You can find low carb fruit preserves in the store (sometimes with added fiber), or you can make your own at home! You can spread it on some walnut zucchini bread if you’re craving something a little bit different for breakfast. There are so many different ways you can incorporate it into your keto diet!
Nut butter can be a fantastic source of fat, but sometimes you just want a layer of sweetness to help cut through the richness. Feel free to make some low carb strawberry jam from our recipe to keep the PB&J cravings at bay!
Low Carb Pastries
Fruit can be incorporated in many different types of desserts on a ketogenic diet. From cakes to tarts to donuts, you can re-create many of your old favorites in low-carb fashion. Some examples of our reader favorite recipes are:
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As a final takeaway, always be cautious when approaching fruit on a ketogenic diet. You want to limit your intake of carbs, so it’s best to stick to berries and lower carb fruit. Try to keep fruit consumption to a moderate amount, only occasionally eating and not over-indulging. Remember that fruit is essentially the candy of nature so it does contain high amounts of fructose and can have negative consequences on ketone production when over consumed.