Low carb fruits are an AWESOME, sweet, satiating and delicious addition to most eating plans…
That said, not all fruits are created equal. Some are WAY higher in sugar than you’d guess, while others may fit perfectly into your eating plan. I typically try to balance sweet luscious low carb fruits with high fat low carb foods (or protein) to help regulate my blood sugar.
Here’s everything you need to know to get chowing…
Typically, the more water in a fruit, the lower the carbs (as a general rule of thumb) — Think dense bananas vs. watermelon. There are of course acceptions, such as avocados which are crazy high in fiber, and coconut meat which is loaded with healthy fats.
The lowest carb fruits have 15 grams (or less) of carbs per cup. Keep in mind, you can always eat a smaller portion and still enjoy your faves.
Here are the best low carb fruits (based on a 1 cup serving):
- Avocados – 12.8 carbs, 2.7 net carbs
- Coconut (meat) – 12.1 carbs, 4.9 net carbs
- Carambola/Starfruit – 8.8 carbs, 5.1 net carbs
- Blackberries – 13.8 carbs, 6.2 net carbs
- Raspberries – 14.7 carbs, 6.7 net carbs
- Clementine (1 fruit) – 8.9 carbs, 7.6 net carbs
- Pear – 12.3 carbs, 8 net carbs
- Cantaloupe – 14.4 carbs, 8.4 net carbs
- Strawberries – 11.6 carbs, 8.6 net carbs
- Gooseberry – 15.2 carbs, 8.7 net carbs
- Prickly pears – 14.2 carbs, 8.8 net carbs
- Boysenberry – 16 carbs, 9 net carbs
- Currant (red and white) – 15.4 carbs, 10.6 net carbs
- Watermelon – 11.6 carbs, 11 net carbs
Lowest Carb Fruits?
Starfruit actually has the least number of TOTAL carbs (as you can see from the table above) — but, when was the last time you had a craving for a starfruit?
Now, there are only 11.6 carbs in strawberries and an equal number of carbs in watermelon, which is starting to give you some options. Not only are strawberries and watermelon wildly popular fruits but they’re low carb too! (Yay!!) Conversely, there are 14.7 carbs in raspberries (1 cup) but that’s okay because they still made the list!
Highest Carb Fruits?
There are lots of high carb fruits out there that you’ll probably want to eat only in moderation or avoid altogether depending on your dietary goals.
For instance, there are 17 carbs in blueberries (1 cup) and a whopping 19 carbs in oranges (1 medium). Does that mean you’ll never be able to have a blueberry smoothie or throw a few blueberries on top of your low carb yogurt? Probably not, but you won’t be taking the pint to the couch on movie night either
The carbs in fruit come from natural fructose and glucose. The truth is these are still simple carbs that we in the low carb community try to avoid.
Often times, the sugars in low carb fruits aren’t packed as densely as the sugars in candy bars, and some low carb fruits are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs, so incorporating them depends on your specific eating plan.
Here’s the full breakdown of carbs in fruit:
|Fruit (1 cup)||Carbs||Sugar||Fiber||Net Carbs|
|Clementine (1 fruit)||8.9||6.8||1.3||7.6|
|Currant (red and white)||15.4||8.2||4.8||10.6|
Eating fruit on a low carb meal plan can be done successfully by sticking to low carb fruits and following a few tips. For instance:
- Avoid dried fruits, because they typically have added sugar. Even dried fruits with no sugar added are higher in concentrated sugars.
- When you do enjoy low carb fruits, always measure them to accurately track your carb count. A few of this and a handful of that can add up before you know it!
- Balance low carb fruits with other low carb foods that are higher in proteins or fats to regulate your blood sugar.
- Above all, eat your low carb fruits sparingly and enjoy!
How Do I Balance The Carbs In Fruit?
When I refer to balancing the carbs in fruit with other low carb foods, I’m talking about having foods such as low carb nuts. They are higher in fats, full of essential vitamins and minerals and the salty undertones taste fantastic with the sweet nectar of the earth. Yum!!
What Are Some Food To Avoid When Trying To Balance The Carbs?
When balancing the carbs in certain fruits, its best to stick to low carb fats and proteins. While low carb beans and low carb grains are complex carbs, they’re still higher carb foods that could spike blood sugar. You always want to try to balance carbs with fats or proteins.
You’ll also want to avoid fruit juices, concentrates and dried fruits. These foods have been processed and stripped of their fiber, essentially concentrating their sugar content.
Canned fruits and fruit cocktails are the same. If you are going to have some carbs, it’s best to opt for whole foods in their natural form.
Can I Use Vegetables Instead Of Fruit?
Low carb vegetables are fantastic for you, and are often lower in carbs than fruit! Many of them contain fiber and antioxidants as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Everyone has different nutritional needs and dietary goals, so you’ll have to do what works best for you. Most of the time, low carbies can enjoy a good variety of whole fruits and vegetables in the right proportions.
Low carb fruit recipes that don’t bust your diet plan can be difficult to find. I happen to love fruit and I take this as a personal challenge because I’m not willing to overlook my nutritional goals or my low carb lifestyle.
I want it all!… and I think I can have it all within reason.
If you feel the same way, or if you’re just getting started on your low carb journey, then here are some low carb fruit recipes for you to try:
- Low Carb Strawberry Smoothie
- Low Carb Pumpkin Bread
- Low Carb Blueberry Muffins
- Low Carb Banana Bread
- Low Carb Lemon Bars
Downloadable List Of Low Carb Fruits
Here is a downloadable list of low carb fruits (right click the image and select Save Image As):
It’s possible to enjoy low carb fruits without wrecking your diet plan. You just need to know what to eat and how much of it to have.
Remember, low carb fruits are like the honey of the earth and that honey can be used to make low carb smoothies, low carb desserts, low carb snacks, AND low carb breads!
What’s your favorite low carb fruit? Let us know in the comments below, and how you like to eat it! Enjoy!