When most people think of carbs, they imagine cookies, cake, maybe even bread and pasta— but few think of an apple or any other fruit for that matter. None the less a single small apple has 13 to 17 net carbs, about the same as half a Hershey’s bar. So, for those on the keto diet, this leads to an important question…
Can you eat fruit on keto?
The answer, unfortunately, isn’t a simple blanket yes or no—it varies by the fruit. While some fruits, like the before mentioned ever-touted doctor-repelling apple are high carb, there are low carb fruits that can be consumed in moderation. The most popular being most variety of berry. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of fruits arranged by low, medium, and high carb content.
Eventually, all the fruits on this page will be linked to an in-depth page that includes their net carbs, easily countable serving sizes, pros and cons of consumption, and practical uses or substitutions (if any are to be had). We say eventually because Ketosee is very much still a work in progress and providing well-researched food pages takes time.
Keto Fruit List:
Low Carb Fruits: Under 8 Net Carbs Per 100g
The fruits on this page are ordered from the lowest net-carb content to highest per 100g—minus a few odd balls like blueberries and apricots. If they seem out of order, note that the serving size given is not for 100g in all cases, but rather a common serving size or one that will make counting carbs per serving easier.
This was done because at 100g some servings were a bit, well, unusual, unless you want to sit down and eat 72 blueberries for a snack. Remember that grams is a measurement by weight, not volume. This means denser items will lead to smaller servings at 100g and vice versa. The number in (parentheses) is the net carbs per 100g.
For our typical serving carb-content, we even rounded the carb count up if it was something like .97 net carbs, not only because it makes for easier tracking, but because the carb content of fruit can vary slightly due to variance in size and by the variety of plant, growing conditions, and more. All carb counts are from the USDA National Nutrition Database.
-Green Olives: about five green olives is a quarter net carb. (.5)
-Avocado: about half a medium fruit is 2 net carbs. (1.8)
-Zucchini: 1 cup is 3 net carbs. (culinary vegetable) (2.1)
-Tomato (fresh): each ¼-inch slice is half a net carb. (culinary vegetable) (2.3)
-Rhubarb: about two stalks or 1 cup is 3 net carbs. (2.7)
-Eggplant: 1 cup is 3 net carbs. (culinary vegetable) (2.9)
-Green Bell Peppers: half a medium fruit (about 3 x 2 inches) is 2 net carbs. (2.9)
-Cucumber: half cup sliced is 3 net carbs. (3.1)
-Black Olives: six olives is 1 net carb. (3.1)
-Red Bell Peppers: half a medium fruit (about 3 x 2 inches) is 2.5 net carbs. (3.9)
-Starfruit: around one medium fruit or 1 cup sliced is 4 net carbs. (3.9)
-Blackberries: every four berries is 1 net carb. (4.3)
–Raspberries: ten berries is 1 net carb. (5.4)
-Casaba melon: quarter cup (1/4) is 2.5 net carbs. (5.7)
–Strawberries: each berry is between .5 and 1.5 net carbs depending on size. (5.7)
-Gooseberries: two berries is 1 net carb. (5.9)
-Prickly Pears: half a fruit, no skin, is 3 net carbs. (6)
-Lemons: half a medium lemon is 3 net carbs. (6)
-Coconut (meat): half cup shredded is 3 net carbs. (6.2)
-Boysenberries: a quarter cup is 2.5 net carbs. (6.9)
-Asian pears: half a 2-inch fruit is 4 net carbs. (7.1)
-Watermelon: quarter cup or 3 melon balls is 3 net carbs. (7.2)
-Cantaloupe: quarter cup or 3 melon balls is 3 net carbs. (7.3)
-Limes: half a medium lime is 2.5 net carbs. (7.7)
-Mulberries: ten berries is 1 net carb. (8.1)
-Honeydew melon: quarter cup or 3 melon balls is 3.5 net carbs. (8.3)
-Apricot: one medium fruit is 3 net carbs. (9.1)
–Blueberries: every five berries is about 1 net carb. (12.1)
note: mulberries, honeydew, apricots, and blueberries are technically more than 8 net carbs per 100g, but the average serving is not. They are on the low carb fruit ‘keto ok’ list as a result –albeit borderline.
Potentially consumed on occasion in very small portions: 8-10 Net Carbs Per 100g
These fruits have more carbs than the low carb fruits listed above or are harder to portion down. It is not recommended you eat these fruits regularly, and you will likely need to stick to small portions.
-Peaches: one quarter of a medium 2-inch peach is 3 net carbs. (8)
-Nectarine: one quarter of a medium 2-inch nectarine is 4 net carbs. (8.9)
-Cranberries (fresh not Craisins): quarter cup is 2.5 net carbs (9.1)
-Papaya: a quarter cup cubed is 3 net carbs. (9.1)
-Red and white currants: quarter cup is 3 net carbs. (9.5)
-Grapefruit: a quarter cup is 5 net carbs. (9.7)
Fruits probably better avoided on keto: Over 10 Net Carbs Per 100g
These fruits have a high carb content (more than 10 net carbs per 100g). This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have any at all, just that the serving you could have is unlikely to satisfy.
-Plums: half a 2-inch fruit is 3 net carbs. (10)
-Loquats: one 1-inch fruit is 2 net carbs. (10.4)
-Sour red cherries: two cherries is 1 net carb. (10.6)
-Elderberries: quarter cup is 4 net carbs. (11.4)
-Kiwi: half a 2-inch kiwi is 4 net carbs. (11.7)
-Pineapple: a quarter cup cubed is 5 net carbs. (11.7)
-Pears: a quarter of a medium pear is 5.5 net carbs. (12.1)
-Passion fruit: one fruit without refuse is 2 net carbs. (13)
-Tangerines: half a 2-inch tangerine is 4.5 net carbs. (13.3)
-Mangos: slightly less than a quarter of a fruit or quarter cup is 5.5 net carbs. (13.4)
-Quince: a quarter medium fruit is 3 net carbs. (13.4)
-Apples: a quarter of a 3-inch apple is 6 net carbs. (13.8)
-Sweet cherries: one cherry is one net carb. (13.9)
-Guava: half a medium fruit is 2.5 net carbs. (14.3)
-Pomegranate: quarter cup of seeds/juice is 6.5 net carbs. (14.7)
-Litchi: one fruit with refuse is 1.5 net carbs. (15.2)
-Black currants: quarter cup is 4.5 net carbs. (15.4)
-Figs: a quarter of a 2-inch fig is 2 net carbs. (16.3)
-Grapes: two medium grapes is one net carb. (16.3)
-Bananas: each inch of banana is about 3.5 carbs. (20.2)
-Persimmons: each fruit is 8.5 net carbs. (33.5)
-Dates: one pitted deglet noor is 4.8 net carbs, while one pitted medjool is 16.4 net carbs. (67.5)
Effects of freezing, drying, or cooking fruit on carb content:
Why do dried fruits have more carbs? The answer is they don’t—not technically. Whether a fruit is frozen, dried, or cooked, assuming nothing is added in the preparation process, the carb content will remain the same, the difference is in volume and weight.
Take for example, probably the best-known dried fruit—grapes (raisins). 100g of fresh grapes contains around 16.3 net carbs, while 100g of raisins contain closer to 70 net carbs. Why? Well, one grape weighs about 5g, but it takes 2 to 3 raisins to equal one gram. When the water is removed from the fruit, it weighs less, but its carb content remains the same. This means while 100g is only about 20 grapes, it’s closer to 200 to 300 raisins—each with the same carb content as a grape. This has led to the misconception that dried fruit contains more sugar than fresh.
Freezing has a far lesser effect as less dehydration takes place, but again, it may appear as though frozen fruit is higher in carbs than fresh, but it’s still just a trick of weight and volume. Some frozen fruits, particularly blends, do also have added sugar. Always remember to check the ingredients.
Does a healthy diet have to have fruit? Why might you want to eat fruit on keto?
There are two primary reasons fruit is beneficial on keto. First, fruits and vegetables alike are high in essential nutrients that, while found in other foods (often in lower levels), are typically under consumed. These include potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid. Second, fruits can often serve as a sweet-tooth fix that doesn’t rely on artificial sweeteners or ‘cheating’ on your diet plan. The inclusion of some low carb fruits can make keto seem less restrictive, and, well, a little less boring. Variety is the berry of life?
Can’t find out if the fruit you’re looking for is OK on the keto diet? Still have questions? Drop us a comment!