Are fruits keto friendly? It depends! To help make things less confusing, we put together a guide to what fruits you can eat on keto and which are best to avoid.
Can You Have Fruit on Keto?
Because they are sweet, fruits are often considered “off-limits” when it comes to the keto diet. However, it is possible to enjoy some fruit AND stay in ketosis.
The keto diet is all about staying within a certain carb limit. This limit depends on the individual and their goals. Someone on a very strict keto diet may set a daily limit of 20 grams of carbs or less. On the other hand, a maintenance diet may be around 100 grams of carbs. Many keto dieters will try to stay somewhere in between.
So it’s not as much about what specific foods you’re eating, but how they factor into your overall carb count for the day. (Though certain foods that are highly processed and/or high in added sugars are generally not advisable at all.)
Foods high in carbs will make you hit your daily carb limit more quickly. For example, if you’re trying to stick to under 50 carbs per day, a banana will eat up more than half of your carb allowance! That’s why you may see certain fruits on “foods to avoid” lists.
Is Fruit Sugar Bad?
Fruit contains two types of sugar: fructose and glucose. (The fructose in sugar is not to confused with high fructose corn syrup, which is man-made and highly concentrated.)
There is the argument that fruit sugars are better for you because they are natural. However, any type of sugar will have the same effect of stalling your weight loss if you overindulge.
The thing about fruit sugar is that it is balanced by fiber, water, and other nutrients. The water and fiber help your body feel full and so you’re less likely to overeat on fruit, than say a candy bar.
I am personally a believer in balance. A diet that is only meat and cheese may be extremely low carb, but it might not be considered “healthy.” Including certain fruits that are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. can be worth a few extra carbs.
That’s why it’s so important to know which fruits have the fewest carbs so you can make choices that fit into your daily carbohydrate allowance. We’ve put together a list of the best fruits to eat on keto, along with both their total carb and net carb count.
Related: Why Am I Not Losing Weight on Keto?
What Fruits Can You Eat on Keto?
The following fruits are all under 12 total carbs per half cup serving. Most are actually lower than that, especially when you take into account fiber content and net carbs.
- Tomato — Often thought of as a vegetable, tomatoes are actually a fruit! And with only 3.5 grams total carbs and 2.5g net carbs, they are one of the best low carb choices!
- Strawberries — Clocking in around 6 grams total carbs and 4.5 grams net carbs, strawberries are an excellent choice for low carb fruits.
- Cranberries — Whole cranberries contain fewer than 6 grams of total carbs or about 4.5 grams net carbs in a half cup serving. You’ll want to avoid dried cranberries, which are more concentrated and higher in carbs, or enjoy a smaller portion.
- Blackberries — Though they contain about 7 grams total carbs, blackberries are a good source of fiber and only have 3g net carbs when you consider their high fiber content.
- Raspberries — A half cup of raspberries contains around 7 grams total carbs and 3 grams net carbs. Like blackberries, they are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a low carb and high fiber fruit.
- Cantaloupe — While berries have a reputation for being the best fruits for low carb diets, cantaloupe are also an excellent option, with 7 grams total carbs and about 6 grams net carbs (per half cup).
- Watermelon — With just under 6 grams total carbs in a half cup, watermelon could be considered a keto-friendly fruit. It does not contain much fiber, so the net carb count is very close to total carbs.
- Avocado — Like tomatoes, avocados are often referred to as a vegetable but are technically a fruit. They contain about 6 1/2 grams of total carbs. However, avocados are very high in fiber, making their net carb count as low as 1.5 grams in a half cup!
- Lemons — Under 10 grams total carbs and about 6 1/2 grams net carbs (per half cup), lemons are great for low carb dieters. A squeeze of lemon juice adds flavor, with even fewer carbs!
- Lime — One lime contains about 7 grams total carbs and 5 grams net carbs. Like lemons, adding a squeeze of lime juice is a wonderful way to add a burst of flavor to drinks or recipes.
- Peaches — Peaches contain about 8 grams total carbs and less than 7 grams net carbs (per half cup), so they can be incorporated into a keto diet in moderation.
- Blueberries — With 11g total carbs and 9g net carbs, blueberries are higher in carbs than other berries, but can still be worked into a keto diet. They make a great accent in recipes such as lemon blueberry muffins or blueberry pancakes, so you can enjoy the flavor with a smaller portion size.
Can You Have Fruit Juice on Keto?
It’s generally recommended to stay away from fruit juice on a keto or low carb eating plan. Many commercial juices contain sweeteners, in addition to natural sugars already present in fruit. Juice is more concentrated than whole fruit and contains a higher carb count, even with no sugar added.
The other issue with juice is that it gets rid of all the fiber, which is one of fruit’s main benefits. Fiber is a carbohydrate that the body does not digest, so it does not count towards net carbs. Even though fiber itself isn’t digested, it can help improve digestion of other foods by helping them pass more easily through the intestines and softening stools.
If you’re craving a taste of your favorite fruit, skip juice and go for the real thing, in moderation of course.
Related: Click here for more keto food swaps!
Fruits to Avoid on Keto
All of the fruits listed below have more than 12 grams total carbs per half cup. Bananas, mangoes, and pineapples are especially high in carbs and sugars. Dried fruits should be avoided, as they are more concentrated in sugars. And of course, skip any sweetened fruits or fruits canned in syrup.
- Raisins and other dried fruits
Keep in mind that the fruits on this list are not “bad” and do have nutritional value. However, due to their high carb content, they are tough to incorporate in a low carb or keto diet.
What Other Foods Can You Eat on the Keto Diet?
We created a comprehensive guide to the best keto-friendly foods, as well as a handy printable “cheat sheet.” Learn more about what foods are low in carbs and which should be avoided to stay in ketosis.
More Keto Questions Answered:
Can You Eat Peanut Butter on Keto?