If you’re curious about low carb fruits for your diet, keep reading. We’re going to talk all about it in today’s article.
I will never forget the time I went trick-or-treating on Halloween and I received a banana. Like any chunky 9 year old, I scoffed at the claim that “fruit is nature’s candy.” Clearly the person who coined that phrase had never had a Snickers bar.
Luckily since then, I have not only lost my “baby weight”, but I have also learned how to love and appreciate whole foods. If you have ever started a diet, then you must be familiar with the idea of eating predominantly whole foods and unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables.
Also, you must be familiar with the idea that it’s way easier to eat fruit than it is to eat vegetables. Fruit is packed with vitamins, fiber and nutrients, but simply eating more fruit is not the golden ticket to a weight loss journey.
The majority of diets that individuals follow tend promote eating fruits low in sugar, which makes adhering to the diet quite difficult at first – if you don’t know what your low carb fruit options are.
Think eating a whole mango is an innocent snack? Well, according to these low carb diets, it will probably break the sugar bank.
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Fruits + Low Carb Diets
Diets such as the Whole 30, paleo or keto diet are known for encouraging an individual to eat more whole foods instead of processed foods. Truly, incorporating more fruits and vegetables into one’s diet is a great start but there is more to it than that.
Both the paleo and keto diet promote the notion of eating less sugar (aka carbohydrates) and more protein and fats. When thinking of sugary foods, cakes, cookies and desserts certainly come to mind but fruit actually plays a major role in this category.
Fruit contains nutrients that are essential for our health, but some varieties have a higher sugar content than others. This means that choosing the right fruit isn’t as easy as one may think since one would have to keep in mind sugar content.
For example, a medium-sized banana (approx. 118 grams) has 14 grams of sugar, while a grapefruit (approx. 123 grams) has 8 grams.
Most fruits that are part of the paleo and keto diet are those that are low in sugar, which means that both diets might suggest reaching for that grapefruit instead. As a result, this affects the choices that are made throughout the day when picking the right fruit.
Low Carb Fruits
When trying to decide which fruit to choose, it all comes down to the sugar content and the diet one is pursuing. The paleo and keto diet have different diet-approved fruits since these diets have different rules concerning carbohydrate intake.
The paleo diet is more concerned with food choices and eliminating grains, processed foods and dairy and does not count macronutrients. While more fruits are allowed on the paleo diet, one needs to monitor their intake. A good rule of thumb is to think of the paleo diet as the “caveman” diet and how our ancestors most likely were not eating a large fruit salad bowl as a meal. Instead, it’s okay to remember that moderation is key and have one banana.
In contrast to the paleo diet, the keto diet heavily focuses on macronutrient count, which in turn restricts many foods. The average keto diet allots 5-10% of macronutrients to be that of carbohydrates, which in a 2000 kcal diet is about 20 to 50 grams a day. That banana mentioned previously has 14 g of sugar, which would already count towards more than half of the allowed amount of carbohydrates for the day.
Due to this, someone on the keto diet would most likely reach for that grapefruit instead of the banana.
Fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also great for you. That said, fruits (even paleo-approved ones) contain large amounts of fructose which, while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), is still sugar.
If you’re looking to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on your fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have one to three servings of fruit a day. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (We’ll admit, we’re partial to blackberries!)
If you are interested in learning about paleo-approved fruits, check out our article here!
- Pineapple guava
As stated previously, the average keto diet allots 5-10% of macronutrients to be that of carbohydrates, which in a 2000 kcal diet is about 20 to 50 grams a day. Knowing that fruits generally contain more carbohydrates than other whole foods, it is important to keep an eye on the macronutrient count for the fruit you are choosing. Healthline.com outlined a complete list of low-carb fruits and for more details on their list check out their article here.
Furthermore, if you find yourself having trouble thinking of more keto-friendly snacks and the fruit just isn’t enough, check out our article here!
- Lemons/Limes (1-2 g/lemon or lime)
- Raspberries (5 g/cup)
- Strawberries (7 g/cup)
- Blackberries (7 g/cup)
- Kiwis (6 g/kiwi)
- Grapefruit (9 g/half grapefruit)
- Avocado (5 g/avocado)
- Watermelon (>10 g/cup)
- Cantaloupe (13 g/cup)
- Oranges (12 g/orange)
- Peaches (13 g/one medium-sized peach)
High Sugar Fruits (Avoid These)
The following fruits are those with the highest sugar content according to My Food data. The sugar content is listed alongside each fruit.
- Lychees (29 g/cup; 15 g/100g)
- Passion Fruit (26 g/cup; 11 g/100g)
- Pomegranate (24 g/cup; 14 g/100g)
- Mangos (23 g/cup; 14 g/100g)
- Cherries (20 g/cup; 13 g/100g)
- Bananas (18 g/cup; 12 g/100g)
- Oranges (17 g/cup; 9 g/100g)
- Kiwis (16 g/cup; 9 g/100g)
- Grapes (15 g/cup; 16 g/100g)
- Guavas (15 g/cup; 9 g/100g)
- Pears (14 g/cup; 10 g/100g)
- Apples (13 g/cup; 10 g/100g)
- Peaches (13 g/cup; 8 g/100g)
- Papaya (11 g/cup; 8 g/100g)
- Nectarines (11 g/cup; 8 g/100g)
Low Carb Fruit Infographic
We made this handy infographic to help you see where your favorite fruits lie on the carb spectrum. You’ll see that the fruits with the lowest carb content are on the left and the carbs increase as you move right – with oranges and peaches having the highest amount of carbs.
Choosing the right low carb fruit highly depends on the diet. For those who are on the paleo diet, there is truly more leniency since fruit consumption is monitored through the serving size.
In contrast, the keto diet takes into account macronutrients and how much sugar is in one serving of fruit. While one banana may be paleo-approved, it doesn’t pass as keto since 14 grams of sugar far exceeds the allotted amount of carbohydrates for one serving of fruit.
Overall, eating more low carb fruits allows one to have more fruit throughout the day whether they are on the paleo or keto diet. To a child, this might not sound exciting. But to an adult on any diet, walking down the fruit aisle can make them feel like a kid in a candy store.
That Snickers bar may be out of the question, but the banana is a great runner-up.
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