Fruits with no carbs or sugar.Check it out to see how many fruits you can eat when dieting. Items in red mean that the item contains some carbs or sugar so try to avoid them. When we talk about fruits, apples, oranges, and bananas come to our minds. Did you know there are fruits which have no carbs or sugar? Find out more about them here.
List of the Best Low-Carb Fruits and Vegetables
Getting enough fruits and vegetables each day can be a challenge for some, but we all know it’s important.
Not only do fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that support our bodies’ daily functions, but research has shown that these foods can help reduce the risk of certain cancersTrusted Source and other chronic diseasesTrusted Source.
In addition to conveying these health benefits, fresh fruits and vegetables are generally low in fat and calories, which may make them an appealing choice for people watching their weight. However, some dieters may be wary of them if they’re trying to cut carbs. After all, don’t fruits and veggies contain a lot of sugar and carbs?
It’s true, fruits and vegetables do contain carbohydrates, but that’s no reason to leave them off your plate. Fruits and veggies contain varying amounts of carbs, so choosing the right ones, in the right amounts, means you can enjoy the health benefits of these delicious and versatile foods while you cut carbs.
Read on for our lists of the best low-carb fruits and vegetables to incorporate into your healthy low-carb eating plan.
List of the best low-carb fruits
Some low-carb diets specifically say to avoid fruit, at least for a certain part of the diet. This is because fruit tends to have a higher carbohydrate content than most vegetables, due to its higher amount of naturally occurring sugars.
But these sugars aren’t all bad — for most people, in appropriate amounts, they can all serve a healthy purpose without going overboard on carbs.
The three types of sugars found in fruits are glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
Glucose is the body’s preferred and default energy source for the brain and muscles, as well all other cells in the body.
Fructose is metabolized exclusively by the liver, which is different from how the body metabolizes glucose. While some research has cautioned against regularly consuming high levels of fructose, this advice applies to added fructose, such as high fructose corn syrup or agave nectar, not whole fruit.
Sucrose may be more familiar to you as “table sugar,” but it also occurs naturally in some fruits. Our bodies are equipped with an enzyme to break it down into glucose and fructose, and then metabolize it as each of those individual sugars.
If your doctor has recommended that you avoid sugar, or fructose in particular, you should follow your doctor’s instructions. But if not, you can likely find a way to fit fruit into your low-carb diet.
Some types of fruit have fewer carbs per standard serving, mostly due to their higher water, or have fewer absorbable carbohydrates due to their high fiber content. These absorbable carbs are often referred to as net carbs.
Fiber is a carbohydrate, but it’s one that your body can’t absorb, so it doesn’t affect your blood sugar like other carbohydrates do. So some people consider net carbs more important than total carbs.
To obtain a food’s net carb value, simply subtract the grams (g) of fiber it contains from its total carbohydrates.
Here’s our list of the best low-carb fruits.
This quintessential fruit of summer scores lowest in carbohydrate content, packing only 7.55 gTrusted Source per 100 g of fruit. It’s low in fiber, so most of this carbohydrate is absorbed. Watermelon is also high in vitamin A and has a high water content, which will fill you up while providing fewer calories. Even the rind has health benefits!
Berries are a popular choice for people watching their carb intake. Strawberries have the fewest carbs of all types of berries, while blackberries have the fewest net carbs.
For each 100 g of strawberries, you’ll get 7.68 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates and 2 g of fiber, yielding a net of 5.68 g of carbohydrates.
For each 100 g of blackberries, you’ll get 9.61 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates, but 5.3 g of fiber, netting only 4.31 g.
Raspberries are also an excellent choice, as they net only 5.44 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates per 100 g serving. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C among many other nutrients. And they contain phytochemicals, which are compounds that may prevent certain chronic diseases.
This popular orange melon is great on a hot summer day and contains only 8.16 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates and 0.9 g of fiber per 100 g of fruit, netting only 7.26 g of carbohydrates.
Melons are also considered to be low-fructose fruits. Some people like to eat cantaloupe or honeydew with tuna salad. Try blending cantaloupe with lime, mint, and water to make a refreshing agua fresca.
Yes, avocados are a fruit, and they have relatively low carbohydrate content to boot. For each 100 g of avocado, you’ll get an estimated 8.53 gTrusted Source of carbohydrate and 6.7 g of fiber, netting only 1.83 g of carbohydrates!
In addition, that serving of avocado will give you healthy monounsaturated fats, which are known to be good for heart health. Slice avocado on top of a salad or wrap, make an avocado tomato salad, or serve it with boiled eggs. Learn 16 more reasons why you don’t want to miss out on avocados.
Honeydew, another melon, comes in at 9.09 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates and 0.8 g of fiber for every 100 g, netting 8.29 g of carbohydrates. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C as well as potassium, an electrolyte you need to maintain good blood pressure, pH balance, and a healthy metabolism.
Try prosciutto-wrapped honeydew melon balls for a sweet-and-salty appetizer.
A sweet and juicy treat, peaches surprisingly don’t have too many carbohydrates. For every 100 g of fruit, you’ll get 9.54 gTrusted Source of carbs and 1.5 g of fiber, netting only 8.04 g of carbohydrates. For a low-carb snack, serve them up with some cottage cheese.
10 Low-Sugar Fruits to Eat on a Low-Carb Diet
Yes, fruits have carbs and (natural) sugars. And despite what you may have heard from your friends on the keto diet, you should definitely keep eating them. A diet rich in fruit has been linked to tons of health benefits, including decreased risk for diabetes, the ability to maintain a healthy weight, and much more.
You see, the carbs you consume from fruit can’t quite be compared to the kind you get when you eat junk food. “If you’re eating 80 percent of your calories in the form of healthy, complex carbohydrate sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, that’s much healthier than 80 percent coming from white bread, sugary cereals, and chips,” says Adrienne Raimo, RD, a holistic health and wellness coach at One Bite Wellness in Columbus, Ohio.
Why? It’s simple: white bread and sugary snacks give you nothing more than empty calories, fruits are packed with vitamins and nutrients that nourish your body, and fiber that keeps you full and satisfied between meals. “Fiber helps to slow down insulin response to glucose and increases fullness and satiation after a meal. So when I counsel patients on a lower-carb diet, I also make sure to highlight the importance of fiber,” says nutritionist Alex Caspero, RD, creator of Delish Knowledge. Fiber has also been proven to help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis, as well as decrease cholesterol.
That said, you can’t eat an entirely fruit-based diet and not expect consequences. “As with too much protein, and sugar, eating too many carbohydrates can lead to excess fat accumulation. It’s all about balance,” says Raimo. So whether you’re aiming for a low carb count or seeking to shed pounds, add these 10 low-sugar fruits, listed from highest to lowest in sugar per serving, to your menu for a naturally sweet dose of nature’s candy.
Sugar content: 10 grams sugar per 100 grams
Instead of stirring a spoonful of sugar or honey into your bowl of oats in the a.m., fold in diced apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
“Try not to add sugar at breakfast,” Raimo says. “I find that this often sets up my clients—and myself—up for a blood sugar roller coaster ride where we typically crave more sugar during the rest of the day.”
Sugar content: 10 grams sugar per 100 grams
If you like pina coladas, use pineapples to naturally sweeten your happy hour sip rather than juice or simple syrup.
“One of my favorite cocktails is a blend of vodka, mineral water, fresh mint from the backyard and frozen pineapple. This has no added sugar, but is completely delicious,” Raimo says.
Sugar content: 10 grams sugar per 100 grams
Since berries are studded with itty-bitty seeds, their fiber content is higher than most other fruits.
“Blueberries work well in overnight oats or pancakes in the morning, blended into a smoothie for a snack, on salads at lunch and atop of coconut yogurt with cinnamon for a healthier dessert,” Raimo says. Go wild for the maximum health benefits. “Wild blueberries offer double the antioxidant level of conventional blueberries,” Caspero explains.
Sugar content: 10 grams sugar per 100 grams
Fresh is best with all of these low-sugar fruits, including pears—which often come packed in syrup when sold in snack packs and cans.
“Check labels for added sugars. There are so many items that we likely don’t realize have added sugar in them: soups, breads, yogurt, granola bars and packaged fruit,” Caspero says. “A little added sugar is fine, but it adds up quickly.”
Sugar content: 9 grams sugar per 100 grams
Go full fruit instead of the OJ route for a blood sugar-friendly orange fix. Yes, oranges have sugar, but a medium fruit has three grams of fiber, too.
“I’m less worried about whole foods and their natural sugar since fiber really makes a difference when it comes to digestion and absorption,” Caspero says. “Many plants are rich in different types of dietary fiber, such as pectin, gum, mucilage, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and soluble fiber.”
low-carb fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally low in fat and calories, but they contain varying amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. For people trying to manage their intake, carb content is helpful to know.
Research indicates that eating a range of fresh fruits and vegetables can help reduce the riskTrusted Source of the most common causes of disease and death, including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Many diets and eating plans require a certain carb intake. People following the ketogenic diet, for example, aim to consume around 20–50 gramsTrusted Source (g) of carbohydrates from 2,000 calories per day.
Consuming the following fruits and vegetables can add color, flavor, and vital nutrients without canceling out the health benefits of a low carb diet.
In this article, we present 13 low carb fruit and vegetable options.
Fruits tend to have a higher carbohydrate content than most vegetables because they contain naturally occurring sugars.
However, this does not mean that people should avoid them.
People monitoring their carbohydrate intake should also note that some fruit has more water content. This means that they provide fewer carbs per 100 g serving.
The following are some low carb fruit options.
This summer fruit has the lowest carbohydrate content, with only 7.55 gTrusted Source per 100 g of fruit.
It is also a good source of vitamin A and has a high water content, making it a great high volume food.
Watermelon can also lead to feelings of fullness while providing fewer calories.
Berries are a popular choice for people watching their carb intake, and strawberries have the least of any berry.
Each 100 g serving of strawberries provides 7.68 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates.
They are also excellent sources of potassium and vitamin C.
Read more about strawberries here.
This orange melon is a popular summer fruit and contains only 8.16 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates per 100 g.
Some people like to eat melons, including cantaloupe and honeydew, with tuna salad. Try blending it with lime, mint, and water to make a refreshing agua fresca.
Find out more about the health benefits of cantaloupe here.
Avocados are fruits with a relatively low carbohydrate content. For every 100 g of avocado, a person gets an estimated 8.53 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates.
Avocados are also a good source of monounsaturated fats. These may have protective effects on the heart and blood vessels.
Here, learn more about what avocados can do for health.
Another type of melon, honeydew, provides around 9.09 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates for every 100 g.
It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as potassium.
Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain good blood pressure, balance acid levels, and encourage healthy metabolism.
Peaches have a surprisingly low carbohydrate content, considering that they are among the sweeter fruits available.
For every 100 g of fruit, a person gets 9.54 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates.
For a low carb snack, serve peaches up with some cottage cheese, or try a peach and blueberry smoothie.
In any diet, vegetables are an important source of nutrition. They are particularly useful as part of a carb controlled diet for providing nutrients while restricting carbohydrate intake.
They are high in fiber and lower in overall calories per serving than any other food group. They also contain a wide range of healthful compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
In general, the higher the water content, the lower the carb content is per 100 g serving. The following are the vegetable choices with the fewest carbs.
Cucumber is a refreshing and nutritious addition to any salad. When a person peels the skin, a cucumber contains just 2.16 gTrusted Source of carbohydrates per 100 g serving.
Cucumbers with the skin attached provide 3.63 g of carbohydrates, making it a high-ranking low carb vegetable whether a person likes eating the skin or not.
However, most of a cucumber’s nutrients are in the skin. For this reason, people should try to eat the skin along with the rest of the cucumber. Those following a carb controlled diet should consider a type of cucumber with thin skin, such as a Persian cucumber. English cucumbers tend to have thicker skin, which would increase the carb count.
Low-Sugar Fruits for Low-Carb Diets
There is a lot of confusion around fruit and it’s natural sugars. If you follow a low carbohydrate diet or have diabetes you may have been told that you can’t eat fruit or that fruit is okay because the sugars are natural. The truth is that while the sugars in fruit are natural, how they affect blood sugar will depend on a variety of factors including, what they are eaten with and whether or not you have diabetes.
For instance, are you counting carbs or taking note of the glycemic index or glycemic load of the foods you eat? Knowing which fruits are naturally lower in sugar can help you make choices that fit best with your individual dietary needs.
Certain fruits are considered to be lower in sugar because you can have a larger portion for a smaller amount of carbohydrate and sugar. One serving of fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. A serving is one small apple (the size of a tennis ball), a cup of berries, two whole kiwifruit, or half a medium-sized banana. So fruits like berries can be eaten in larger portions for the same amount of carbohydrate, but less sugar.
Natural Sugar in Fruit
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults eat two cups of fruit or fruit juice or a half-cup of dried fruit per day.1 How much fruit you eat may differ if you are following a specific low carb meal plan or if you counting or modifying your carbohydrate intake because of diabetes.
Most fruits have a low glycemic index (GI) due to the amount of fiber they contain and because their sugar is mostly fructose. However, dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, and sweetened cranberries), melons, and pineapples have a medium GI value. Sweetened dried fruits have an even higher GI value.
Fruits aren’t just packed with nutrition, they’re also versatile and tasty. With their natural sweetness, fruits are a fantastic way to satisfy a craving for sweets. In fact, those lowest in sugar have some of the highest nutritional values, plus antioxidants and other phytonutrients.
6 Low-Sugar Fruits for Low-Carb Diets
Use these rules of thumb for a quick way to assess the sugar content of your favorite types of fruit. The fruits listed below are ranked from lowest to highest sugar content.
- Berries: Generally the fruits lowest in sugar, berries are also among the highest in fiber, as well as antioxidants and other nutrients. One cup of raspberries contains 14.7 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of fiber. Together with lemon and lime, which are also among the lowest-sugar fruits, berries aren’t just for eating—they can also add flavor to water.
- Summer fruits: Melons, peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and kiwis are great on their own or thrown together in a fruit salad.
- Winter fruits: Apples, pears, and sweet citrus fruit such as oranges are moderate in sugars. These fruits can be eaten as-is or used to top yogurt.
- Tropical fruits: Pineapple, pomegranates, mangoes, bananas, and fresh figs are high in sugar. Guava and papaya are a bit lower. These fruits can be easily sliced and added to a number of savory and sweet meals.
- Dried fruit: Dates, raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, and most other dried fruits are extremely high in sugar. Dried cranberries and blueberries would be lower, but sugar is typically added to combat the berries’ natural tartness. You’ll find dried fruit most often in granola, cereal, or trail mixes—all of which tend to be high-carb.
Sugar in Fruit (Low to High)
Here’s a deeper dive into popular low-carb fruit, as well as ways you can easily incorporate them into your eating plan. Keep in mind that for sugar and carb content, some values are per cup while others are per whole fruit.
- Lime (1.1 grams of sugar, 7 grams of carb, and 1.9 grams of fiber per fruit) and lemon (1.5 grams of sugar, 5.4 grams of carb, and 1.6 grams of fiber per fruit): These are rarely eaten on their own. You’ll typically use these fruits juiced and sweetened. Try adding a slice to your water or a squeeze of juice to add tartness to a dish.
- Rhubarb (1.3 grams of sugar, 5.5 grams of carb, and 2.2 grams of fiber per cup): You’re unlikely to find unsweetened rhubarb, so check the label before you assume what you are eating is low in sugar. If you prepare rhubarb yourself, you can adjust the amount of added sugar or artificial sweetener.
- Apricot (3.2 grams of sugar, 3.8 grams of carb, and 0.7 grams of fiber per one small apricot): Apricots are available fresh in spring and early summer. You can enjoy them whole, skin and all. Be sure to watch your portions of dried apricots, however, as they shrink when dried.
- Cranberries (3.8 grams of sugar, 12 grams of carbs, and 3.6 grams of fiber per cup, fresh): While very low in sugar naturally, be aware that they are usually sweetened when dried or used in a recipe.
- Guava (4.9 grams of sugar, 7.9 grams of carb, and 3 grams of fiber per fruit): You can slice and eat guavas, including the rind. Some people enjoy dipping them in salty sauces. They are the low-sugar exception to generally sugary tropical fruits.
- Raspberries (5.4 grams of sugar, 14.7 grams of carb, and 8 grams of fiber per cup): Nature’s gift for those who want a low-sugar fruit, you can enjoy raspberries in every way. Eat a handful by themselves or use as a topping or ingredient. You can get them fresh in summer or find them frozen year-round.
- Kiwifruit (6.2 grams of sugar, 10.1 grams of carb, and 2.1 grams of fiber per kiwi): Kiwis have a mild flavor but add lovely color to a fruit salad. Also, you can eat the seeds and skin.
- Figs (6.5 grams of sugar, 7.7 grams of carb, and 1.2 grams of fiber per small fig): Note that these figures are for fresh figs. It may be harder to estimate for dried figs of different varieties, which can have 5 to 12 grams of sugar per fig.
- Blackberries (7 grams of sugar, 13.8 grams of carbs, and 7.6 grams of fiber per cup) and strawberries (7.4 grams of sugar, 11.7 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fiber per cup): While they have a little more sugar than raspberries, both of these berries still make excellent choices for a snack, a fruit salad, or an ingredient in a smoothie, sauce, or dessert.
- Tangerines (8 grams of sugar, 10.1 grams of carb, and 1.3 grams of fiber per medium fruit): These citrus fruits have less sugar than oranges and are easy to section for fruit salads. Tangerines are also portable, making them good additions to packed lunches and snacks.
- Grapefruit (8.5 grams of sugar, 13 grams of carb, and 2 grams of fiber per half fresh grapefruit): You can enjoy fresh grapefruit in a fruit salad or by itself, adjusting the amount of sugar or sweetener you add.