12 Fruits You Can Eat on a Low-Carb Diet Plan

If you’re on a low-carb diet, not all fruits are created equal.

If you’re on a low-carb diet, you typically aim to get less than 45% of your daily calories from carbs.

Fruits are generally healthy, containing lots of nutrients and antioxidants – substances that protect your body from free radicals, which are associated with chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. But you have to be mindful about which fruits you consume if you’re watching your intake of carbs, says Patricia P. Araujo, a clinical dietitian with Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center in Chicago.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommends that adults consume about two servings of fruit per day. It’s generally a good idea to eat a wide variety of fruits, says Jenifer Bowman, a registered dietitian with UCHealth in Fort Collins, Colorado. “The added benefit of including a variety of fruit as part of a balanced meal are the antioxidant content to help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and promote the health of your brain,” she says. “It’s more beneficial to include fruit in your diet instead of avoiding fruit due to concerns about the carbohydrate content.”

However, if you’re watching your carbohydrate intake because you’re on a low-carb diet or on a low-carb high protein diet, you need to limit or abstain from some options.

Fruit juices and most dried fruits that have a high amount of sugar wouldn’t fit your dietary regimen. Fruits in syrup with high levels of sugar are also out. Bananas and mangos are relatively high in carbohydrates, so you should watch your portions of those fruits closely. Some commercial smoothies contain certain ingredients — like agave, honey, maple syrup or fruit juice with added sugar — that would not be the best choice if you’re on a low-carb eating regimen.

Here are 12 fruits to eat while counting carbs:

1. Apples

Apples are a good fruit to pack in lunches or have as a crunchy snack, says Beth A. Czerwony, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.

Having a crunchy apple as part of a mid-morning snack or to complement a meal are easy ways to stay full longer. Apples are great if you’re on a low-carb diet — a small, 4-ounce apple has about 55 calories and contains only 15 grams of carbohydrates. Apples also have fiber and contain nutrients such as vitamins C and potassium.

Individuals on a low-carb diet typically consume 100 to 150 grams of carbs a day, depending on their nutritional needs, says Lisa Jones, a registered dietitian based in Philadelphia.

2. Apricots

If you’re on a low-carb diet plan, it’s hard to go wrong with apricots, says Abby Sauer, a registered dietitian based in Columbus, Ohio, with Abbott Nutrition, a global health care company.

A medium-size fresh apricot has just 4 carbohydrates and contains vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants.

3. Avocados

Because they’re low in carbohydrates and high in fat, avocados are commonly seen in low-carb dishes, Araujo says. Avocados primarily have unsaturated fats, which are beneficial for cardiovascular health. Like other fruits, avocados contain no cholesterol.

A typical cup of avocado has about 12 grams of carbohydrates and 9 grams of fiber.

There are many ways to enjoy avocados: You can put slices in salads, or eat them as is. You can also put chunks of avocados in various soups.

4. Berries

A wide array of berries fit into a low-carb eating regimen, including:

— Blackberries.

Blueberries.

— Raspberries.

— Strawberries.

These berries contain between 7 and 21 grams of carbs per cup, depending on the berry, and 12 and 15 grams of fiber per cup. “Berries provide a tremendous amount of nutrition from fiber, potassium and vitamin C, but with low calories and fewer carbohydrates,” Bowman says.

5. Cantaloupe

This tasty summer fruit has a high water content, is a great source of fiber and contains vitamins A and C, Czerwony says.

A cup of cantaloupe has just 13 grams of carbohydrates. “With only 60 calories per cup, this melon packs a powerhouse of vitamin C and vitamin A,” she says. It’s also an excellent source of potassium, which helps with post-exercise recovery.

6. Carambola (star fruit)

For people on low-carbohydrate diets, “this exotic fruit gets a five-star rating,” Araujo says. “One carambola usually has less than 10 grams of total carbohydrates.”

Star fruit is a waxy, yellow-green fruit that’s shaped like a five-pointed star when it’s cut in half. The fruit’s skin is edible, and the flesh is typically mild and sweet and sour tasting. You can eat star fruit as is, use it as a garnish and add it to salads.

7. Coconut

Because coconuts are high in saturated fat, it’s best to consume this fruit in moderation. You can add shredded, fresh coconut to salads, desserts, soups and sauces. One cup of shredded coconut has about 12 grams of carbs and contains 283 calories.

Beware of dried coconut products — many are packed with added sugar. “It’s important to read the label for that,” Araujo says.

8. Figs

Fresh figs have a mild, sweet taste, and they make great snacks, Czerwony says. They’re also low in carbs: a 3.5-ounce fig has about 15 carbohydrates, and you can add figs to salads and oatmeal.

9. Grapes

Grapes are not only low in carbs, they contain antioxidants — which research suggests help prevent chronic diseases by protecting healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals, Bowman says.

A 1-cup serving of grapes contains just 16 grams of carbohydrates and contains only 62 calories.

10. Peaches

Peaches are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps control blood sugar levels. That in turn helps you feel fuller longer, and may help with weight loss, Czerwony says.

A medium fresh peach has 14 grams of carbs. Peaches also contain vitamins A and C and antioxidants.

11. Plums

One medium fresh plum contains just 7.5 grams of total carbohydrates and is also a good source of antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Fresh, ripe plums are typically juicy and sweet and are great as a snack or as companion to a lunch sandwich or wrap.

Here are three other ways to use plums:

Grilled plums. Brush plums with a splash of olive oil and place them on a grill until they’re charred. Grilled plums can be added to salads, as dessert or served alongside grilled meat.

Salad ingredient. Plum slices make a great addition to spinach and couscous salads.

Roasted plums with oatmeal. For a tasty alternative to berries or banana slices, try roasted plum slices with your oatmeal.

12. Watermelon

Sweet, ripe watermelon is tasty, good for you and low in carbohydrates, Sauer says. One cup of watermelon has about 11 grams of carbs.

Watermelon is high in water content and low in calories. “It’s also rich in antioxidants and potassium, making it a perfect treat after a workout.”

To recap, here are 12 fruits that are good to eat if you’re on a low-carb diet:

— Apples.

— Apricots.

— Avocados.

— Berries.

— Cantaloupe.

— Carambola (star fruit).

— Coconut.

— Figs.

— Grapes.

— Peaches.

— Plums.

— Watermelon.

More from U.S. News

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DASH Diet Breakfast Ideas

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12 Fruits You Can Eat on a Low-Carb Diet Plan originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 05/31/22: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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