You’re on a diet so you try to replace some unhealthy snacks with fruit, but are you checking their carb content?
If you want to cut down on your sugar intake, you shouldn’t just focus on eliminating sugars in processed or packaged foods, but also the sugars found in fruits. And, if you’re on a low-carb diet, you’ll want to avoid fruits that have natural sugars. pp
Are carbs and sugar the same thing? If you feel confused about carbs vs sugars and how to define them, you should know that simple carbs are the same as simple sugars. These are found in some fruits.
Read on to learn about the best, healthiest fruits to add to your regular eating plan. These will give you a burst of sweetness without the added sugars.
What Sugars Are Found In Fruits?
There are three types of sugar that you find in fruits.
- Glucose: This is the body’s default source of energy for the muscles, brain, and cells.
- Sucrose: This is table sugar but it can also occur in fruits in a natural state. Our bodies break down sucrose into fructose and glucose (via Healthline).
- Fructose: This is sugar that’s metabolized by the liver. Although we might be warned to avoid consuming large quantities of fructose, the advice is for added fructose, such as the kind you’ll find in corn syrup, not for fructose in fruit.
High-Carb Fruits To Avoid
These fruits are high in carbs, so you want to be careful when consuming them and you should probably avoid them on the keto diet, which prioritizes fats and reduces carbs.
This diet encourages the body to enter a state of ketosis, which is when it uses fat as fuel, therefore assisting in weight loss.
- Bananas: A medium-sized banana contains a whopping 27 grams of carbs, so you want to be careful when adding bananas to a fruit salad. If you eat bananas for their potassium, it’s a good idea to reach for other fruits that provide this nutrient without the added sugars instead, such as grapefruit.
- Mangoes: Although delicious and a good source of nutrients such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, one cup of mango contains 28 grams of carbs.
- Raisins: These are dried grapes that you might find in trail mixes and eat tons of without realizing that they’re high in carbs. One cup of raisins contains 129.48 grams of carbs! That said, they do contain some important nutrients, such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
14 Of The Best Low-Carb Fruits
These fruits are delicious and some are so sweet they might surprise you with their low-carb content. By consuming them, you’ll get a tasty snack that’s filled with many nutrients to keep you healthy.
This is a delicious and refreshing fruit that only contains 7.55 grams of carbs per 100 grams of fruit. It doesn’t have a lot of fiber but it’s high in Vitamin A, it’s packed with water, and it’s satisfying to eat. This means that watermelon will fill you up, even when you’re on a calorie-restricting diet.
Although you can add watermelon to a keto diet because it’s low in carbs, you will have to reduce your portion sizes.
Strawberries provide 7.68 grams of carbs for every 100 grams of fruit. The great thing about strawberries is that they contain other nutrients, such as Vitamin C and potassium, the latter of which reduces high blood pressure.
Blackberries are also low in carbs. A 100-gram serving of blackberries contains 10 grams of carbs, but it’s a good source of fiber and antioxidants to keep you healthy.
If you’re following the keto diet, you can eat strawberries and blackberries in small quantities. If you’re following a moderately low-carb diet you can eat berries in larger amounts.
Avocados are usually known for being a good source of healthy fats that are good for your heart, but they’re also a low-carb fruit that you can eat on a keto diet – 100 grams of avocado gives you 8.53g of carbs.
You can safely consume an avocado every day on the keto diet, so it’s great if you want to increase your healthy fat content.
If you’re craving a sweet fruit without the additional carbs and sugar, you should reach for peaches. They’re surprisingly low in carbs, coming in at just 9.54 grams of carbs per 100 gram of fruit.
Peaches are also good for health in other ways, such as that they are rich in antioxidants which protect the body against health conditions such as cancer. In addition, they’re a good source of fiber.
A tip when eating peaches is to enjoy them with low-carb foods so you don’t consume too many carbs or calories in one sitting.
Oranges have a bit more carbs than some other fruits, but they’re still considered to be low-carb produce.
They have 12 grams of carbs per 100 grams of their fruit. Oranges are known for being high in Vitamin C but they’re also packed with other nutrients, such as Vitamin A and potassium.
While it’s sometimes said that you should avoid oranges on the keto diet because they are a bit higher in carbs than some other fruits on this list, you can still enjoy them in moderation – or add orange zest to salads and other foods!
If you love grabbing an apple on the way to work so you have a healthy snack available, you’re on the right track. A 100-gram serving of apples contains 12 grams of carbs.
Apples also contain a variety of plant compounds, such as quercetin which has anti-inflammatory benefits, and chlorogenic acid that lowers blood sugar levels and is linked to weight loss.
On a low-carb diet, you can increase satiety when eating this fruit by eating half an apple with a tablespoon of cream cheese or almond butter.
While it’s easy to assume that tomatoes are a vegetable because we use them in savory meals, they’re actually fruit. One cup of cherry tomatoes contains 4 grams of carbs so this is a delicious low-carb fruit to add to your meals more regularly.
Tomatoes rank high when it comes to nutrients and antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and lycopene, a plant-based pigment that can prevent cancer and heart disease.
If you’re following a keto diet, enjoy tomatoes whole. Avoid store-bought tomato sauces that can be filled with sugar.
Carambola (star fruit)
This is a fruit that’s native to Asia but it’s worth tracking down if you want a bit more variety in your diet.
It’s low in carbs, with one cup giving you about 5 grams of carbs. While it’s low in calories, it gives you Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber to keep you regular.
If you’ve never tried carambola before, it has a lovely sweet and sour taste so you can enjoy it with a variety of foods.
You can eat carambola in many different ways, such as by eating slices of it on its own, using it as a garnish, adding it to curries, making chutney with it, or juicing it.
A squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice is great to add to yogurt or salads. The juice of one lemon contains 3 grams of carbs and only 11 calories.
It not only gives you a burst of tangy flavor but also Vitamin C to fight free radicals in the body. Lemons are also filled with folate and potassium.
On the keto diet, lemon juice is useful because it promotes healthier digestion.
This small, round melon is rich in water so it’s ideal to consume during hot days, especially because it’s a low-carb fruit. Half a cup of diced cantaloupe contains 6.4 grams of carbs.
Cantaloupe gets its bright orange color from its beta carotene content. This pigment gets converted into Vitamin A in the body, which is beneficial for the immune system, hair, and skin.
Cantaloupe is a high GI fruit so to prevent it from spiking your blood sugar it should be eaten with fatty foods like avocados.
A refreshing serving of grapefruit is a great way to start the day. It’s sweet, tangy, and delicious when consumed with a drizzle of honey or a bowl of yogurt.
Half a cup of grapefruit contains 9.2 grams of carbs and it’s a low-GI fruit so it won’t negatively affect your blood sugar.
It’s high in Vitamin C as well as other antioxidants, such as Vitamin A and lycopene. It’s also rich in fiber and potassium.
On the keto diet, make sure you consume grapefruit in moderation as it does have more carbs than other fruits.
This is another fruit that you should reach for if you need a bit of sweetness in your diet without lots of carbs and sugar. One plum contains 7.5 grams of carbs.
It also provides resveratrol, a compound that reduces inflammation in the body, so plums can lower your risk of illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
If you’re following a keto diet, you should eat fresh plums and avoid dried plums as these contain high amounts of sugar.
You might think that pineapple is a fruit that contains tons of sugar because it’s so sweet and zesty, but pineapples are actually quite low in carbs.
Half a cup of pineapple contains 10.8 grams of carbs. Since pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, it lowers inflammation in the body.
If you’re going to eat pineapple, bear in mind it can cause spikes in your blood sugar so you want to eat it with fiber or protein to offset its effects.
This is another type of low-carb melon as it only has 9.09 grams of carbs per 100 grams. It contains Vitamin C and potassium, plus it’s delicious.
Try adding it to prosciutto if you want to enjoy a delicious sweet and salty snack.
Should You Eat Canned Fruit?
If you want to eat fruit from a can, it’s important to note that its syrup and juices usually have increased amounts of sugar, and this translates into higher amounts of carbs.
This is why choosing frozen or fresh fruit is best when you’re looking for low-carb produce.
However, if you find canned fruit that contains water or 100 percent juice, then this can prevent you from consuming too many sugars. Just make sure you drain and rinse the excess juice before you eat the fruit.
Should you drink flavored juices?
These usually contain high quantities of sugar. It’s worth noting that fruit juices that have been flavored aren’t a substitute for your daily servings of fruit.
Does eating fruit help you to lose weight?
You can lose weight by replacing some unhealthy foods in your diet with fruit, and this is because fruit is a great source of fiber and water. This makes fruit satisfying, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
If you’re on a low-sugar or low-carb diet, you might not realize that you should be restricting some fruits that you consume – those high-carb fruits need to go or at least be limited to small portions.
Replace them with low-carb fruits we’ve featured in this article that also contain a variety of nutrients to keep you healthy and help you watch your waistline.