By Rachael Link, RD
Can you eat fruit on keto? Survey a handful of keto dieters to see what they think and you’re likely to get a good mix of different opinions. While some believe that keto fruit can be consumed in moderation as an occasional indulgence, others think that it should be completely avoided altogether.
Unlike other sugary snacks, fruit is high in fiber, which can balance many of the health effects associated with consuming carbs and sugar. By being selective about which fruits to include in your diet — and going for low-carb, high-fiber options — you can likely enjoy the occasional serving or two of keto fruit, while still remaining in ketosis.
So what fruit is low in carbs? Are bananas good for keto? And which foods make the cut on the low-carb keto fruit list?
We’ll cover everything you need to know about keto and fruit below. Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.
Can You Eat Fruit on the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet focuses on cutting carb consumption and increasing fat intake to reach ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body begins burning fat for energy rather than glucose/carbs.
This typically involves decreasing intake of high-carb foods like grains, starches, legumes and sugary snacks, while at the same time increasing consumption of healthy fats and performance fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter and ghee.
One of the most common keto diet myths is that fruit must also be eliminated from the diet in order to effectively achieve a state of ketosis.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are plenty of nutritious and delicious keto diet fruit options that can definitely be included in moderation as part of a healthy low-carb diet.
- Although fruits are typically high in carbohydrates, they’re also typically filled with fiber. Fiber moves through the body undigested and generally doesn’t affect blood sugar levels in the same way as carbohydrates, meaning it can typically be enjoyed when following the ketogenic diet without impacting ketosis.
- Instead of counting total carbs in your diet, it’s best to focus on net carbs, which is calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber in a food from the total grams of carbohydrates. For example, if an ingredient contains 10 grams of total carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber, it would contain 8 grams of net carbs.
There are plenty of keto fruit options out there that are high in fiber and low in net carbs, making them an ideal addition to a well-rounded ketogenic diet.
In fact, having some fruit on keto may help satisfy your sweet tooth while also supplying a steady stream of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs.
Top 10 Keto Fruits
So what are some keto friendly fruits?
When it comes to having fruit on keto, it’s important to look at the number of net carbs per serving, which is calculated by subtracting the amount of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates.
Below is a keto fruit list, including how many net carbs are found in each serving.
- Avocado: 2 grams net carbs/cup
- Lemons: 4 grams net carbs/fruit
- Limes: 5 grams net carbs/fruit
- Blackberries: 6 grams net carbs/cup
- Raspberries: 7 grams net carbs/cup
- Strawberries: 8 grams net carbs/cup
- Watermelon: 10.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Cantaloupe: 11.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Nectarine: 12.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Peaches: 12.5 grams net carbs/cup
It’s Best to Eat Keto Fruit in Moderation
Keep in mind that, although there are plenty of keto friendly fruit options out there, consumption of fruit on the keto diet should still be limited.
Even on a modified keto diet, it’s recommended to aim for around 30–50 grams of net carbs per day to maintain ketosis and maximize results.
Even one or two servings of these low-carb fruits can knock out a good chunk of your daily carb allotment in one shot, effectively kicking you out ketosis.
For this reason, it’s best to fill your plate mostly with healthy fats, protein foods and non-starchy vegetables, all of which can provide a good amount of nutrients and a low amount of carbs to help optimize your diet.
Avocados, along with other fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, ghee and grass-fed butter, can be used to boost your intake of heart-healthy and performance fats to reach ketosis. However, other higher-carb varieties such as berries, watermelon or cantaloupe should be consumed in small amounts and used as a substitute for high-sugar sweets and snacks the next time cravings strike.
- A handful of berries can be a delicious sweet treat and enjoyed as is to help keep carb consumption low.
- For an occasional indulgence, you can also top it with a dollop of full-fat whipped cream or unsweetened Greek yogurt.
- You can also combine about half a cup of fruit with non-starchy veggies, collagen and coconut milk and blend to make a keto fruit smoothie. Bump up the benefits even more by adding MCT oil, bone broth or a dash of beneficial herbs and spices to finish it off.
Fruits to Avoid on Keto
Although there are plenty of low-carb fruits out there, not all types of fruit can fit into a ketogenic diet.
In particular, dried fruits and fruit juices pack a concentrated amount of sugar and carbs into each serving and should be avoided altogether when cutting carbs to reach ketosis.
Fruits canned in syrup may also be higher in sugar, which can quickly drive up calorie and carb consumption and hinder your progress.
There are also plenty of other types of fruit high in natural sugars that may need to be limited when following a ketogenic diet. Here are a few varieties of fruit that contain a higher amount of net carbs in each serving:
- Bananas: 30 grams net carbs/cup
- Grapes: 25.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Mango: 22.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Grapefruit: 21 grams net carbs/cup
- Pineapple: 19.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Blueberries:17 grams net carbs/cup
- Plums: 16.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Oranges:16.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Cherries: 16.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Pears: 16.5 grams net carbs/cup
- Fruit is high in carbohydrates and natural sugars, both of which are often restricted by those following a low-carb keto diet in order to reach ketosis. However, certain fruits can be included in moderation as part of a healthy ketogenic diet.
- Look for low-carb, high-fiber fruits that are low in net carbs.
- A few keto friendly fruits include: avocados, lemons, limes and berries such as blackberries, raspberries and strawberries.
- Keep intake in moderation and limit dried fruits, fruit juices and high-sugar fruits like bananas, grapes, mangoes, grapefruit and pineapple.
- Enjoy the occasional serving of keto fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth and curb cravings in place of other high-sugar treats. Alternatively, try adding them to smoothies alongside healthy fats, proteins and non-starchy vegetables for a nutritious start to your morning.
Rachael Link, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian based in New York City. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at the University of Central Missouri and later received her Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Rachael is passionate about plant-based nutrition and enjoys providing easy-to-understand information to readers looking to support their health.