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The 14 Best Low-Carb Fruits to Help You Lose Weight


While fruit has a reputation for being a healthy food group, many types of fruit are actually high in carbs. If you're on a low-carb diet, you may be wondering how you can eat fruit and also stick to your diet. Do you need to give up fruit completely? Absolutely not! You just need to know which fruits are low-carb.

In this guide we explain what low-carb really means and what the benefits of low-carb fruits are. We then go over the 14 best low-carb fruits to eat, as well as four types of fruit you should avoid if you're on a low carb diet.


What Are the Benefits of Low-Carb Fruits?

What's so great about low-carb fruits? Low-carb diets have become very popular in recent decades as a way for people to lose weight. Carbohydrates not immediately used by the body are converted to fat, and eating lots of carbs can cause a spike in blood sugar which can cause cravings for more carb-rich foods. Because of this, many people try to limit the number of carbs they consume, and numerous low-carb diets, such as the Atkins and Paleo diet, have sprung up, emphasizing foods high in fat and protein over carb-rich foods.

Carbohydrates do have benefits though. They are the brain’s main fuel source and are necessary for your body to run properly. Therefore, your goal should never be to cut out carbs completely from your diet, but instead to consume a healthy amount.

While foods like pasta, potatoes, beer, and soft drinks are the usual suspects when looking for carb-rich foods, many fruits also have a significant amount of carbohydrates. So even if you’re used to thinking of fruit as a completely healthy food group, some types of fruit can derail your low-carb diet. Therefore, it’s important to know which fruits are low-carb.

Fruits provide many important vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to function properly, so you don’t want to eliminate them from your diet, even if you’re trying to be low-carb. The solution is to learn which fruits are low-carb and eat more of those. Fruits low in carbs provide nutritional benefits while still allowing people to stick to their low-carb diets.


What Does “Low-Carb” Actually Mean?

Before we dive what fruits are low-carb, let’s first discuss what “low-carb” means. If you’re not sure what the definition of low-carb is, you’re not alone. There is no set definition for “low-carb” and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not set any regulations as to what low-carb means. Since there is no official definition for “low-carb,” any food can be labelled as low-carb. Usually low-carb foods have been altered in such a way as to reduce the amount of carbs they would normally have (such as low-carb beer), or they naturally have fewer carbs than many other foods.

In this guide, we define a low-carb fruit as any fruit that has 15g or less of carbs per serving. This is a low enough amount of carbs that you can likely still eat these fruits and keep to your diet, but it also gives you a decent variety of fruits to choose from.


The 14 Best Low-Carb Fruits

So, what fruits are low in carbs? We’ve done the hard work for you, and below is a list of the 14 best low-carb fruits. If you’re trying to stick to a low-carb diet, these are all great choices for you. The fruits are ordered from lowest amount of carbs per serving to highest.

For each fruit on this low-carb fruits list, we’ve included the serving size, how many carbs it contains, how much sugar it contains, and any important health benefits the fruit may provide. All the nutritional info comes from the USDA’s National Nutritional Database. When reading this list, pay close attention to the serving size of each fruit. They aren’t all the same, and not paying attention to serving size can seriously derail your diet.


#1: Starfruit



Serving Size: 1 medium starfruit (about 90g)

Carbs: 6g

Sugar: 4g

Health Benefits: In addition to having one of the lowest amounts of carbs for any fruit, starfruit is also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.


#2: Tomatoes



Serving Size: 1 regular-sized tomato (about 180g)

Carbs: 7g

Sugar: 5g

Health Benefits: Tomatoes are very high in lycopene, an important antioxidant. Eating tomatoes regularly may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.


#3: Avocados



Serving Size: ½ an avocado (about 100g)

Carbs: 8g

Sugar: 0.5g

Health Benefits: Yes, avocados are indeed a fruit, and they’re high in Vitamins K, C, E, and several B vitamins. Avocados are also high in folate and potassium, as well as healthy fats. They’re also very low in sugar compared to other fruits.


#4: Plums



Serving Size: 1 plum, about 70g

Carbs: 8g

Sugar: 7g

Health Benefits: Plums are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, and they may increase iron absorption in the body.


#5: Clementines



Serving Size: 1 clementine (about 75g)

Carbs: 9g

Sugar: 7g

Health Benefits: Clementines are high in Vitamin C as well as calcium and potassium.


#6: Coconut Meat (Raw)



Serving Size: 1 cup shredded (about 80g)

Carbs: 12g

Sugar: 5g

Health Benefits: Raw coconut meat is a good source of healthy fats and fiber. It’s important to eat raw coconut meat though. Dried coconut has more than double the carbs per serving as raw coconut.


#7: Strawberries



Serving Size: 1 cup (about 150 grams)

Carbs: 12g

Sugar: 7g

Health Benefits: Like other berries, strawberries are high in antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C, and E. Strawberries also have high levels of anthocyanins, a group of flavonoids that can reduce the risk of heart attacks.


#8: Watermelon



Serving Size: 1 cup, diced (about 150g)

Carbs: 12g

Sugar: 10g

Health Benefits: As their name suggests, watermelons are mostly made of water, but this high water content will help you feel full faster. Watermelon also contains Vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as the antioxidant lycopene. The more red the watermelon you’re eating is, the more lycopene it contains.


#9: Cherries



Serving Size: 10 cherries (about 80g)

Carbs: 13g

Sugar: 10g

Health Benefits: Cherries are high in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation in the body.


#10: Peaches



Serving Size: 1 small peach (about 130g)

Carbs: 13g

Sugar: 11g

Health Benefits: Peaches are high in a number of minerals, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium.


#11: Cantaloupe



Serving Size: 1 cup, diced (about 150g)

Carbs: 13g

Sugar: 12g

Health Benefits: This fruit is high in potassium, and it’s a good source of B vitamins.


#12: Blackberries



Serving Size: 1 cup (about 120 grams)

Carbs: 14g

Sugar: 7g

Health Benefits: Blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant concentrations of any fruit. They are also high in Vitamin C, as well as tannins, which can help with digestion issues.


#13: Honeydew



Serving Size: 1 cup, diced (about 170g)

Carbs: 14g

Sugar: 14g

Health Benefits: Honeydew is a good source of potassium, and its high water content means that you feel full faster.


#14: Raspberries



Serving Size: 1 cup (about 120 grams)

Carbs: 15g

Sugar: 6g

Health Benefits: Raspberries are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E.


4 Fruits to Avoid If You’re Low-Carb

In this section are the four fruits that have high amounts of carbohydrates and sugar. You don’t need to completely avoid them, but you should definitely limit the amount you consume if you’re trying to stick to a low-carb diet.


#1: Bananas

  • Serving Size: 1 medium banana (about 120g)
  • Carbs: 27g
  • Sugar: 15g


#2: Mangos

  • Serving Size: 1 cup, diced (about 160g)
  • Carbs: 25g
  • Sugar: 23g


#3: Pineapple

  • Serving Size: 1 cup, diced (about 160g)
  • Carbs: 22g
  • Sugar: 16g


#4: All Dried Fruit

There’s a reason all the low-carb fruits in the list above are fresh/raw. When fruit is dried, the amount of carbs and sugar it contains per serving drastically increases. For example, while a cup of fresh strawberries only contains 12g of carbs and 7g of sugar, one cup of dried strawberries contains, on average, 96g of carbs and 82g of sugar! In addition, many dried fruits have sugar added to them, which makes them even more unhealthy. Definitely keep away from dried fruit if you’re on a low-carb diet.


How Much Fruit Can You Eat on a Low Carb Diet?

Does being on a low-carb diet mean you need to cut out fruit completely? No! As you can see from the list above, fruits provide many important nutritional benefits, and eliminating them from your diet completely can do more harm than good.

The USDA recommends about two cups of fruit per day in order to maintain a healthy diet. Depending on how many carbs your diet recommends, you may be able to meet this goal, especially if you choose low-carb fruits. For example, a plum and a cup of strawberries together only contain 20g of carbs, but they provide many nutritional benefits.

How much fruit you can eat depends on the diet you’re following and how many carbs you’re getting from other food groups, but you should still aim to regularly eat different fruits.


Recap: Low-Carb Fruits

Even though fruit is typically thought of as a “healthy” food group, certain fruits can be very high in carbohydrates, which can make it difficult if you’re following a low-carb diet. Low-carb fruits give the nutritional benefits of fruits without a lot of carbs.

Our low-carb fruits list helps you pick out what fruits are low in carbs. This list includes several types of berries, melons, and other fruits.

You should avoid high-carb fruits like bananas, dried fruit, and certain types of tropical fruit. Even if you’re on a low-carb diet, it’s still possible to eat fruit if you make healthy and smart choices about the type of fruit you eat and eat mostly fruits low in carbs.


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About the Author

Melody is a writer at PrepScholar.

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