Fruit, also known as nature’s candy, is organically high in sugar. Sugar you say — but we thought fruits were healthy and we needed to avoid sugar like the proverbial plague? The answer is yes, but the reason is more nuanced when it comes to fruit. While fruits contain natural sugar, it’s still sugar, and can pose a problem if you’re are following a strict low-carb diet or trying to lose weight. Now we don’t want you to avoid fruit completely, as they’re still rich in nutrients and contain a good amount of filling fiber; it’s a matter of knowing which types have fewer carbs per serving.
We always recommend pairing a piece of fruit with a source of protein or healthy fat (nuts and seeds) as this will help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce sabotaging any weight loss efforts with insulin spikes and cravings. Aim for whole fresh options instead of dried or juiced as they contain healthy fiber and hydrating water. In addition to our handy low-carb fruits printable list, we’ll also reveal everything you wanted to know about low-carb fruits. Tutti frutti, let’s get low-carb fruity!
Low-carb fruits list
We arranged the following low-carb fruits by their associated nutrients and classifications. Sweeten up your life with these satisfying berries, melons, stone fruit, citrus fruits, and a special surprise fruit!
Berries are small, brightly colored low-carb fruit with seeds instead of stones or pits. They’re known for their powerful phytonutrients which lend a helping hand in disease prevention.
Strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants, strawberries help in the fight against free radicals. Also a good source of vitamin C, they support immune function and skin health. Choose berries that are shiny and have bright green stems. For a special treat, try strawberries dipped in yogurt with our Holiday Chocolate and Yogurt-Covered Fruit Trio.
Wild raspberries were gathered for human consumption for thousands of years — we’re looking at you Paleo buffs. You can say that these berries resemble little brains and also help our brains! Several studies have shown a correlation between flavonoids found in berries and a reduction age-related cognitive decline. Add berries instead of sugar to your next cocktail by muddling them at the bottom of the glass then pouring soda water and spirits.
Aside from their beautiful dark color, what distinguishes a blackberry from a raspberry is the stem. When picking blackberries, the stem stays with the fruit, while it’s removed in raspberries. Blackberries are high in a digestive supporting fiber as well as manganese, which is vital to bone health and collagen production. Freeze blackberries and add them to smoothies for a dash of vibrant color and a boost of nutrients.
Blueberries contain anthocyanin which contributes to both the color and it’s anti-inflammatory health benefits. They contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium that can reduce blood pressure. Sprinkle a few blueberries on pancakes, muffins, and waffles to up your nutrients and add natural sweetness.
Honeydew melons are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing you with more than half of your daily dose of immune-supporting antioxidants. When picking out a ripe honeydew, make sure it’s bruise-free and doesn’t have soft spots, mold, or cracks. Look for shiny skin, and when you tap on it, it should sound hollow. Lastly, smell the area where the vine was attached, it should smell sweet.
The bright orange color is similar to that of carrots and it’s sweet like carrots too as both contain beta-carotene. This nutrient is converted into vitamin A by the body and is a powerful antioxidant fighting free radicals in the body. Cantaloupes are available year round, but this melon is at its peak freshness and sweetness in the summer.
High in lycopene and vitamin C, this red melon has nutrients that can decrease the risk of certain cancers. Made up of 90% water, it’s a great snack to have on hand when it’s hot. Freeze slices for a cold, refreshing, and healthy nibble, or get creative with the kids and make our fun Watermelon and Fruit Pizza.
A stone fruit, also called a drupe, is a fleshy fruit that surrounds a single pit. The pits are referred to as stones as they have a hard exterior. Many stone fruit pits are poisonous so make sure to spit it out or throw it away when you eat them.
Peaches are brilliant for your heart. Containing fiber, vitamin C, and choline, an essential nutrient that helps keep your cells and nerves working well. When selecting a peach, choose ones with taut, fuzzy skin that has a slight give to it when you press it. If you need to ripen it quicker, then place it in a paper bag.
One of the healthiest superfoods, cherries are rich in antioxidants and are useful in the prevention and treatment of gout as well as the reduction of pain associated with arthritis. A quick and easy way to remove the pit is by using a clean paperclip. Open the paperclip, so you create a loop shape, insert the loop from the top, turn it around, then pop the pit out.
Citrus fruits grow on flowering trees and have characteristically thick rinds with a white pith (the portion that covers the juicy slices). Citrus fruits are known for their high vitamin C content and are frequently consumed for the common cold.
Oranges have a wide range of health benefits. They boast immune-system enhancing capabilities, cancer-fighting nutrients, are heart-healthy and help your skin glow. The tart peel contains vitamins A, C, and B vitamins. One way to get these nutrients without the bitter taste and tough skin texture is to eat the inner white part of the peel. Aim to eat fresh, whole oranges instead of orange juice — it takes about two to four oranges to make only one cup of juice and you don’t get that healthy fiber.
Lemons are teeming with vitamin C, which is a vital component in the production of collagen. It can also maximize the absorption of iron when paired with iron-rich foods. Lemons are exceptionally tart so they are rarely eaten on their own unless you’re one of those sour-loving souls out there.
These are those sneaky fruits that get classified as fat sources or vegetables, when in fact they’re fun, fresh fruits. What classifies a plant as a fruit is that it develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, which contains seeds.
Avocados are lower in carbs and high in healthy fat, a perfect keto diet option. They contain monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, both of which protect the heart and help improve cholesterol levels. Don’t limit your avocados to salads, try them in ice cream or brownies to help increase moisture and make it plant-based diet friendly. You can tell when an avocado is ripe when they feel heavy for their size and are dark in color.
Olives actually belong to the stone fruit or drupe family. They’re high in vitamin E and other antioxidants, making them excellent for the heart-health and protect us against inflammation and cancer. Fun-fact: The only difference between green olives and black olives is ripeness, the black ones get harvested when they’re completely ripe. However, aim for fresh variants whenever possible. Canned black olive options tend to contain ferrous gluconate, an additive that helps maintain the color. For some people, this additive can cause stomach upsets when eaten in large amounts.
Though a salad and pasta staple, tomatoes are actually a fruit! They contain your main dietary source of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to health benefits including can decrease the risk of certain cancer. Ripe tomatoes should be kept on the counter if you want to enjoy them in a day or two, throw them in the refrigerator after that. Learn more about tomatoes and other low-carb vegetables.
Low-carb fruits: Printable list
The 8fit nutrition team has put together this list of low-carb fruits for your reading pleasure. It goes from lowest carb content to highest. We based these carb counts on the USDA nutrient database for the equivalent of a one cup serving or a single serving of fruit.
For healthy recipes that include a lot of these low-carb fruits, download 8fit and check out our recipe book.