Are clementines keto friendly?

Clementines are a delicious and nutritious fruit that can be enjoyed as part of a ketogenic diet. With only 8 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, they provide antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and other nutrients without too much of an impact on ketosis.

What are Clementines?

Clementines are a type of mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) that is thought to be a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin. They are one of the smallest citrus fruits, typically no more than 60–70 mm in diameter, making them easy to peel and segment into bite-sized pieces.

Clementines have a bright orange color and a juicy, sweet and tart flavor. They are seedless, making them very convenient and mess-free to eat. The skin is thin, smooth and glossy.

They are in season during the winter months, primarily November through February in the Northern Hemisphere. Clementines are grown around the world, with major producers including Morocco, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, Algeria, Greece and the United States.

Nutrition Facts

Here are the nutrition facts for 100g of clementines (3.5oz) (1):

  • Calories: 47
  • Net carbs: 8g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Vitamin C: 48% RDI
  • Vitamin A: 2% RDI
  • Potassium: 8% RDI

As you can see, clementines are low in calories and fat. The majority of carbs come from natural sugars. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and also provide some potassium.

Are Clementines Keto?

Most fruits are restricted on the ketogenic diet due to being high in carbs. However, clementines are one of the lowest carb fruits available.

With only 8 net grams of carbs per 100g serving, a small clementine containing around 40–50g of edible fruit would contain approximately 3–4 net carbs.

This carb count falls within most keto diet macros, allowing you to include clementines as part of a well-balanced low carb meal plan.

Benefits of Clementines on Keto

Here are some of the key benefits that make clementines a great addition to a ketogenic diet:

  • Low carb – Easy to fit into keto macros
  • Nutrient dense – Rich in vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants
  • Convenient – Clementines are portable, easy to peel and naturally split into segments
  • Taste – Sweet, juicy and refreshing flavor
  • Seasonal – Available during winter months for seasonal variety

Tips for Eating Clementines on Keto

Here are some tips for incorporating clementines into your keto diet:

  • Enjoy in moderation – Stick to 1 small or 1⁄2 large clementine as a snack or with a meal
  • Pair with protein or fat – Eat alongside nuts, cheese or meat to help balance carb intake
  • Drink plenty of water – Stay hydrated to avoid mistaking thirst for hunger
  • Watch portions – Weigh or count segments to keep track of carbs

Keto Macros for Clementines

The standard keto diet recommends limiting net carb intake to 20–50g per day. Within these guidelines, clementines can be incorporated in moderation.

Here are some examples of clementine portion sizes to fit different keto macro targets:

Keto Macro Target Serving Size Net Carbs
20g net carbs 1 small clementine or 1⁄2 large 3-4g
25g net carbs 1 medium clementine 5g
50g net carbs 2 medium clementines 10g

Amounts may vary slightly depending on the exact size of each clementine. Weighing the fruit can help determine accurate carb counts.

Comparison to Other Fruits

Clementines are one of the lowest carbohydrate fruits per 100g serving compared to other popular fruits (1):

Fruit Net Carbs per 100g
Raspberries 4.7g
Clementines 8g
Strawberries 8g
Blackberries 9.6g
Cherries 12.2g
Grapes 15.4g
Banana 23g
Mango 13.7g
Apple 13.8g
Pineapple 15.2g
Orange 9.4g
Watermelon 8g

As you can see, along with raspberries, clementines are one of the lowest carb fruits that can be enjoyed occasionally on a ketogenic diet.

Health Benefits of Clementines

Adding clementines to your keto diet provides more than just flavor, they are also highly nutritious and offer many health benefits including:

High in Antioxidants

Clementines contain powerful antioxidants including vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonoids and essential oils (2).

These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and may provide protection against chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer (3).

Excellent Source of Vitamin C

One small clementine provides around 35% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. This vital nutrient acts as an antioxidant and is also required for immune function, collagen production and iron absorption (4).

May Reduce Inflammation

Some studies indicate citrus fruits like clementines have anti-inflammatory properties due to their flavonoid content. They may help reduce inflammation implicated in diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes (5).

Support Heart Health

The combination of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium in clementines may help reduce risk factors for heart disease. Early research suggests citrus fruits help lower blood pressure and cholesterol (6).

May Lower Stroke Risk

Higher intake of citrus fruits like clementines has been linked with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke in some large observational studies (7).

Potential Downsides of Clementines on Keto

While clementines can be included on a keto diet, there are some potential downsides to be aware of:

  • Their sweet taste may increase cravings for other high carb foods
  • It’s easy to overeat them and go over carb limits
  • Fructose from fruit is not fully accounted for in net carbs
  • May cause digestive issues in some people

To avoid these issues, enjoy clementines in moderation as part of a healthy low carb meal plan.

Other Keto-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Clementines

Here are some tasty ways to work clementines into your keto diet:


Add clementine segments to green or taco salads for a pop of flavor and color.

Yogurt or Cottage Cheese

Mix diced clementines into plain, unsweetened yogurt or cottage cheese for a vitamin C boost.


Blend a few clementine segments with keto protein powder, unsweetened nut milk, spinach and ice.

Meat Dishes

Make a bright citrus sauce with clementine juice to drizzle over chicken, pork or fish.

Snack Plates

Arrange clementine segments alongside nuts, cheese and olives for an easy snack.

Salad Dressings

Whisk together clementine juice, olive oil and spices to make a tangy salad dressing.

Final Thoughts

Clementines can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy keto diet. With only 8g net carbs per 100g, a portion of clementine makes a nutritious, low carb snack or addition to meals.

Focus on keeping your total daily carbs within 20-50g as recommended on keto. Combine clementines with lean proteins, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables to stay satisfied.

Clementines provide vitamin C, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, limit your intake to avoid excess carbs and potential issues with cravings or digestion.

Overall, clementines are one of the lowest carb fruits that can provide flavor and nutrition to a well-formulated ketogenic diet when enjoyed in sensible portions.

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