How many carbs are in pure lemon juice?

Quick Answer

Pure lemon juice contains virtually no carbohydrates or sugar and thus has an extremely low number of net carbs. For practical purposes, the amount of carbohydrates in lemon juice can be considered negligible at less than 1 gram per serving.

How Many Total Carbs Are in Lemon Juice?

The total carbohydrate content of pure, unsweetened lemon juice is very low.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 grams of lemon juice contains:

Nutrient Amount
Total carbohydrates 2.8 g
Sugars 2.5 g

However, the vast majority of the carbs in lemon juice come from naturally occurring sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose.

Lemon juice contains minimal fiber or starch. A typical serving of lemon juice is just 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml). At this serving size, the amount of digestible carbs that impact blood sugar levels is negligible.

So in practical terms, pure lemon juice contains no net carbs. The minuscule amount of sugar and carbohydrates can be considered zero for most diet-tracking purposes.

Nutritional Profile of Lemon Juice

Here is the full nutritional profile for 100ml of pure lemon juice, according to the USDA:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 16
Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 59 mg
Total carbohydrates 2.8 g
Sugars 2.5 g
Protein 0.4 g

As you can see, lemon juice is an extremely low calorie, low carb beverage. Aside from trace amounts of sugars, it contains minimal amounts of fat, protein, fiber or micronutrients.

The main nutritional components of lemon juice are vitamin C and citric acid, which account for its tangy, tart flavor.

Carb Differences Between Lemon Juice and Lemonade

While pure lemon juice is very low in carbs, sweetened commercial lemonade is not.

Lemonade is made by combining lemon juice with sugar and water. A 12-ounce glass of store-bought lemonade can contain up to 40-50 grams of carbohydrates, depending on the brand.

Homemade lemonade can have even more, depending on the recipe. Sweeteners like sugar, honey or agave syrup all add a significant number of net carbs that need to be accounted for.

So be sure to check the nutrition labels and ingredients list when purchasing commercial lemonade products or making your own. Don’t assume lemonade has the same carb content as sugar-free lemon juice.

Carb Count of Lemon Juice Versus Lemon Wedges

Using fresh lemon wedges or slices can slightly increase the carb count compared to juice alone.

According to the USDA, one medium lemon wedge (1/8th of a whole lemon) contains:

Nutrient Amount
Total carbohydrates 1.6 g
Sugars 0.9 g

The additional carbs come from the soluble fiber and pulp within the lemon flesh itself. The juice from 1 lemon wedge would only have around 0.2 grams of carbohydrates.

So while whole lemon wedges contain slightly more carbs than straight juice, the difference is still negligible. Don’t worry about counting carbs if adding lemon slices to water or squeezing juice from a fresh lemon.

Carbs in Bottled vs. Fresh Lemon Juice

There is minimal difference in carbohydrates between fresh squeezed lemon juice and commercially bottled juices.

However, some bottled lemon juice varieties may contain added sugars, preservatives or flavourings that slightly increase the carb content. Check the ingredients list to be sure.

According to the USDA, these are the nutrition facts for 100ml of bottled lemon juice with no added ingredients:

Nutrient Amount
Total carbohydrates 2.3 g
Sugars 2.2 g

As you can see, the carbohydrate profile is nearly identical to fresh lemon juice. Just be cautious of juice blends that contain added sugar, which will have extra carbs.

When buying bottled, look for 100% lemon juice with no additions aside from preservatives like ascorbic acid. This will have negligible impact on the carb content.

Carb Differences Between Lemon Varieties

There are several common varieties of lemons, including:

  • Eureka
  • Lisbon
  • Meyer
  • Femminello

In general, most types of lemons have a similar carbohydrate profile and sugar content.

According to data from the USDA, 100ml of juice contains around 2.5g total sugars for all common lemon varieties. The carb differences are minimal regardless of the specific cultivar.

Meyer lemons may contain slightly more sugar due to their milder, sweeter flavor compared to regular lemons. However, we’re still talking no more than a gram or two of carbs even in the sweetest lemon varieties.

Cooking With Lemon Juice and Zest

When cooking with lemon juice or zest, the carbohydrate content remains minimal.

According to USDA data, 1 tablespoon (6g) of lemon zest contains just 0.2g total carbohydrates. The carbs come primarily from fiber and sugars inherent to the lemon peel.

Heating or baking does not significantly alter the carbohydrate amount. Lemon zest adds vibrant citrus flavor with only a trace amount of carbs.

The same applies when cooking with lemon juice. Heat does not change the nutritional value or carb numbers in any meaningful way.

So feel free to cook with lemon juice or zest in sauces, marinades, dressings and baked goods without worrying about carbs. The small amounts of natural fruit sugars get lost among all the other ingredients.

Does Lemon Juice Impact Blood Sugar?

Due to its extremely low carbohydrate content, lemon juice has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels.

The trace amounts of sugar in lemon juice are primarily glucose, fructose and sucrose. These types of simple sugars can raise blood glucose when consumed in large amounts.

However, human studies indicate that the quantity of sugars found in a serving of lemon juice is too small to significantly impact blood sugar or require insulin. The effect is minimal and gets drowned out by other foods.

So lemon juice is perfectly safe for people with diabetes watching their carb intake. The same applies to those following low-carb or ketogenic diets. The carbs can be considered zero.

Keep in mind that diluting lemon juice in water or sparkling mineral water will not alter the carb content. Only sweetening lemon juice with sugar-containing ingredients affects the blood sugar response.

Does Lemon Juice Contain Fiber?

No, lemon juice does not contain any fiber. The edible portion of the lemon fruit is made up almost entirely of water and plant acids like citric acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Fiber is found in the white pith of the lemon, not the juice inside.

A wedge of lemon contains 0.5 grams fiber since it includes some of the pith and pulp along with the juice. But straight lemon juice is pure liquid with the fiber removed.

This means the tiny amount of carbohydrates in lemon juice should be counted as net carbs. Without any fiber to subtract, total carbs and net carbs are the same.

Should Lemon Juice Count Towards Total Carbs?

For most diet-tracking purposes, the carbohydrates and sugar content in small amounts of lemon juice can be considered negligible and ignored.

The total carb count is under 0.5 grams for typical serving sizes of 1-2 tablespoons (15-30ml).

Even on very strict ketogenic diets limiting carbs to 20-50 grams per day, the trace carbs in lemon juice won’t make any significant impact.

The only exceptions are people tracking every single gram of carbs, such as competitive bodybuilders. In that case, you may want to account for those 0.3 grams of sugar per tablespoon of lemon juice. But for general health goals, it’s not necessary.

Tips for Adding Lemon Juice to a Low Carb Diet

Here are some tips for incorporating lemon juice into a low carb eating pattern:

  • Use lemon slices or juice to add bright flavor to water instead of sweeteners like sugar or honey.
  • Make creamy sauces and salad dressings using lemon juice, oil, herbs and spices.
  • Marinate fish, chicken or vegetables in lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
  • Add lemon zest and juice to enhance flavor in recipes while keeping carbs low.
  • Use lemon juice in small amounts for its Tangy flavor rather than as a sweetener.
  • Read labels to check for added sugars in flavored lemonades, juice blends and bottled lemon juice.
  • Avoid sweetened lemonade, which can have up to 40-50 grams carbs per serving.

With its bright, citrusy flavor and barely any effect on blood sugar, lemon juice makes a great low-carb ingredient. Take advantage by working it into a variety of dishes and drinks.


Pure lemon juice contains only trace amounts of carbohydrates and sugar. A typical serving of 1-2 tablespoons provides less than half a gram of carbs.

The natural sugars in lemon juice – primarily glucose, fructose and sucrose – do not significantly impact blood sugar levels.

For low-carb diets, lemon juice can be considered a zero carb ingredient. The carbs are negligible enough to ignore for most tracking purposes.

Use fresh lemon juice and zest to add flavor to recipes and drinks without worrying about carb intake. However, steer clear of sweetened lemonade, which is high in added sugar and carbohydrates.

So feel free to juice some lemons on your low-carb diet. With virtually no carbs or effect on blood sugar, lemon juice provides huge flavor for almost zero calories.

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