What is the lowest carb fruit available?

When following a low-carb or ketogenic diet, choosing fruits with the lowest amount of net carbs is important. The net carbs in fruit come from the total carbohydrates minus the fiber. Fiber is indigestible and does not raise blood sugar like other carbs. By selecting fruits that are highest in fiber, you can maximize nutrition and minimize effects on ketosis.

What Fruit Has the Lowest Carbs?

The fruits with the lowest net carbs are:

  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Starfruit
  • Lemons/limes
  • Watermelon
  • Rock melon (cantaloupe)
  • Honeydew melon
  • Nectarines

Below is a detailed comparison of the 10 lowest carb fruits by net carbs per 100g serving.

Fruit Total Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Net Carbs (g)
Strawberries 5.7 2 3.7
Blackberries 9.6 5 4.6
Raspberries 11.9 6.5 5.4
Blueberries 14.5 2.4 12.1
Starfruit 5.4 2.8 2.6
Lemons/Limes 7.8 2.8 5
Watermelon 8 0.4 7.6
Rock Melon 8.6 0.8 7.8
Honeydew Melon 9 0.8 8.2
Nectarines 10.7 2 8.7

As you can see, berries like strawberries, blackberries and raspberries have the lowest net carb counts per 100g. Melons and stone fruits like nectarines are also relatively low in net carbs. Citrus fruits like lemons and limes are low carb due to their high fiber and acidic nature.

Why Do Berries Have Lower Carbs Than Other Fruits?

There are a few reasons why berries contain less net carbs than most other fruits:

  • Berries have a relatively low total carbohydrate content to begin with. For example, strawberries contain only 5.7g total carbs per 100g serving.
  • They are an excellent source of fiber. Berries like blackberries and raspberries get over 5g of fiber in a 100g serving.
  • The combination of low total carbs and high fiber gives them a very low net carb count.
  • Smaller berries like strawberries and raspberries have a favorable surface area to volume ratio. This means a higher proportion of seeds and skin relative to flesh and juice.
  • The skin and seeds are sources of fiber, further boosting the fiber content.
  • Berry polyphenols may slow digestion and absorption of sugars, reducing the glycemic impact.

In contrast, many tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes and pineapples have a higher carb content. They lack the seeds and fiber rich skins of berries. Their sugars are more rapidly absorbed, resulting in a higher glycemic index.

Health Benefits of Low Carb Berries

Choosing low carb fruits like berries over other high carb options can provide the following benefits:

  • Does not disrupt ketosis – Berries contain minimal carbs that won’t spike blood sugar or insulin.
  • Nutrient dense – Berries provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  • Satiety – High fiber keeps you feeling fuller for longer on less carbs.
  • Rich in polyphenols – Berries are loaded with health promoting compounds including anthocyanins and ellagic acid.

Let’s explore some of these benefits in more detail:

Minimal Impact on Ketosis

The state of ketosis means your body is using fat for fuel rather than glucose from carbs. Consuming too many carbs can kick you out of ketosis.

Fruits like bananas, grapes, and apples contain enough net carbs that they could potentially disrupt ketosis. For example, a medium banana has 27g net carbs.

Berries on the other hand only have around 3-5g net carbs per 100g serving. Eating berries in moderation allows you to reap their antioxidant benefits while remaining in ketosis.

High Nutrient Density

Berries provide an array of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here are some of the top nutrients found in berries:

  • Vitamin C – Boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant. Raspberries contain over 2x your RDI for vitamin C per serve.
  • Manganese – An essential mineral for metabolism, bone health and nutrient absorption.
  • Vitamin K1 – Important for proper blood clotting. Also benefits bone and heart health.
  • Copper – Required for energy production, connective tissue formation and iron metabolism. Strawberries are a good source.
  • Folate – Essential for cell growth and replication. Needed for healthy pregnancy.
  • Anthocyanins – These antioxidants give berries their red, blue and purple hues. Confer many health benefits.
  • Ellagic acid – A polyphenol in berries with anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Berries provide all these nutrients and antioxidants with a minimal calorie and carb load. Choosing low carb berries over high sugar fruits lets you maximize nutrition on a ketogenic diet.

Improved Satiety

Berries are packed with fiber, containing approximately 5-8g per 100g serving. This fiber is mostly from the edible seeds and skins.

Fiber provides ‘bulk’ that expands in your stomach and digestive tract. This slows digestion, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. By promoting satiety, the fiber in berries can support weight control.

In one study, eating strawberries reduced subsequent calorie intake more than a fiber-free fruit drink (1). The fiber content of berries is likely responsible for their beneficial effect on appetite regulation.

Rich in Polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant compounds that act as antioxidants and confer many health benefits. Berries are among the richest fruit sources of health-protective polyphenols.

Key polyphenols in berries include:

  • Anthocyanins – Responsible for the red pigments in berries. May reduce inflammation, improve vision, and benefit heart health (2).
  • Ellagic acid – A powerful antioxidant found in high levels in raspberries and blackberries. Has anti-cancer and brain protective effects (3).
  • Gallic acid – Also found in tea and wine, may protect brain function and reduce oxidative stress (4).
  • Resveratrol – Associated with anti-aging, natural weight loss, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

For keto dieters, emphasizing low carb fruits with the most polyphenols helps maximize the antioxidant benefits.

Tips for Incorporating Berries Into a Keto Diet

Here are some suggestions to reap the benefits of berries without compromising ketosis:

  • Use berries sparingly to top full-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Mix into keto-friendly smoothies along with coconut milk, avocado, greens, protein powder, nut butter etc.
  • Make mixed berry chia seed pudding using coconut milk.
  • Swirl berry coulis into unsweetened nut milks or coconut cream.
  • Freeze berries and enjoy as mini fruit ice blocks.
  • Blend berries into homemade mayonnaise and use as a sauce for fish.
  • Cook berries down into a compote and have as an occasional treat.

Berries combine especially well with creamy high fat ingredients. The fat helps moderate the glycemic impact while enhancing flavor. Just be mindful of portion sizes, as excessive intake could potentially affect ketosis.

How Many Berries Can You Eat on Keto?

When starting keto, it’s recommended to restrict net carbs to 20-30g per day. Within these limits, you can consume a moderate portion of berries.

Here’s a guide to berry serving sizes on keto:

  • Blackberries – 1 cup or around 150g provides 6g net carbs
  • Raspberries – 1 cup or around 120g gives 7g net carbs
  • Strawberries – 1 cup whole strawberries or 150g gives you 5g net carbs
  • Blueberries – 1/2 cup or 75g provides 7g net carbs

Based on their net carb counts, good options for a keto-friendly serving include:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 3/4 – 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup blueberries

Keep total daily calories in mind too. If weight loss is your goal, berries should substitute higher calorie foods, not add extra calories.

Testing Your Limits

Carb tolerance varies between individuals on keto. Some people can stay in ketosis with up to 50g net carbs or more. Others need to restrict to under 20g.

The only way to know your personal carb limit is through testing. This involves gradually increasing net carbs while tracking symptoms and monitoring ketones.

Aim to stay under 20-30g of net carbs during the adaptation phase of keto. Once adapted, you may be able to add more berries and remain in ketosis.

Should You Avoid High Carb Fruit on Keto?

On average, most fruits contain around 10-30g net carbs per serving. The most popular fruits like bananas, apples, grapes and pineapple are towards the higher end.

Eating these fruits in normal serving sizes would almost certainly raise blood glucose and insulin too far, disrupting ketosis.

Does this mean all high carb fruits should be avoided on keto? Not necessarily.

Having an occasional small serving of your favorite fruit can be incorporated into many keto meal plans. You still need to watch portions, but whole fruits provide more fiber, nutrients and satisfaction compared to fruit juice.

Strategies like saving fruit for after activity, combining it with protein or fat, and focusing on less ripe lower glycemic options can help minimize effects on ketosis.

Some people may even be able to fit in small servings of higher carb fruits regularly without dropping out of ketosis. Just listen to your body and keep an eye on your goals.

Low Carb Vegetables

Along with low carb berries and other fruits, plenty of non-starchy vegetables can be enjoyed on keto.

Some of the best low carb vegetable choices include:

  • Leafy greens – spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, etc.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant

Non-starchy vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and health promoting plant compounds. Since most contain less than 5-10g net carbs per serving, they can be generously included in a ketogenic diet.

Sample Low Carb Fruits and Vegetables Meal Plan

Here is a day of keto-friendly meals utilizing the lowest carb fruits and plenty of non-starchy vegetables:


  • 3 Eggs scrambled with mushrooms, asparagus and cherry tomatoes
  • Black coffee


  • Tuna salad made with greens, cucumber, avocado and lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup strawberries


  • Grass fed beef burger (no bun) served with salad including tomato, avocado, spinach, onion, capsicum and mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

This provides a balance of protein, healthy fats and fiber along with nutrient dense low carb fruits and vegetables. Desserts like chia seed pudding with berries or melon blended into a smoothie are other options.


Berries like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are the lowest carb fruits available. Their low calorie, high fiber and nutrient dense nature makes them an ideal addition to a ketogenic diet.

Aim for berries over higher sugar tropical fruits. Pair them with protein and healthy fats, and incorporate plenty of low carb vegetables like leafy greens.

Eating fruits with the fewest carbs and the most nutrition allows you to reap health benefits while remaining in ketosis.

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