Can I Eat Fruit On a Keto Diet?

Can I Eat Fruit On a Keto Diet?

Question: “Can I eat
fruit on a ketogenic diet?”

Answer: “Sure, if you want!”

I’m kidding, of course. I know why people ask this question.
It’s because in the keto world fruit is a confusing, often
contentious topic. You’ll sometimes see keto folks draw a hard
line in the sand, saying that all fruits, or sometimes specific
fruits, are “not allowed” on a ketogenic diet. I’ve written before
about why I feel it’s inappropriate to label foods as “keto”
or “not keto.” People need to consider their own goals, health,
activity level, and food preferences when formulating their eating

Nevertheless, it’s true that it can be hard to figure out how
to incorporate fruit into your keto diet. On the one hand, it’s
“real” food: unprocessed, “whole,” and full of vitamins,
minerals, fiber,
and phytonutrients. It’s also
Primal/paleo approved
in moderation. On the other hand, the
carbs in a typical serving of fruit can amount to a considerable
chunk out of one’s daily carb allotment, especially for people
who adhere to a very strict version of keto that only allows 20 to
30 grams of carbohydrate per day (as opposed to the Keto Reset Diet’s 50
gram per day suggestion

So where does fruit fit for the average person following a Keto
Reset Diet?

Keto People CAN Eat Carbs

Sometimes you’ll hear someone say that keto-ers can’t eat
fruit because they “don’t eat carbs.” They really mean that
keto folks don’t eat sugar, which is still a gross
oversimplification because keto people absolutely do eat carbs. If
you’re eating according to the Keto Reset Diet,
you’ll start by aiming for 50 grams of carbohydrates per
day—perhaps somewhat less if you are dealing with type 2 diabetes
or metabolic syndrome—with some wiggle room if most of your carbs
come from above-ground veggies and avocados.

From the point of view of the Keto Reset, we want you to choose
your carb sources from among those included on the
Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid
. That means no grains or added
sugars, but eating nutrient-dense vegetables and, yes, even some
fruit if you wish.

What Fruits Are Best For Keto?

When picking the “best” fruits for keto, it comes down to
how many carbs are in a serving. Higher carb fruits are going to be
harder to incorporate into a keto diet while still allowing room
for the liberal intake of vegetables and avocados encouraged in the
Keto Reset.

The information below is taken from the Cronometer database. Make
sure you pay attention to the serving size.
I selected
what seemed like reasonable servings of each by volume instead of
weight (who knows what 100g of grapes looks like compared to 100g
of watermelon?). I also provided the weight for reference, as well
as the fiber content. The
Keto Reset Diet
does not recommend counting net carbs for fruit

Before getting to the data, note that this list omits foods like
tomatoes and olives because that’s not what people mean when they
ask about fruit.

Let’s also get two items out of the way that always
appear on “keto approved fruits” lists:

Avocados: Is there any question about them
being keto-friendly? So you know, one whole avocado (136 grams) has
12 grams of carbs (9 grams fiber), as well as 21 grams of fat.

Lemons: Most people aren’t eating lemons but
juicing them, right? The juice from one whole lemon has 3 to 4
grams of carb (about 1 gram per tablespoon).

Now for the rest…


  • Blackberries (½ cup, 72 grams): 7 grams carb (4 grams
  • Raspberries (½ cup, 62 grams): 7 grams carb (4 grams
  • Blueberries (½ cup, 74 grams): 11 grams carb (2 grams
  • Strawberries (½ cup halves, 76 grams): 12 grams carb (3 grams

Stone Fruits:

  • Apricot (each, 35 grams): 4 grams carb (1 gram fiber)
  • Plum (1 medium, 66 grams): 8 grams carb (1 gram fiber)
  • Peach (1 medium, 150 grams): 14 grams carb (2 grams fiber)
  • Nectarine (1 medium, 142 grams): 15 grams carb (2 grams


  • Watermelon (1 cup cubed, 152 grams): 12 grams carb (1 gram
  • Cantaloupe (1 cup cubed, 160 grams): 13 grams carb (1 gram
  • Honeydew (1 cup cubed, 191 grams): 17 grams carb (2 grams

Tropical Fruits:

  • Papaya (1 cup cubed, 144 grams): 16 grams carb (3 grams
  • Pineapple (1 cup cubed, 165 grams): 22 grams carb (2 grams
  • Banana (1 small, 101 grams): 23 grams carb (3 grams fiber)
  • Coconut meat (½ cup, 163 grams): 25 grams carb (15 grams
  • Mango (1 cup sliced, 165 grams): 25 grams carb (3 grams

Other Fruits:

  • Clementine (each, 74 grams): 9 grams carb (1 gram fiber)
  • Fig (1 medium, 50 grams): 10 grams carb (2 grams fiber)
  • Kiwi (1 each, 69 grams): 10 grams carb (2 grams fiber)
  • Orange (1 small, 96 grams): 11 grams carb (2 grams fiber)
  • Apple, green (1 small, 144 grams): 20 grams carb (4 grams
  • Grapefruit (1 small, 200 grams): 21 grams carb (3 grams
  • Pear (1 small, 148 grams): 23 grams carb (5 grams fiber)
  • Apple, red (1 small, 158 grams): 24 grams carb (3 grams
  • Cherries (1 cup, 154 grams): 25 grams carb (3 grams fiber)
  • Grapes (1 cup, 151 grams): 27 grams carb (1 gram fiber)

You can see why it is difficult to work fruit into a ketogenic
diet, and also why blackberries and raspberries are the most often
recommended fruit for keto-ers. Nevertheless, it’s possible.

Just for comparison, the 7 grams of carbs you
“spend” on ½ cup of blackberries could also be allocated to
any of the following:

  • 1 cup of cooked whole Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup cooked chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups of raw chopped broccoli
  • 1¾ cups raw shredded cabbage
  • 8 medium baby carrots
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 5 cups of raw kale
  • 1 whole small cucumber
  • 1 medium red bell pepper

Tips For Incorporating Fruit Into Your Keto Diet

  1. Select lower-carb fruits and limit portion
  2. Eat whole fruit, not fruit juices. Whole
    fruits induce a smaller glycemic and insulin response. Smoothies
    can quickly become carb bombs, and they are generally less
    satiating than their ingredients eaten separately because you
    don’t have to chew them. Include smoothies mindfully.
  3. Consider timing them strategically around the times
    when you are most insulin sensitive: in the morning and especially
    after exercise. (This is solid advice for any higher carb food or
    Likewise, you might save fruit intake for
    designated higher carb meals (“carb ups”) if this is part of
    your routine. However, if you struggle with insulin resistance, any
    kind of carb ups might not be appropriate for you at this
  4. Eat seasonally and locally. This
    recommendation isn’t unique to keto dieters, but eating
    seasonally and locally will automatically limit your consumption of
    fruits for much of the year unless you live someplace warm (in
    which case, hopefully you’re getting lots of outdoor time and sun
    exposure year round, too!)

But I Heard I Need to Avoid Fructose For Health?

Fructose is often demonized because it’s thought (incorrectly)
that fructose uniquely contributes to de novo lipogenesis.
As Mark has written previously, although fructose and
glucose are metabolized differently in the body, it is probably
splitting hairs to argue that one is more or less healthy than the
other when they are considered in the context of one’s entire
And while reducing sugar intake has been shown to
improve various health markers, this usually means cutting back on
high fructose corn syrup and other added sugars, not eliminating a
green apple and a serving of berries. If you’re eating a
Primal-aligned ketogenic diet and are already limiting your total
sugar intake, it’s probably not necessary to specifically avoid
fructose that comes in the form of whole fruit.

That said, some of the GI disorders that are so common nowadays
might be attributable at least in part to issues of fructose
. If you have been diagnosed with IBS or otherwise
experience chronic GI symptoms, you might consider asking your
doctor for a hydrogen breath test to detect fructose malabsorption.
You can also try eliminating and then reintroducing fruit to see if
it affects your symptoms.

Remember, Constant Ketosis Is Not Required

If you’re avoiding fruit because you’re afraid to get
knocked out of ketosis, remember that once you’re keto-adapted

it’s unnecessary to stay in ketosis 100% of the time
you’re using a therapeutic keto diet to treat a serious medical
Also, if there’s a fruit you especially want
to include in your keto diet, you can also test your individual
physiological response to it using a blood ketone meter.

A final word: When considering whether
to add more fruit to your keto diet, ask yourself whether you’re
still at a point where you would be better off abstaining in order
to avoid triggering cravings for sweet foods.
This is an
n=1 situation. If you feel like some fruit would add to your
general enjoyment of your keto way of eating, or you’re looking
for ways to incorporate more Primal-approved carbs, go for it. If
you’re still struggling to break the sugar habit, perhaps hold
off for now, knowing you can always choose to add fruit later.



The post Can I Eat Fruit On a
Keto Diet?
appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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