Low-Carb Fruit List: The Best and the Worst Fruits on a Low-Carb Diet

Choose Low-Sugar Fruit

berries
Berries are low in sugar and high in many nutrients. JamieB/RooM/Getty Images

Fruit is a food group that can be confusing to low-carb eaters and diabetics.  It is also an area where some of the popular low-carb diet plans differ, as some depend more upon glycemic index or glycemic load (South Beach, Zone), while others just look at the amount of carbohydrate (Atkins, Protein Power). Also, some diets (Atkins, South Beach) don't allow fruit at all in the first phase. In general, your best bet when you eat fruits is to try the ones near the top of this list but do check carb counts by clicking on the fruit you are interested in.

This list is roughly arranged by sugar content according to the USDA database, based on a half-cup serving of fruit.

You may hear that you don't have to worry about sugars in fruit because it is natural to the fruit.  The truth is that "it depends".  Certainly, fruits contain many nutrients, and if you're going to be eating sugar it's better to have some great nutrients to go with it!  On the other hand, some bodies handle sugars better than others, and if you are someone who responds well to a low-carb diet, it pays to be careful.  If possible, check your blood glucose to see how the fruit (or any food) affects it.

Good news: the fruits lowest in sugar are some of the highest in nutritional value, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients.

If you are considering buying organic fruits, check out this list of which fruits and vegetables have the most and least pesticides to help you guide your choices.

Quick Tip to Help you Remember Fruits High and Low in Sugar

Fruits Lowest in Sugar

Fruits Low to Medium in Sugar

  • Apples
  • Guavas -- Pineapple Guavas (Feijoa) and Strawberry Guavas are probably similar, but information that directly compares them is not available
  • Apricots
  • Grapefruit

Fruits Fairly High in Sugar

Fruits Very High in Sugar

Looking for Serving Suggestions for Low-Carb Fruit?

- Check out this information about berries, which includes why berries are so good for us, as well as serving suggestions and links to low-carb recipes.

- Here are lots of great reasons to eat cranberries, which some serving suggestions that may surprise you.  This page has links to lots of low-carb recipes with cranberries.

- This list of low-carb desserts has even more ideas.

Continue Reading