Why Can't I Eat Fruit?
You shouldn't eat most fruit on a ketogenic diet because most fruit is high in net carbs. Net carbs are total carbs minus the fiber. You'll often hear keto dieters talking about net carbs rather than total carbs because, unlike fiber, net carbs raise blood sugar. Having too many net carbs can also kick you out of ketosis.
Although fruit is not as high in carbs as, say, wheat and tubers, eating too much can make you go over your carb limit. Take for example two unassuming fruits found in most households: bananas and apples. One medium banana provides a whopping 24 grams of net carbs, while one medium apple provides just under 20 grams of net carbs. Eat one or the other and you have little room left for healthful vegetables.
Just in case you did't know why keto limits net carbs to ~30 grams per day:
Research shows that 30 grams of net carbs per day should be the upper limit for most people trying to reach ketosis . Going above that puts most people out of ketosis, and you don't want that when you're on a keto diet. Instead, you want your body to run on ketones which is possible only when carbohydrate intake is extremely low.
Fruit, including keto fruit, contains carbs mainly in the form of fructose and glucose. Both are simple carbohydrate. Combined, these two sugars make up sucrose (table sugar). Some fruit is also rich in fiber, which is an indigestible type of carbohydrate. Fiber helps lower blood sugar levels and is essential for healthy bowel movements. That’s why you need plenty of fiber in your keto diet.
Side note: To learn more about the ketogenic diet, take our Ketocademy course. It's free, and you'll learn everything in 3 hours straight. We also suggest reading our articles talking about the essentials of the ketogenic diet here and here.
7 Best Low-Carb Keto Fruit
As a general rule, keto dieters are allowed to eat berries since these tend to be low in net carbs. However, there are many other low-carb keto fruits you should know about. Here, we give you 7 keto fruit (berries included) that you want to start adding to your keto meals:
Net carbs: 5,7 grams
Strawberries are one of the lowest-carb berries out there. Their low-carb content also means that they're low in energy, with 100 grams providing only 30 calories. These keto fruits are also an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. Buy them fresh in the summer or go for frozen strawberries to have them on hand year-round.
As for strawberry health benefits, these berries are rich in phytochemicals like ellagic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin, and catechin, which are non-nutritive compounds believed to improve health. Studies on these phytochemicals show that they upregulate nitric oxide production and downregulation inflammation  – both of which protect against cardiovascular diseases.
Make this satisfying and sweet strawberry cottage cheese smoothie as a convenient lunch option or quick breakfast. This recipe gives you 400 calories and takes only 5 minutes to make. You can also eat strawberries with cream (sweetened with stevia).
Net carbs: 2.7 grams
Rhubarb may be a leafy green, but it is sweet and sour just like a fruit. Most people use rhubarb in dessert making so it makes sense to add it to our low-carb keto fruit list.
Besides being low in carbs, rhubarb is high in vitamins C and K and the minerals potassium, calcium, and manganese. This unusual keto fruit/vegetable is also a powerful herbal medicine according to one large systematic review . This review states that rhubarb can work as a viable sepsis treatment due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties.
You will find fresh rhubarb sold in supermarkets from spring through summer. You may also find frozen rhubarb, which is just as good. Just thaw it in the microwave, on room temperature, or add cold to desserts.
Rhubarb pairs perfectly with strawberries in many dessert recipes. Use it to make strawberry-rhubarb mousse or make a sugar-free jam to go over keto puddings, panna cotta, or cheesecake. Rhubarb can also replace berries in pancakes and muffins.
Net carbs: 4 grams
Starfruit, also called carambola, is a slightly sweet, slightly tart and sour keto fruit. It is native to Indonesia, and you'll often find it in the exotic fruits section of the produce department in your local supermarket.
However, star fruit is high in oxalates, which are compounds that can cause kidney stones when taken in excess. This is one reason why doctors discourage those with kidney diseases from eating starfruit . If you have healthy, functioning kidneys, you may want to keep your intake moderate if you're taking medication. starfruit is similar to grapefruit when it comes to drug interactions, i.e. it inhibits the absorption of certain drugs.
The mild sweetness of starfruit means it goes well in both sweet and savory dishes. Substitute it for pineapple in curry sauces or add it to smoothies. You can also make decorative starfruit upside-down cake (with almond flour, of course).
Net carbs: 5.4 grams
Raspberries are a low in net-carb but high in fiber, so definitely add them to your weekly keto menu. Raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and they also provide a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Studies on raspberries show that these berries contain an antioxidant named raspberry ketone. Raspberry ketone is not the same thing as the ketones your body makes in the absence of glucose. However, according to some animal studies, they still seem to exert a fat-burning effect similar to real ketones.
Make these raspberry muffins to feed the whole family. This recipe yields 7 muffins, with one serving providing only 142 calories. The recipe calls for coconut flour and butter to make it fully keto. It's sweetened with stevia, but raspberries also add some natural sweetens.
Net carbs: 1.8 grams
Its green hue and lack of sweetness may make you see avocado as a vegetable. But it is technically a fruit, and a berry for that matter! Make avocados a staple in your keto diet because avocados are exceptionally rich in healthy fat.
You get over 14 grams of fat from 100 grams of avocado along with fiber, vitamins C, E, folate, potassium, and copper. Avocado contains mostly monounsaturated fats, which are best for your blood vessels.
Avocados work well in both sweet and savory dishes. They're dense and creamy, which makes them a great banana substitute in smoothies. Try out these chicken skewers serving 4 with avocado ketchup for an easy and quick dinner.
6. Casaba melons
Net carbs: 5.7 grams
While honeydew and watermelon are both high in carbs, the casaba melon is a different story. You can safely eat a half a cup of casaba and won't get anywhere near your daily carb limit. But you will boost your intake of vitamin C and B6.
Casaba is not as sweet as other melons. It has a long shelf life, which makes it convenient. Its flesh is juicy, and the flavor is often compared to that of a cucumber. To eat it, simply cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and remove its rind.
Make a refreshing yogurt smoothie by adding a bit of casaba melon and sweetening it with stevia. You can also make a keto fruit salad with casaba melon and some berries. It also goes well with savory dishes like mint salsa.
Net carbs: 4.9 grams
Like raspberries, blackberries are also rich in fiber. In fact, at least half of the carbs in blackberries are fiber. These berries are also a good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and copper. Their dark hue is a telltale sign that they contain powerful antioxidants like blueberries.
Studies on blackberries and other dark berries show that they protect brain health . Eating blackberries can also help with excess weight and diabetes according to some studies . You can find fresh blackberries throughout summer, but frozen berries are way cheaper.
Blackberries go fantastically with coconut milk and other coconut foods. Make a satiating shake by mixing coconut milk, blackberries, cream cheese, and stevia. You may also make tasty fat bombs using coconut butter, coconut oil, and blackberries.
What Can I Eat Instead of Keto Fruit?
Vegetables are a much better source of essential vitamins and minerals for your keto diet because they tend to be lower in net carbs and rich in fiber. Still, carb content varies greatly among different vegetables; those growing underground tend to be higher in carbs than those growing above ground.
To boost your micronutrient intake while sticking to your carb limit, consider these low-carb veggies:
Another great plant source of key micronutrients includes nuts and seeds. Both foods are rich in vitamins and minerals while also being high in fat. The only exception to this rule is cashews and chestnuts which contain too many carbs to be keto approved.
Although fruit contains essential nutrients, it can be problematic on a keto diet because most is high in carbohydrates. Carbs are what give fruit its sweet taste, and the sweeter the fruit, the more carb it contains. For this reason, choose your keto fruit wisely and keep your intake low to stay within your daily macros.
To help you stay within your daily carb limit, we've listed 7 keto fruits that are lowest in sugar but rich in beneficial nutrients. These keto fruits will also give you plenty of fiber along with key vitamins and minerals. Some are even scientifically proven to improve health.
If you want to play it safe, your best option is to stick to vegetables, nuts, and seeds and keep your keto fruit intake as low as possible. These plant foods contain plenty of micronutrients while being fairly low in carbs. They also go well with a wide range of savory keto dishes and keep your digestion running and blood sugar low thanks to fiber content.
If you want to learn more about keto nutrition, including what you can and cannot eat, visit our FAQs section or take our free learning course called the Ketocademy. It will teach you everything about the keto diet in just three hours.