Fruits are an important component of any meal. In fact, a balanced diet must contain a fruit of some sorts. This is because fruits contain vitamins that the body needs to boost its immune system and hence protect it from diseases. Also, fruits offer antioxidants, minerals and fiber, meaning that they should never be excluded from a diabetic person’s diet.
However, for those under dieting programs, and also those who want a generally healthier lifestyle, it is important that they know the right fruits to consume and those that they should avoid or limit their intake. The fruits to avoid are those that contain high amounts of carbohydrates. This is especially so for diabetic persons who want to check their sugar intake. While carbohydrates supply the body with the energy it needs to carry out its normal functions, too much of sugars such as glucose and fructose cause the blood sugar levels to rise.
When it comes to fruits, it is where some low-carb diets differ. Some diets depend on glycemic load or glycemic index (South Beach, Zone), whereas other diets only consider the total carbs (protein Powder, Atkins). Diet programs like Atkins and South Beach don’t permit fruits at all during their first phase. To know the best fruits that you are safe with, you need to look at the fruits near the top of the list.
Top 5 low-carb fruits
This includes strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, huckleberries and salmon berries. They contain lots of antioxidants and vitamins. If you are looking for the smartest as well as fruits that are most nutritionally dense, then berries are your automatic choice. Always take ½-1 cup dialy. Strawberries and raspberries are especially good in salads and grillled meat. (Glycermic Index: mid 20’s)
Going by their antioxidant value, cherries are much similar to berries. Although they have slightly more natural sugar content, they still qualify as low-carb fruits. Excellent fiber source, cherries are best served with feta, greens and bacon. Alternatively, you can try them with pork chops. (Glycermic Index: 22)
Apples and Pears
Low in sugar, apple and pears have good amounts of fiber. Although their antioxidant levels are not exceptionally high, these fruits are still the best for anyone who wants to satsify their sweetness needs without necessarily harming themselves. (Glycermic Index: 38)
Although grapefruits belong to the citrus family, they are not as high in sugar as most citrus fruits. In fact, they have less effect on blood sugar compared to that of apple and pears (Glycermic Index: 25). However, some people make the mistake of adding some sugar to it. This is ruining it. It is best consumed as a salad, with avocadoes.
Apricots and Peaches
If you are looking for an excellent source of vitamins and fiber, and with the same nutritional component like apples and pears, then apricots and peaches are the way to go. Nectarines should be avoided, and this is because of their high sugar content, just like the papayas and mangoes. (Glycermic Index: 30)
Figs are quick to be forgotten as they are lumped together with dates and raisins most of the time. However, they are low in sugars, much like strawberries but densely packed with fibers. They are seasonal fruits, and you should make an effort to enjoy them whenever they are available.
High-carb fruits to avoid taking daily
These fruits contain a lot of sugars, and therefore should not be made a daily habit. Although they are still rich in other nutritious components, you need to really watch the amount and frequency of their consumption.
Some melons qualify as low-carb fruits, and this is why some diets will recommend them. But there are some varieties like cantaloupes that have very high sugar levels (GI:100). These should not be made a daily treat.
Mangoes and Papayas
Although certainly not the highest-containing sugar fruits, mangoes and papayas are best consumed infrequently. You’d rather consume bananas which are a smarter source of energy.
No other fruit beats pineapple when it comes to the best bromelain source. This is an enzyme helps with inflammation and joint health. In fact, it is because of this enzyme that some people get irritated lips or mouth tissues. However, it is very high in sugars and should be consumed only infrequently.
Low Carb Fruits Chart
|Per unit fruitCalories per fruit or the portion statedCarbohydrates per fruit or the portion statedApple (with the peel)
Blackberries (1/2 cup)
Blackcurrants (1/2 cup)
Blueberries fresh (1/2 cup)
Cherries (1/2 cup)
Cranberries fresh raw (1/2 cup)
Currants Red fresh (1/2 cup)
Dates dried/sugar (1/2 cup)
Date 1 fresh/unsweetened
Gooseberries fresh (1/2 cup)
Grapes (10 medium seedless)
Grapefruit (1 medium half)
Guava (1/2 cup)
Lemon (with peel)
Lime (with peel)
Lychees 1 oz.
Melon Canteloupe (1 half)
Melon Honeydew (1 tenth)
Olives green (pitted) 1 oz.
Olives black (pitted) 1 oz.
Papaya (1/2 cup cubed)
Passion Fruit (medium)
Pineapple fresh (1/2 cup cubed)
Prune (1 dried & pitted)
Raisins (dried 1/2 cup)
Raspberry (1/2 cup)
Rhubarb (1/2 cup cubed)
Strawberries (1/2 cup)