Woman holding a cantaloupe bowl with berries inside smiling into camera.


Woman holding a cantaloupe bowl with berries inside smiling into camera.To eat fruit or to not eat fruit. That’s the query.

It seems that fruit is a contentious and typically complicated matter inside the low-carb neighborhood. Some low-carb advocates argue that fruit ought to be strictly restricted or prevented altogether, each due to the carbs and since they’re cautious of fructose. But a few of the staunchest carnivore weight loss plan proponents are actually incorporating fruit and selling a “meat and fruit” strategy. That’s proper, carnivore—billed as the last word zero-carb weight loss plan—now permits fruit (relying on who you ask). 

Even for people who don’t have any specific philosophical sway in opposition to or in favor of fruit consumption, it may be onerous to determine which fruits, and the way a lot, to incorporate in the event that they’re aiming to scale back carbs. 

My stance has all the time been that fruit is a pure however not mandatory a part of the human weight loss plan. Certain, it’s greater in carbs than meat or greens (on common), however fruits additionally come packaged with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that do a physique good. Fruit may be a good way to add carbs round exercises for those who so want. Biting into the primary completely ripe peach of the summer season is an entirely hedonic expertise. 

However for people watching their carb consumption, and particularly for these following a really low-carb ketogenic weight loss plan, it received’t do to chow down on large bowls of fruit salad for breakfast. Right here’s how I weigh the relative deserves of various fruit choices.

Selecting the Greatest Low-Carb Fruits

There’s no definitive algorithm that may spit out a low-carb acceptability score for a given fruit, however the elements beneath are those I contemplate related to this query. 

1. Begin with the quantity of carbohydrates and fiber in a typical serving.

Carbohydrates as a result of… clearly, and fiber as a result of fiber doesn’t get absorbed and transformed into glucose. As a substitute, it largely travels by the intestine, the place commensal microbes “feed” on sure sorts. That’s why some individuals solely rely web carbs, which is complete carbs minus fiber. 

I don’t trouble getting that granular. Counting complete carbs is much less work and avoids debates about whether or not to subtract fiber from all sources or solely sure ones. Simply perceive that for those who’re evaluating two items of fruits with comparable carb content material, the upper fiber one will in all probability have much less of an affect on blood sugar. 

You possibly can cease there, or you possibly can additionally…

2. Contemplate the antioxidant worth.

Antioxidants are compounds that assist mitigate mobile harm on account of free radicals, and fruit occurs to be a terrific supply of antioxidants (though herbs and spices are even higher). However not all fruit is created equal right here. The antioxidant energy of various meals is measured by Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capability, or ORAC. Larger is healthier. 

3. Contemplate the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL).

I don’t discover GI or GL particularly price worrying about, however you would possibly care in case your physician has prescribed a low-GI/GL weight loss plan.

Glycemic index measures how a lot particular person meals increase blood sugar once you eat a certain quantity of carbohydrate—50 grams of carbs from pineapple or 50 grams of carbohydrates from cantaloupe, for instance, in comparison with 50 grams of carbohydrates from pure glucose. Glycemic load takes under consideration a typical serving measurement of every meals merchandise, making it extra helpful. Watermelon, for example, has a GI within the medium vary however a comparatively low GL as a result of it’s largely water.

  • GI beneath 55 is taken into account low, 56 to 69 medium, and 70 or above excessive.
  • Low GL is 10 or beneath, medium is 11 to 19, and excessive is 20 or larger.

All else being equal, choose decrease GI/GL fruits. 

4. Nutrient profile.

Lastly, you possibly can contemplate what particular vitamins a given fruit is especially wealthy in. In case you’re attempting to spice up potassium consumption, you would possibly go for avocado, guava, or kiwi. For B6, go for durian (maintain your nostril). 

Prime 8 Low-Carb Fruits

With out additional ado, that is my not-entirely-scientific high 8 fruits that I’d suggest for carb-conscious Primal eaters. 

Observe that the values beneath are approximate. Relying on what sources you utilize, you would possibly arrive at barely completely different values.


Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries—they’re all good! Berries are going to ship probably the most antioxidants (highest ORAC scores) of all of the fruits on this checklist.

  • Carbs per ½-cup serving: 7 to 11 grams (2 to 4 grams of fiber)
  • ORAC: >4000 (wild blueberries clock in at 9621)
  • GI: 25 (blackberries, raspberries) to 53 (wild blueberries)
  • GL: 2 to 4


Cherries are up there with berries by way of their antioxidant worth. 

  • Carbs per ½ cup (about 10 cherries): 12 grams (2 grams fiber) 
  • ORAC: 3747
  • GI: 25
  • GL: 4


Kiwis are underappreciated, in all probability due to their bushy pores and skin and, let’s face it, seedy inside. However one kiwi delivers round 85 p.c of your each day vitamin C necessities (virtually twice as a lot as an orange, ounce for ounce) and 31 p.c of each day vitamin Okay. 

  • Carbs per kiwi: 10 grams (2 grams fiber)
  • ORAC: 862
  • GI: 50
  • GL: 7.3


Half a grapefruit, which boasts a low glycemic load, will web you round half your vitamin C for the day. Simply don’t destroy it by sprinkling sugar on high.

  • Carbs per ½ medium grapefruit: 14 grams (2 grams fiber)
  • ORAC: 483
  • GI: 22
  • GL: 2.4


In case you’re in search of a bite-sized fruit morsel to fulfill a small candy craving, look no additional. 

  • Carbs per apricot: 4 grams (1 gram fiber)
  • ORAC: 1100
  • GI: 34
  • GL: 3.8


Cantaloupe is comparable in potassium to banana for about half the carbs. It’s additionally scrumptious when wrapped in prosciutto. Not each fruit can say that. 

  • Carbs per 1 cup serving: 13 grams (1.5 grams fiber)
  • ORAC: 319
  • GI: 65
  • GL: 4


You is perhaps shocked to see a tropical fruit on this checklist since they are typically excessive in carbs. (Certainly, that is the highest-carb choice right here, although it’s not astronomical by any means.) However guava has a low GI and GL and, extra importantly, it’s a dietary powerhouse. One cup of guava blows different fruits out of the water, delivering 500 p.c of your each day requirement of vitamin C (5 occasions as a lot as a medium orange), 688 mg of potassium (about 1.5 medium bananas, which might come packaged with 40 grams of carbs), and 42 p.c of the each day worth for copper. 

  • Carbs per 1 cup serving: 24 grams (9 grams fiber)
  • ORAC: 1422 to 2550
  • GI: 24
  • GL: 5


After all, we couldn’t have a greatest fruits checklist that omitted the avocado. Moreover its wholesome fats content material—one of many causes avocado is the darling of the keto world—it packs respectable quantities of B nutritional vitamins, folate, vitamin Okay, potassium, copper, and antioxidants besides.

  • Carbs per 1 avocado: 12 grams (9 grams fiber)
  • ORAC: 1922
  • GI: 10
  • GL: 9

Do You Like What You See?

I’m guessing I simply angered or bewildered a few of you. Relaxation assured, just as a result of your favourite fruit doesn’t seem right here doesn’t imply it’s not “Mark accepted.” All of that is considerably subjective.

I don’t need you overthinking these items anyway. The objective is to be aware about what goes in your physique, to not obsess in regards to the relative deserves of 1 plum versus three apricots. That form of obsessing is worse on your well being than any quantity of fruit ever may very well be. Any fruit goes to be a greater, extra Primal-friendly choice than the hyperprocessed junk lining your grocery store cabinets. 

Okay, that’s it for immediately. What fruits would have made your checklist? Any favorites that you simply really feel I neglected right here? Let me know within the feedback. 

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In regards to the Writer

Mark Sisson is the founding father of Mark’s Each day Apple, godfather to the Primal meals and life-style motion, and the New York Occasions bestselling creator of The Keto Reset Weight-reduction plan. His newest guide is Keto for Life, the place he discusses how he combines the keto weight loss plan with a Primal life-style for optimum well being and longevity. Mark is the creator of quite a few different books as nicely, together with The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the expansion of the primal/paleo motion again in 2009. After spending three many years researching and educating people on why meals is the important thing part to attaining and sustaining optimum wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food firm that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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