A lot of people follow a low-carb diet to reduce weight or even due to some illness. A low-carb diet also includes consumption of various fruits along with different types of foods at regular intervals. But, when you talk about fruits a lot of people feel, the sugar found in fruits are safe as they are considered natural sugars and hence can be consumed safely as a low carb diet. Fruits are always considered healthy, but how safe it is for you will depend on whether you are following a diet that includes carbohydrates or the one that relies a lot on the glycemic index. The low carb fruit list and their consumption will depend a lot on diet plan you are following.
Prior understanding of the low carb fruits list that is low in sugar content will help you attain the health target you have set for yourself or they can be the ones that easily fit in with your diet chart.
Fruit and Natural Sugar
According to the FDA recommendation adults should eat at least two cups of fresh fruit or fruit juice or at least half a cup of dried fruit every day. The amount of fruit you eat may change if you are following a low-carb diet or have restrictions due to an illness like diabetes.
Due to the amount of fiber content, most fruits have a low glycemic index and the sugar content is mostly fructose. Dried fruits like dates, raisins, sweetened cranberries, pineapples and melons have medium Glycemic Index value.
If you love sweets, but want to avoid them for health reasons, then grab a fruit instead. Fruits are not only rich in nutrients; they are the best possible choice to stop your sugar cravings. Low sugar fruits contain the highest nutritional value, antioxidants and the various phytonutrients. Some people digest and process sugar better as compared to others.
List of Fruits with Sugars
The low sugar fruits listed here will help you understand the nutrient value of each fruit and according to your requirements you can decide to include them in your daily diet. The fruits are listed from the ones that are lowest in sugar to the ones that have the highest sugar content.
Berries: Berries are known for their health benefits. They contain good amounts of antioxidants and very good quantities of different nutrients. They are lowest in sugar. Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries can be consumed in small quantities if you are on a low-carb diet and you can have them all if you are on a moderate low-carb diet. But, blueberries have a bit more of carbohydrates, so you have to watch out on how much you eat them. It is recommended to have blueberries occasionally if you are following a low-carb diet.
Summer Fruits: Summer fruits like watermelons, peaches, nectarines and apricots are the next set of fruits in the list. Watermelon scores the lowest in the low-carb food, has high water content and is rich in vitamin A. It will fill you up without adding on any extra calories. Even the rind of this fruit has several health benefits. Peaches though juicy, is surprisingly low in carbohydrates.
Winter Fruits: Winter fruits like pears, apples and sweet citrus fruits like oranges are moderate in sugar and this also includes lemon and lime. Lemon and lime have the lowest sugar compared to the others.
Tropical Fruits: Tropical fruits like pineapple, mangoes, pomegranates, bananas and fresh figs are high in sugar. Guava and papaya have less sugar and Carbs compared to other fruits in this list.
Dried Fruits: Dried fruits like raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, dates and many of the other dried fruits are very high in sugar. Dried versions of cranberries and blueberries have low Carbs and sugar, but when you add sugar to decrease the tartness, the sugar content increases.
List of fruits that are low in Carbs and ranked from low to high
Lime: Contains 1.1 Gms of sugar per fruit and lemon with 1.5 Gms of sugar per fruit. These fruits are very rarely eaten as it is like other fruits. They are mostly used to make juices and then sweetened. Their juice can be added to certain foods to increase the tartness or added to water so that you can enjoy their nutrients as well.
Rhubarb: This one contains 1.3grams of sugar per cup. There is very little chance of finding unsweetened rhubarb, so check the label before you assume that you are eating something low in sugar. If you are preparing it yourself, then you can control the amount of sugar intake.
Apricots: Apricots contains 3.2 Gms of sugar per apricot. Apricots are available fresh in the spring season and the early summers. You can enjoy apricots whole or skinned. However, make sure you are checking the amount of dried apricots you are consuming.
Cranberries: They contain 4 grams of sugar per cup. While cranberries are low in sugar naturally, they are generally sweetened when used or dried, so be aware of the amount of sugar in them. If you are using them in any recipes, then you can adjust the amount of sugar content to suit your palette.
Guavas: Guavas contain 4.9 Gms of sugar per fruit. Guava can be eaten completely as everything in this fruit is edible. You can have it as it is or dip it in sauces or apply some salt and chilly to add a twist to the taste. Guavas are the low-sugar fruits from the tropical fruits list.
Raspberries: Raspberries contain 5 Grams of sugar per cup. It is a nature’s gift for anyone who prefers a low-sugar fruit. They can be eaten anyway, as a topping or as an ingredient. They are available fresh as well as frozen, which is available all year around.
Kiwifruit: Kiwi has almost 6 Gms of sugar per fruit. These mildly flavored fruit is popularly used as a topping on pastries and salads. They add a nice color to the dish. The skin is supposed to be edible too.
Fruits that contain Low to Medium Levels of Sugar
Blackberries and Strawberries: These fruits have 7 Gms of sugar per cup. They are slightly sweeter then the raspberries, making them an excellent choice for an evening snack or are used extensively on salads or as an ingredient in sauce, smoothie or dessert.
Figs: There is 8 Gms of sugar in a medium sized fresh fig. There are dried figs of many different varieties, so estimating the sugar content in the dried varieties is hard, but they range anywhere between 5 to 12 Gms per fig.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit has 8 Gms of sugar per grapefruit half. Grapefruit can be enjoyed fresh in a fruit salad or can be had as it is. You can adjust the amount of sweetener or sugar according to your taste.
Cantaloupes: Cantaloupes have 8 grams of sugar per big size wedge. You can have a cantaloupe as it is or have them in fruit salad. Among the melons, cantaloupes contain the lowest amount of sugar.
Tangerines: Tangerines contain 9 grams of sugar per medium size fruit. Tangerines contain less amount of sugar compared to oranges and are easy to use in a fruit salad. Tangerines are easy to carry as snacks or can be had for lunch.
Nectarines: One small nectarine contains 11.3 grams of sugar. These are delicious fruit to enjoy when they are ripe.
Papaya: One small papaya contains 12 grams of sugar. Papaya has low sugar content compared to other fruits in the tropical fruits list.
Oranges: A medium sized orange contains 12 grams of sugar. Oranges are a healthy fruit that can be carried as a snack.
Honeydew: Honeydew has 13 Grams of sugar per wedge or 14 grams per cup. You can have them as it is or can be added in a fruit salad.
Cherries: Cherries have 13 grams of sugar per cup and they taste delicious during the summers. Make sure you control the intake if you are on a low-carb diet.
Peaches: A medium sized peach contains 13 grams of sugar and the best part of this fruit is that you can have them as it is or add it in desserts, sauces and smoothies.
Blueberries: Blueberries contain 15 grams of sugar each cup. They are rich in nutrients, but contain higher amounts of sugar compared to other berries in the family.
Grapes: The sweet and sour grapes have 15 grams of sugar per cup. They are a nice snack, but you may have to control their intake if you are following a strict diet.
Fruits with High to very High Levels of Sugar
Pineapple: Each slice of pineapple contains 16 grams of sugar. It tastes and smells good, but this tropical fruit is rich in sugar, which needs to be considered if you are on a strict diet plan.
Pears: A medium pear contains 17 grams of sugar and this winter fruit is to be consumed in moderation.
Bananas: A large banana contains 17 grams of sugar, which makes it a great fruit to add to any dish to increase the sweetness.
Watermelon: Watermelon during summers can be refreshing to taste, but this juicy and watery fruit contains 18 grams of sugar per wedge.
Apples: A small apple contains 19 grams of sugar. Most people love to take it as a snack or for lunch as a healthy meal, but they have more sugar than oranges or tangerines.
Pomegranates: A whole fruit of pomegranate contains a whopping 39 grams of sugar. This fruit is loaded with sugar. Though rich in nutrients and antioxidants, you have to limit the quantity of this fruit to 1 ounce only.
Mangos: Mango is the king of fruits and is well-known for its sweetness and rich color and texture. A single mango contains 46 grams of sugar, which is why this tropical fruit is so delicious to taste.
Prunes: Prunes contains 66 grams of sugar per cup, raisins contain 86 grams of sugar per cup, and dates contain 93 grams sugar per cup. Dried fruits are known to be rich in sugar and Carbs, which means you, have to reduce their intake if you want to follow a low-carb diet.
Low-Carb Diets and Fruits
There is a difference between some of the popular low-carb diet plans and they are based on whether they consider the glycemic index (South Beach, Zone) and the other only look at the amount of carbohydrates (Atkins, Protein Power).
Strict Low-Carb Diet: At less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day you will have to skip a fruit or substitute it with some other food. The best way would be to look for some vegetable nutrients. Diet plans like the Atkins and the South Beach don’t allow fruit in the first phase.
Moderate Low-Carb Diet: Moderate low-carb diet allows about 20-50 grams of Carbs each day, which means you can have at least one fruit per day.
Liberal Low-Carb Diet: If your diet list allows 50-100 grams of Carbs per day, then you can follow the FDA guidelines as long as you limit the amount of Carbs.
Not all low-Carb diets disallow fruits, but diets like Paleo, Whole30, and even weight watchers, do not have any limit to the number of fruits consumed. The general rule is that if you are following a low-Carb diet, then it is better to stick with fruits that are low in sugar and limiting their quantities.
If you are diabetic
Diabetic people have to follow a strict diet and the fruit choices for them will depend on the diet method they follow. If you are limiting the carbohydrates, then there are 15 grams of carbohydrates in ½ cup of canned or frozen fruit and is the same for 2 tablespoons of raisins. In case of berries and melons the serving size should be ¾ to 1 cup.
However, if you are following the plate method, then you can add a small piece of fresh whole fruit or eat ½ cup of fruit salad. If you are following the glycemic index in your diet plan, then most fruits are considered low in glycemic index and are hence harmless. But, melon, pineapples and dried fruits have medium glycemic index.
Low-carb diet can be interesting and proteins don’t have to be the natural choice to reduce the carbohydrate intake. The choice of low sugar fruits should depend on the diet plan that you are following. If you have any illness like diabetes, then you should consult a physician and prepare a diet plan accordingly. If you have sweet tooth and always feel the urge to have something sweet, then fruit is the best choice instead of reaching out to sweets that are high in sugar. Make sure that you keep the portions in mind, which is extremely essential in any diet plan.
low carb fruits list / low sugar fruits / low carb diet