Let's face it: The keto craze is far from over. This high-fat, low-carb diet may help ward off disease, improve energy, and help with weight loss—that is, if you do it correctly.
To get the benefits of the keto diet, you'll want to eat in a way that makes it so your body gains energy from burning fat ketones instead of glucose. How? By eating a diet that is predominantly high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. This will make it so you keep your blood sugar and insulin levels low (which will help activate those fat-burning ketones). While this all sounds great, following the keto diet is tricky because carbs are hiding everywhere, even in what we traditionally think of as "healthy foods." For example, people are always asking about bananas, as they seem like a healthy option but may not be a great choice for those on keto (more on this to come).
Can I eat fruit on the keto diet?
A big question mark when it comes to the keto diet is fruit. Fruit's healthy, right? Yes, but it depends when you're on keto, as some fruits are higher in carbs and sugar than others. With a traditional keto plan of limiting your carb intake to less than 50 grams daily, it's up to you how you want to allocate your carbs. If you love fruit and it's definitely on the menu, you'll want to plan accordingly.
What about dried fruits on keto?
Another big question when it comes to fruits and keto is whether dried fruits make the cut. Well, it's best to avoid dried fruits on the keto diet as they are high in carbohydrates and sugars including glucose and fructose. While dried fruits have a similar nutrition content to fresh fruit because of the dehydration process, the sugar concentrates in a smaller area, making dried fruit much higher in carbohydrates and sugars.
While these considerations may have you stepping away from the fruit basket, many low-carb options will fit in nicely with your keto plan. Here's a complete breakdown of the best fruits to eat while on the keto diet.
Which fruits can I eat on the keto diet?
- Tomatoes: 3.47 g of carbs/half cup
- Olives: 3.59 g of carbs/half cup
- Watermelon: 7.55 g of carbs/half cup
- Strawberries: 7.68 g of carbs/half cup
- Avocados: 8.64 g of carbs/half cup
- Blackberries: 9.61 g of carbs/half cup
- Raspberries: 11.94 g of carbs/half cup
- Coconut: 15.23 g of carbs/half cup
Tomatoes are considered both a fruit and a vegetable. This nutritious food is low-carb with half a cup of tomatoes containing 3.47 grams of carbohydrates and 0.25 grams of fat. There's really nothing better than a perfectly ripe tomato to top off a salad or blend into a tomato juice. So feel free to add this juicy fruit in wherever you see fit while considering your total carb count for the day.
Olives are another one of those fruits that just doesn't seem like one but, in fact, is. This salty snackable option is a perfect pick for those on keto as they are low in carbohydrates and high in fats. A half cup of olives gives you 3.59 grams of carbohydrates and 7.49 grams of fat, so that's a lot of goodness for only a small portion of your carb intake for the day. Incorporate some more olives into your day by making an olive spread or eating them raw.
Watermelons are one of the lowest carb fruits out there, making them an excellent choice for those in ketosis. A half cup of watermelon contains 7.55 grams of carbohydrates and 0.15 grams of fat, so really these are a steal. There's nothing better on a hot day than indulging in some juicy, refreshing watermelon; just make sure to account for it in your total carb count for the day.
If you're a fan of strawberries, you're in luck. This juicy berry is low in carbs with half a cup of strawberries containing only 7.68 grams of carbohydrates and 0.3 grams of fat. Unfortunately, you won't be getting a huge boost of fat from strawberries, but with all the other high-fat keto options out there, you shouldn't have much trouble adding in some healthy fats.
It's time to give a sigh of relief: Avocados get the green light for those on the keto diet. Contrary to popular belief, our beloved avocados are, in fact, a fruit even though they seem more like they'd be a vegetable. This fruit is an excellent option for those on the keto diet because a half cup of avocado contains only 8.64 grams of carbohydrates, less than a fifth of your carb intake for the day if you're following the 50-gram-a-day limit. A half cup of avocado also contains 15.41 grams of fat, so you'll be well on your way to upping your fat intake. So get creative with your avo—spread it on toast, put it in smoothies, top off your salads, eat it straight; the options are endless.
Berries are an interesting one because even the smallest berries (blueberries) can have a sneakily high amount of carbs. Blackberries should be a go-to berry on the keto diet as half a cup contains 9.61 grams carbohydrates compared to a half cup of blueberries, which contains 14.49 grams of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, you won't be getting that super-high-fat content with blackberries (a half cup contains 0.49 grams of fat), but you can easily supplement with some of the other high-fat fruits on this list.
Raspberries are a keto-friendly berry that can add a touch of sweetness to your breakfast or a smoothie. A half cup of raspberries contains 11.94 grams of carbohydrates and 0.65 grams of fat, so eating a bunch of these won't fill up your carb limit for the day, and luckily you won't have to go without these yummy berries.
Coconut meat is a refreshing, hydrating treat that can be eaten as is or in a smoothie. Coconuts are a delicious option for those on the keto diet as half a cup of coconut gives you 15.23 grams of carbohydrates and 33.49 grams of fat. There's nothing better than knowing you can snack on some coconut while staying in ketosis.
Which fruits should I avoid on the keto diet?
While there are many fruits you can enjoy on the keto diet, there's a fair amount you'll want to avoid because they are higher in carbs:
- Bananas: 22.84 g of carbs/half cup
- Grapes: 18.08 g of carbs/half cup
- Cherries: 16.01 g of carbs/half cup
- Pears: 15.23 g of carbs/half cup
- Mango: 14.98 g of carbs/half cup
- Blueberries: 14.49 g of carbs/half cup
- Pineapple: 13.12 g of carbs/half cup
- Oranges: 11.54 g of carbs/half cup
- Plums: 11.42 g of carbs/half cup
- Grapefruit: 10.81 g of carbs/half cup
Eating fresh fruits on the keto diet here and there can help satisfy sugar cravings and are a welcome addition to smoothies, but overdoing it may kick you right out of ketosis—moderation is vital. It's also important to remember that the keto diet isn't for everyone, and it's good to be aware of signs that keto is not working for your body. We hope you're excited to add some of your favorite low-carb fruits to your keto diet, and, as always, listen to your body.
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Caroline Muggia has a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Psychology from Middlebury College. She received her E-RYT with Yoga Works and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. A writer and environmental advocate, she is passionate about helping people live healthier and more sustainable lives. You can usually find her drinking matcha or spending time by the ocean.