- On a low-carb diet, it can be difficult to consume enough fruits due to their high sugar content.
- Low-carb fruits include strawberries, avocados, plums, and nectarines.
- To help prevent blood sugar spikes, try pairing these fruits with fats and proteins.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Whether you are on a low-carb diet because of a medical condition, like diabetes, or just trying to
, eating low-carb fruit is good for you. Plus, eating nutrient-rich fruit is essential for consuming enough vitamins and minerals.
Here are 15 low-carb fruits and why they’re so healthy for you, recommended by Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes, RDN, founder of the health and wellness company 360Girls&Women®LLC.
1/2 cup of whole strawberries contains:
- 5.6 grams (g) carbohydrates,
- 1.4 g fiber
- 23.1 calories
Strawberries contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cardiovascular events. Compounds in strawberries have also been found to suppress the progression of tumors.
Strawberries are also unlikely to spike blood sugar levels because they have a relatively low glycemic index of 41. The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how quickly a food will cause your blood sugar to spike, and anything with a GI of 55 or less is considered low.
1/2 cup diced watermelon:
- 5.75 g carbs
- 0.3 g fiber
- 22.8 calories
Watermelon is one of few fruits rich in lycopene, a natural pigment that may be associated with a decreased risk of heart problems and certain types of cancer, though more research in humans is needed to confirm this.
Due to the lack of fiber, watermelon has a higher GI score of 76. So if you have a medical condition like
, you should pair watermelon with protein or fiber to slow the spike in blood sugar.
A fruit’s fiber content is important for its glycemic index, because the higher the fiber, the slower your body breaks down carbs from the fruit’s sugars, preventing blood sugar spikes.
1/2 cup sliced avocado:
- 6.3 g carbs
- 4.9 g fiber
- 117 calories
While avocados are high in calories, they’re also high in monounsaturated (aka “healthy”) fat and low in sugar and carbs, giving them a low GI score.
Moreover, avocados are an excellent source of potassium. Half a cup of sliced avocado has about 354 mg, or 7.5% of your daily value. A diet high in potassium has been shown to help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure and
— typically anything above 120/80.
1/2 cup diced cantaloupe:
- 6.4 g carbs
- 0.7 g fiber
- 26.5 calories
Like watermelon, cantaloupe has a high-water, low-fiber content and, consequently, a relatively high GI of about 65.
It contains beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body to help keep the immune system, skin, and hair healthy, Anderson-Haynes says.
1/2 cup of blackberries:
- 6.9 g carbs
- 3.8 g fiber
- 30.1 calories
Not only do blackberries have a low GI, but they’re also high in manganese. Half a cup of blackberries contains 0.47 mg, or 20% of the daily recommended value (DV). Manganese is a mineral crucial for maintaining bone health.
1/2 cup of raspberries:
- 7.3 g carbs
- 4 g fiber
- 32 calories
Raspberries contain anthocyanins, natural pigments with high antioxidant levels that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. They also have a low GI.
1 medium peach:
- 14.3 g carbs
- 2.3 g fiber
- 58.5 calories
One medium peach contains 1.1 mg of vitamin E, or 7.3% DV.
is an antioxidant that boosts the body’s immune system to help fight infection. Their GI is 43.
1 medium nectarine:
- 15.1 g carbs
- 2.4 g fiber
- 62.5 calories.
Nectarines are a good source of vitamin E, with one medium fruit containing 1.1 mg (8% DV) as well as 1.6 mg of niacin (10% DV). Niacin helps the nervous system function properly and keeps the liver, skin, hair, and eyes healthy. It also is low on the glycemic index with a score of 35.
1 medium apple:
- 25.1 g carbs
- 4.4 g fiber
- 94.6 calories
Apples have the most carbs of the fruits listed. However, we’ve included them here not only for their low GI score of 38 but also because they contain prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your digestive system. In turn, this can improve your gut health and may help regulate mood and bowel movements.
- 9.2 g carbs
- 1.4 g fiber
- 36.9 calories
Grapefruit is one of the lowest-calorie foods on our list and also has a very low GI of 25. Moreover, it’s high in vitamin C, with 45.5 mg (50.1% DV) per half of a grapefruit. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that also helps the body’s immune system work properly.
- 7.5 g carbs
- 0.92 g fiber
- 30.4 calories
Plums are rich in anthocyanins, the same pigment found in raspberries, and also have a low GI. They also contain a compound called resveratrol, which can fight inflammation, thereby possibly lowering the risk of certain diseases including cancer,
type 2 diabetes
- 16.2 g carbs
- 3.4 g fiber
- 64.9 calories
One orange is high in vitamin C, with 63.4 mg (70% DV), and contains 24 micrograms of folate (6% DV). Folate is a mineral important in red blood cell formation, which is needed for supplying oxygen throughout the body. They also have a low glycemic index at 43.
1/2 cup of blueberries:
- 10.8 g carbs
- 1.8 g fiber
- 42.2 calories
Like other berries, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, including 7.2 mg of vitamin C (8% DV) per ½ cup. The glycemic index is between 40 and 53, depending on the variety and ripeness.
1/2 cup pineapple chunks:
- 10.8 g carbs
- 1.2 g fiber
- 41.3 calories
Pineapple contains a digestive enzyme called bromelain that may help treat indigestion and reduce inflammation. However, most of this research was conducted in animals and may not be applicable to humans.
To prevent blood sugar spikes, it’s important to pair pineapple with either protein or fiber, since this tropical fruit has a relatively high GI score of 59 for our list.
1/2 cup mango pieces:
- 12.4 g carbs
- 1.3 g fiber
- 49.5 calories
Much like cantaloupe, mangoes are rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, with 30.1 mg (33.4% DV) per ½ cup. Plus, they are less likely to cause blood sugar spikes with a glycemic index of 51.
Just because you count carbs doesn’t mean you have to cut fruit. You don’t even have to limit yourself to a few fruits — there are plenty of low-carb options in stores.
And that’s important because eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures you’re getting all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep you happy and healthy — and maybe make you a little healthier.
“The goal is to balance all your nutrients so that they’re lowering calories, to lose weight and balance blood sugar,” Anderson-Haynes says.