I recently got an e-mail asking whether fruit is allowed on a low-carb diet.
This is such an important question that I decided to answer it in detail in this post.
The short answer is yes. You can eat fruit on a low-carb diet.
But as with anything in nutrition, it depends on the individual whether eating fruit would be the optimal thing to do at a given time point.
Can You Eat Fruit on a Low-Carb Diet?
Fruits are tasty and some of them are fairly nutritious, but there is no vitamin or mineral in them that you can not get from vegetables or meat.
They are also one of the largest carb sources on a real-food based diet.
For this reason, some people might want to temporarily restrict fruits to 1-2 pieces per day if fast weight loss is their primary goal.
Remember how our guideline for accelerated weight loss includes restricting carbohydrates to 50 grams per day, or less.
Carb Content of Some Fruits
Let’s take a look at a few commonly consumed pieces of fruit and determine their carb content.
Source: Nutrition Data.
- Medium Banana: 27 grams.
- Medium Apple: 25 grams.
- Large Orange: 22 grams.
- Blueberries (100g/3.5oz): 14 grams.
- Strawberries (100g/3.5oz): 8 grams.
It’s easy to see how you could go over 50 grams of carbs by eating a few pieces of fruit.
Therefore, if your goal is fast weight loss then you might want to keep the fruits to a minimum until you reach your goal weight.
But remember that this 50g number is only arbitrary and it depends on the individual.
If you’re very active and feel that your performance in the gym is suffering, then adding some more fruit into your diet might help.
Fruits Are Tasty, Natural and Healthy
Please take note that I am NOT against fruits.
Fruits are whole, natural foods with a low energy density. They are very convenient as snacks and many people lose plenty of weight while eating all the fruit they want.
Anything that is healthy and adds variety to the diet is a good thing in my opinion.
Take note that all the horrible talk about Fructose in the past simply does not apply to fruit.
The only reason you would ever want to restrict fruit is if you need to lose weight as fast as possible, or if you’re diabetic but in that case you’re probably best off sticking to vegetables.
Myself, I eat fruit every now and then. I don’t have a problem with eating them every day, but usually my appetite tends to gravitate towards animal foods.