Though many conventional dieters turn to fruit to quell sugar cravings and stay satiated between meals, those following a low-carb plan often don’t realize they have the same luxury. After all, many of Nature’s candies are loaded with carbohydrates.
But not all carbs are created equal—which is why a growing number of low-carb diet plans now require followers to count net carbs—a number calculated by subtracting a food’s fiber content from its total carbohydrates—instead of total carbohydrates. And since the benefits of fiber include aiding weight loss and improve health, we’re fans of this more practical diet approach.
To help you add more fruit to your weekly lineup—without slowing your progress or blowing your diet—we’ve come up with a list of the best low-carb fruits for your waistline. All of our produce picks are low in net carbs, offer a good amount of fiber, and are rich in other nutrients that can keep your body healthy and looking great for life.
Total Carbs: 1 cup, 14.44 carbs
Fiber: 1.6 grams
Net carbs: 12.84 grams
Sure it’s low-cal and low-carb, but a cup of this sweet, orange melon also provides more than a hundred percent of the day’s vitamin A. This fat-soluble nutrient helps maintain eye and skin health in addition to boosting immune function. Although cantaloupe tastes great on its own, it also pairs well with cottage cheese. To incorporate it into a low-carb breakfast or as a side for a lunch or dinner, combine chopped melon with cucumber, green onion and cilantro. Then top the mixture with lime juice mixed with a bit of salt and black pepper, and serve with grilled chicken or fish. Not sure what type of fish works best for your diet? We recommend one of these healthy fish for weight loss.
Total Carbs: 1 cup, 14.69 grams
Fiber: 2.3 grams
Net carbs: 12.39 grams
Want to lose weight? Grab a peach and get noshin’! According to Texas A&M University researchers, the stone fruit contains phenolic compounds that modulate different expressions of genes to ward off obesity, high cholesterol, inflammation and diabetes—now that’s something to feel peachy about!
Total Carbs: 1 cup, cubed, 11.63 grams
Fiber: 0.6 grams
Net carbs: 11.03 grams
Rosy-hued fruits such as watermelon are great sources of lycopene, a carotenoid that protects the skin from sun damage and decreases the risks of heart disease. For a quick, low-carb snack, mix cubes of watermelon with onion, fresh basil, cilantro, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Throw the mixture over a bed of greens to create a more substantial entrée salad.
Total Carbs: 1 cup, halves, 11.67 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Net Carbs: 8.67 grams
Strawberries are a great source of powerful natural chemicals called polyphenols that can help you lose weight and even stop fat from forming! In a recent Texas Woman’s University study, researchers found that feeding mice three daily servings of berries decreased the formation of fat cells by up to 73 percent. Studies also show that eating the sweet red fruit can relieve stress by lowering levels of cortisol in the body. Eat them plain, add them to yogurt, or dip them in melted dark chocolate for a sweet snack.
Total Carbs: 1 cup, 14.69 grams
Fiber: 8 grams
Net carbs: 6.69 grams
Raspberries contain anthocyanins, a naturally occurring class of chemicals that increase insulin and lower blood sugar levels, warding off diabetes. They are also notably high in fiber, making them one of the most filling healthy snacks for weight loss. A single cup will cost you just 84 calories and 5 grams of sugar—it doesn’t get much better than that. Enjoy a cup with your morning eggs or make an entree-sized dinner salad by combining the fruit with grilled chicken, mixed greens, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds.
Total Carbs: 1 cup, 13.84 grams
Fiber: 7.6 grams
Net carbs: 6.26 grams
These antioxidant-rich berries not only keep disease at bay, but they also ward off hunger because they’re brimming with fiber, making them one of the best weight loss fruits. Not to mention, every cup of blackberries contains fifty percent of the day’s vitamin C, a nutrient that can help lower cholesterol levels and boost heart health. Add them to salads, containers of Greek yogurt, or eat them plain to reap the health benefits and continue dropping pounds.
Total Carbs: 1 cup, 7.27 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Net carbs: 4.27 grams
Though you may have never heard of it before, this tart and slightly sweet fruit is sure to be one of your favorites once you give it a try. The fruit makes a fun, colorful addition to veggie or fruit salads, and also tastes great sliced and laid over seared and broiled chicken breasts. (We’ve got other healthy chicken recipes, too.) One medium 28-calorie fruit manages to provide over 50 percent of the day’s vitamin C, which can delay signs of aging—like wrinkles and dry skin—due to free radical damage.
Total Carbs: 1/2 fruit, 5.88 grams
Fiber: 4.6 grams
Net carbs: 1.28 grams
Although it’s often referred to as a healthy fat, avocados are actually a single-seeded berry native to Mexico. Besides being lower in net carbs than any other fruit on this list, avocados are also a great source of monounsaturated fat, a nutrient that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and quiets hunger pangs. One Nutrition Journal study found that participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. Sounds like a good reason to add a few slices to low-carb salads or vegetable side dishes to us!