Trying a low-carb diet? Especially if you're diabetic, trying the Atkins diet, or just trying to reduce your carb intake overall, these healthy fruits need to be in your fridge and meal plan. But it's not always easy to compare apples to oranges when it comes to carbs. Fruits come in all shapes and sizes, and the size and weight differences can make a big difference in the carb count. We've leveled the playing field for you here by the half-cup or a general estimate, so you can compare apples to apples (so to speak!).
This article was originally published on dLife.com—a website dedicated to helping people with diabetes live happier and healthier lives—as "Lowest Carb Fruits," and is reposted with permission from the author.
Also on Z Living: Get To Know The Top 10 Lowest Carb Veggies
The Top 10 Lowest Carb Fruits
One-half cup of cubed casaba melon contains 5.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Casaba melons are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. The melons are also a good source of vitamin B6, which can reduce levels of homocysteine — a key risk factor for heart disease.
One-half cup of diced watermelon contains 5.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Watermelon is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of several forms of cancer. It also contains citrulline, which our body needs to create arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity.
One-half cup of sliced strawberries contains 6.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Strawberries are loaded with phytonutrients, which makes them heart-protective, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory fruits. They contain ellagic acid, which may inhibit tumor growth. The anthocyanins found in strawberries block the pain and inflammation-causing compounds, COX-1 and COX-2.
One-half cup of diced cantaloupe contains 6.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Cantaloupe is a potassium, vitamin A, and beta-carotene heavyweight. Potassium is key for maintaining healthy blood pressure and may lower the risk of stroke. Vitamin A and beta-carotene are essential nutrients for good vision.
One-half cup of avocado contains 6.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Avocados are high in monosaturated fat, which actually helps lower cholesterol and has been linked to a lower risk of cancer and diabetes. They are a good source of lutein, an antioxidant that helps your eyes and skin stay healthy, and a wide range of anti-inflammatory nutrients that may help prevent arthritis. They are high in fiber — one avocado has between 11 and 17 grams of fiber — which makes them great for blood sugar regulation.
One-half cup of blackberries contains 7g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Blackberries may inhibit metalloproteinese enzymes. When found in high amounts, these enzymes play a significant role in cancer development. Blackberries are also packed with polyphenols and anthocyanins, which can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
One-half cup of diced honeydew melon contains 8g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Honeydew melon is a high volume fruit. For its weight, it contains a high amount of water, fiber, and air. It contains few calories but makes you feel full, so it's good for weight loss. It is also an excellent source of potassium, which can lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke.
One-half of a medium grapefruit contains 10.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Grapefruits are a great source of Vitamin C, which supports the immune system. The red and pink colors of grapefruit are due to lycopene, an antioxidant that may have anti-tumor effects. In addition, they contain liminoids that also prevent tumor growth. Pectin, a soluble fiber that may slow the progress of atherosclerosis and lower cholesterol, is also found in grapefruit.
One medium orange contains 15.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT:Oranges contain more than 170 cancer fighting phytochemicals and 60 flavonoids. This includes liminoids, which may fight cancer and lower cholesterol. They have a variety of heart-protecting nutrients, including blood pressure-lowering potassium, cholesterol-lowering pectin, and homocysteine-lowering folate. They're also an excellent source of vitamin C.
One medium peach contains 14.5g of carbs.
WHY EAT IT: Peaches are a good source of calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins C, K, and A. They also contain beta-cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid with some anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
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WATCH: Z Living's Recipe Rehab, where each week two chefs face off in a competition to give one family's high-calorie recipe a new low-calorie twist. Watch a sneak peek here.
Tell us in the comments: What other low-carb fruits do you regularly add to your meals?