Low carb fruits – 15 grams or less per serving

Love fruit and need to count carbohydrates? This list of low carb fruits is a handy reference tool for managing blood glucose levels.

Managing a healthy diet can be a challenge for those living with diabetes. Research has shown that people, who learn to control their blood glucose (sugar) levels, eat healthy and regular exercise can lower their risk of complications. Carbohydrates (starch) or sugar affects blood sugar levels. One serving of fruit may contain 15 grams of carbohydrates. The size of the serving depends on how much carbohydrates are in that fruit. The advantage of eating a low carbohydrate fruit is that you can eat a larger portion. Whether you eat a low carb or high carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, it will affect your blood sugar the same. For information on the amount of carbohydrates for additional fruits, visit the American Diabetes Association website.

Below is a listing of fruits that contain less than 15 grams in one serving:

Casaba melon – One half-cup of cubed casaba melon contains 5.5g of carbs. Casaba melons are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.

Watermelon – One half-cup of diced watermelon contains 5.5g of carbs. 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.

Strawberries – One half-cup of sliced strawberries contains 6.5g of carbs. Strawberries are loaded with phytonutrients, which makes them heart-protective, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory fruits.

Cantaloupe – One half-cup of diced cantaloupe contains 6.5g of carbs. 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.

Avocado – One half-cup of avocado contains 6.5g of carbs. 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 also high in fiber; making them a great source for blood sugar regulation

Blackberries – One half-cup of blackberries contains seven grams of carbs. Blackberries are packed with polyphenols and anthocyanin, which can help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Honeydew Melon – One half-cup of diced honeydew melon contains eight grams of carbs. It is also an excellent source of potassium, which can lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Grapefruit – One half medium grapefruit contains 10.5g of carbs. Grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system.

Oranges - One medium orange contains 15.5g of carbs. Oranges contain more than 170 cancer fighting phytochemicals and 60 flavonoids and an excellent source of vitamin C.

Peaches - One medium peach contains 14.5g of carbs. Peaches are a good source of calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins C, K, and A.

Cranberries - One half-cup of cranberries contain 6.5g of carbs. Cranberries are best known for their ability to protect against urinary tract infections, and they also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

Plums - One medium plum contains 7.5g of carbs. Plums have a high content of phenols antioxidants that help prevent oxygen-based damage to fats. These include the fats that make up a substantial portion of our brain cells, the cholesterol in our bloodstream, and our cell membranes.

Raspberries – One half-cup of raspberries contains 7.5g of carbs. Raspberries are a fiber powerhouse with eight grams of fiber per cup.

Clementine - One medium clementine contains nine grams of carbs and is rich in vitamin C. They're also a good source of calcium, a necessity for bone health, and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.

Pineapple – One half-cup of pineapple chunks contains 11g of carbs. They're also an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, which is necessary for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation, and glucose tolerance.

Nectarines - One medium nectarine contains 15g of carbs. Nectarines are a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and beta-carotene. The peel is rich in bioflavonoids — antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. They're also a good source of fiber, which is necessary for good digestive health.

Blueberries – One half-cup of blueberries contains 11g of carbs. Blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses that help protect against heart disease and cancer. Blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia.

Kiwi Fruit - One medium kiwi without skin contains 11g of carbs. Kiwis contain twice the amount of vitamin C as oranges. Kiwis are a good source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

Cherries – One half-cup of cherries contains 11g of carbs. Cherries are loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer properties. Cherries have also been shown to lower levels of uric acid in the blood, the leading cause of gout pain.

Tangerines - One medium tangerine contains 12g of carbs. The peel contains a compound called polymethoxylated flavones that has the potential to effectively lower cholesterol.

Mango – One half-cup sliced mango contains 14g of carbs. Mangoes are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin A, and beta-carotene, as well as a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and calcium.

Michigan State University Extension offers Dining with Diabetes throughout the state. The information presented in this program is targeted to people with diabetes and their families. This program increases knowledge of healthy food choices and presents healthy versions of favorite foods that are inexpensive and easy to prepare. Dining with Diabetes encourages self-management and self-efficacy of those living with diabetes. For a list of classes, visit the Michigan State University Extension website and click on food and health.

* This article was originally published March 17, 2013.

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