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Carbs and Calories in Fruits and Vegetables

28 April 2023

If you've ever wondered what carbs and calories are in certain fruits and vegetables, today's blog is for you!

I am writing this blog in conjunction with a blog about protein and one on macronutrients (macros) to help anyone who is looking for guidance here.

Perhaps you are looking to go more low-carb or even keto for health reasons or weight loss goals. The goal should always be health first! Weight loss always follows once you get your health in good shape.

This means improving metabolic flexibility, decreasing inflammation, improving blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

By managing our diet through a mindful approach (I say mindful because it will be individual to you and your specific lifestyle and needs).

Your macros could be different from the next person, and this is why we wrote a blog about macros, in which you can find this here.

Now let's get to the info you came here for today shall we?

Carbs & Calories in Fruit

Note: this data is mostly taken from fresh fruit (not dried, tinned, frozen) with the exception of a few and these ones specify. The ones in green are lowest in carbs, the ones in orange are moderate and the ones in red are highest in carbs.

  • Apple - 20.9g carb/cup (103 calories)
  • Apricot - 13.6g carb/cup (74 calories)
  • Avocado (black skin/Hass)- 3.9g carb/cup (362 calories)
  • Avocado (green skin/Shepherd) - 5.6 carb/avocado (486 calories)
  • Banana - 23.9g carb/cup (105 calories)
  • Baobab powder - 1g carb/tsp (10 calories)
  • Black Sapote - 33g carb/100g (130 calories)
  • Blueberries* - 17g carb/cup (83 calories)
  • Cherries (sweet) - 16.3g carb/cup (74 calories)
  • Cherries (sour) - 16.4g carb/cup (78 calories)
  • Custard apple - 25g carb/100g (101 calories)
  • Dragon fruit (pitaya) - 15g carb/140g (90 calories)
  • Fig - 29.3g carb/cup (133 calories)
  • Grapefruit - 14.7g carb/cup (69 calories)
  • Guava - 14.7g carb/cup (112 calories)
  • Honeydew melon - 14g carb/cup (61 calories)
  • Kiwi - 20.6g carb/cup (108 calories)
  • Lemon - 10.5g carb/cup (48 calories)
  • Lychee - 28.9g carb/cup (125 calories)
  • Mandarin - 21.9g carb/cup (103 calories)
  • Mango - 31.5g carb/cup (135 calories)
  • Mangosteen - 15.6g carb/100g (63 calories)
  • Monk fruit powder - 2g carb/packet (2 calories)
  • Nectarine - 20.4g carb/cup (110 calories)
  • Orange - 18.2g carb/cup (94 calories)
  • Papaya - 13.2g carb/cup (62 calories)
  • Passion fruit - 30.6g carb/cup (229 calories)
  • Peach - 12.4g carb/cup (60 calories)
  • Pear** - 18.5g carb/cup (87 calories)
  • Persimmon - 21.2g carb/cup (99 calories)
  • Pineapple** - 19.2g carb/cup (83 calories)
  • Plum -16.5g carb/cup (76 calories)
  • Raspberries - 6.7g carb/cup (64 calories)
  • Strawberries - 8g carb/8 berries/1 carb per berry (45 calories for 8 berries)
  • Tamarillo - 5g carb/2 tamarillo (40 calories)
  • Tomato - 4.9g carb/cup (32 calories)
  • Watermelon - 10.9g carb/cup (46 calories)

*Only consume 1/2 cup or less to remain lower carb. For example, if you consumed 1/2 cup of blueberries this would only be 8.5 carb and 41.5 calories. You can now see how important fruit choice and portion size is.

**These are borderline on the avoid list as they sneak under 20 carbs per serve so go with caution on these ones also.

 

Carbs & Calories in Vegetables

  • Artichoke - 4g carb/artichoke carb/cup (64 calories)
  • Asparagus - 3.9g carb/cup (65 calories)
  • Bamboo shoots - 4.5g carb/cup (41 calories)
  • Bean sprouts - 23.9g carb/cup (105 calories)
  • Beans (green) - 1g carb/tsp (10 calories)
  • Beans (snake - 9.5g carb/100g (49 calories)
  • Beetroot (raw) - 9.1g carb/cup (58 calories)
  • Broccoli - 7.1g carb/cup (96 calories)
  • Broccoli sprouts - 4.3 carb/cup (95 calories)
  • Brussels sprouts - 4.5g carb/cup (38 calories)
  • Cabbage - 2.9g carb/cup (22 calories)
  • Carrot  - 8.7g carb/cup (52 calories)
  • Cauliflower - 1.8g carb/cup (20 calories)
  • Celery - 0.9g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Chicory - 4.7g carb/100g (23 calories)
  • Collard greens -3.6g carb/cup (67 calories)
  • Corn - 111.2g carb/cup (606 calories)
  • Cucumber (peeled) - 1.9g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Daikon - 8.4g carb/7 inch radish (61 calories)
  • Eggplant (cooked) - 3g carb/cup - (17 calories)
  • Endive (1 head curly cooked) - 4.79g carb/serve (23 calories)
  • Escarole (1 head) - 0g carb/serve (15 calories)
  • Iceberg lettuce - 2g carb/cup (16 calories)
  • Jicama - 5.1g carb/cup (49 calories)
  • Kale - 0.1g carb/cup (15 calories)
  • Kohlrabi - 3.5g carb/cup (36 calories)
  • Leeks - 11g carb/cup (54 calories)
  • Mushrooms* - 1g carb/cup (15 calories)
  • Mustard greens - 1.85 carb/cup (18 calories)
  • Okra - 4.3g carb/cup (33 calories)
  • Onion - 17.1g carb/cup (88 calories)
  • Peppers (capsicum) - 5.7g carb/cup (39 calories)
  • Potato (boiled no skin) - 14g carb/cup (67 calories)
  • Pumpkin (cooked) - 9.3g carb/cup (49 calories)
  • Radicchio - 2.9g carb/cup (18 calories)
  • Radish - 2g carb/cup (19 calories)
  • Radish sprouts - 0g carb/cup (16 calories)
  • Rutabaga - 7.9g carb/cup (50 calories) 
  • Rocket/arugula - 0.8g carb/cup (10 calories)
  • Romaine - 0.6g carb/cup (8 calories)
  • Squash - 8.2g carb/cup (39 calories)
  • Spinach (raw) - 0.8g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Sprouts (alfalfa) - 0g carb/cup (2 calories)
  • Snow or sugar snap peas  - 4.9g carb/cup (42 calories)
  • Sweet potato (orange) - 20g carb/100g (86 calories)
  • Sweet potato (white) - 45.4g carb/cup (272 calories)
  • Sweet potato (purple) - 11g carb/100g (48 calories)
  • Swiss chard (stalks & leaves) - 3g carb/cup (51 calories)
  • Silverbeet - 3.7g carb/100g (19 calories)
  • Turnip greens (cooked) - 0.6g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Watercress - 0.3g carb/cup (4 calories)
  • Zucchini - 1.5g carb/cup (14 calories)

*Mushrooms are technically not a vegetable, they are a fungi but often get lumped into 

 

Why Carbs are More Important than Calories

Ok, so this might pee off the calorie counters but this information is important to share so if you're deadset on calories over everything else, I encourage you to have an open mind to what we are sharing here today.

Counting calories has been around for many years and has been seen as a foundational weight-loss practice but there's a flaw in this approach...

Counting calories emphasises HOW much you should eat rather than WHAT you should eat/consume (beverages matter too, not just food),

The advice being dished out by (well-intentioned) doctors, dieticians and nutritionists is based on 2 main factors:

  1. That gaining weight is all about calories in being higher that the amount of calories going out (being burned/used).
  2. The next portion of poor advice is to drastically limit one's fat intake. We are now learning that this advice was based on money, politics and bad science (see the reference below on How the sugar industry shifted the blame to fat). Fat was replaced with sugar and since then, society has never been fatter and sicker! Saturated fats got a bad rap too but we are now learning that saturated fats (form animal products in particular) are incredibly good for us and even necessary. Shocking to hear this if this is the first time you're learning about this. We will dedicate a blog to this topic soon.

Do Calories Matter?

Calories absolutely do matter, we are not saying they don't but what we are trying to get across is that the source matters more and one's carbohydrate intake.

Where are you getting your calories from? 

  • Processed foods/processed carbs
  • Pre-prepared meals* 
  • Junk & convenience/packet food
  • Bakery goods
  • Sugary beverages
  • Alcohol

*fresh and homemade is always better as you know what's in it. 

 

An Example of Calories & Carbs from Various Foods

Did you know that a can of coke contains 139 calories, whilst a cup of full-fat yoghurt contains 150 calories? Not much variation in calorie amount but vastly different in the effect it will have on your body!

The can of coke is loaded with refined sugar and the calories contained are what is known as 'empty calories'. Empty calories are a food/drink that provides calories but little/no nutrition. They are pointless and add no benefit. 

The can of coke will also rapidly spike your blood sugar and may contribute to insulin resistance if consumed often (this goes for all foods and beverages that spike blood sugar if over consumed).

The greek yoghurt on the other hand, will not spike blood sugar or lead to insulin resistance, so it is safe for everyone (who can tolerate dairy) and even dairy-tolerating diabetics. 

Ensure that it is a clean and pure product (no additives, artificial sweeteners, sugars or weird ingredients. If you can access organic, that's ideal but just do the best you can with what's available to you.

Good health should not be an elitist thing.

How Does this Relate to Fruit & Veg?

Ok, so we got slightly off track from the title of this article, but we were trying to prove a point (that the source of calories matters). Do you think we were able to convey this message today? I hope so. 😊

Now, let's try this with a fruit Vs a veg (from our list above).

Avocado Vs Corn:

You'll see above that avocado (green skin) contains 486 calories per cup but only 5.6g of carb and that the corn contains 606 calories per cup and 111.2g of carb, yeah?

The thing is, that whilst the avocado is both lower in carb and calories compared to the corn, it also has a better effect on the body, let me explain...

The avocado is rich in nutrients (healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals). The avocado also will NOT spike your blood sugar (like the corn will). By adding avocado to your diet (and avoiding corn/corn products), you are helping to increase the function of insulin in your body rather than create insulin-resistance.

Remember, that insulin-resistance is one of the biggest contributors to poor health, inflammation and disease.

Insulin-resistance creates inflammation and inflammation also causes insulin-resistance (they go hand-in-hand). Therefore, we must be mindful of our food/drink choices and doing everything we can to keep inflammation down (reduce stress).

 

The Shopping List

Below, we have created 3 lists for you. The 'Eat Frequently' list (with the best lower-carb fruit & veg options), the 'Eat Moderately/Occasionally' List (with moderate-level fruit & veg carb options) and the 'Try to Avoid/Limit' List (with the fruits & veg to avoid or limit where possible).

The fruits and veggies in the limit/avoid list are still incredibly nutritious, this blog is intentioned for folks who are trying ton remain low-carb. If your goals are different and you don't care about carbs, go for it! What you eat is up to you.

Keep in mind (whatever journey you're on) that you are human and there is no such ting as being 'perfect'. You will no doubt choose things from the 3rd list occasionally and that's ok! Just be mindful and if you do eat these things sometimes, be at peace with it.

Just ensure you live an active lifestyle to burn these extra sugars off.

The 'Eat Frequently' List

  • Avocado (black skin/Hass)- 3.9g carb/cup (362 calories)
  • Avocado (green skin/Shepherd) - 5.6 carb/avocado (486 calories)
  • Baobab powder - 1g carb/tsp (10 calories)
  • Monk fruit powder - 2g carb/packet (2 calories)
  • Raspberries - 6.7g carb/cup (64 calories)
  • Strawberries - 8g carb/8 berries/1 carb per berry (45 calories for 8 berries)
  • Tamarillo - 5g carb/2 tamarillo (40 calories)
  • Tomato - 4.9g carb/cup (32 calories)
  • Artichoke - 4g carb/artichoke carb/cup (64 calories)
  • Asparagus - 3.9g carb/cup (65 calories)
  • Bamboo shoots - 4.5g carb/cup (41 calories)
  • Beans (green) - 1g carb/tsp (10 calories)
  • Beans (snake - 9.5g carb/100g (49 calories)
  • Beetroot (raw) - 9.1g carb/cup (58 calories)
  • Broccoli - 7.1g carb/cup (96 calories)
  • Broccoli sprouts - 4.3 carb/cup (95 calories)
  • Brussels sprouts - 4.5g carb/cup (38 calories)
  • Cabbage - 2.9g carb/cup (22 calories)
  • Carrot  - 8.7g carb/cup (52 calories)
  • Cauliflower - 1.8g carb/cup (20 calories)
  • Celery - 0.9g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Chicory - 4.7g carb/100g (23 calories)
  • Collard greens -3.6g carb/cup (67 calories)
  • Cucumber (peeled) - 1.9g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Daikon - 8.4g carb/7 inch radish (61 calories)
  • Eggplant (cooked) - 3g carb/cup - (17 calories)
  • Endive (1 head curly cooked) - 4.79g carb/serve (23 calories)
  • Escarole (1 head) - 0g carb/serve (15 calories)
  • Iceberg lettuce - 2g carb/cup (16 calories)
  • Jicama - 5.1g carb/cup (49 calories)
  • Kale - 0.1g carb/cup (15 calories)
  • Kohlrabi - 3.5g carb/cup (36 calories)
  • Mushrooms* - 1g carb/cup (15 calories)
  • Mustard greens - 1.85 carb/cup (18 calories)
  • Okra - 4.3g carb/cup (33 calories)
  • Peppers (capsicum) - 5.7g carb/cup (39 calories)
  • Pumpkin (cooked) - 9.3g carb/cup (49 calories)
  • Radicchio - 2.9g carb/cup (18 calories)
  • Radish - 2g carb/cup (19 calories)
  • Radish sprouts - 0g carb/cup (16 calories)
  • Rutabaga - 7.9g carb/cup (50 calories) 
  • Rocket/arugula - 0.8g carb/cup (10 calories)
  • Romaine - 0.6g carb/cup (8 calories)
  • Squash - 8.2g carb/cup (39 calories)
  • Spinach (raw) - 0.8g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Sprouts (alfalfa) - 0g carb/cup (2 calories)
  • Snow or sugar snap peas  - 4.9g carb/cup (42 calories)
  • Swiss chard (stalks & leaves) - 3g carb/cup (51 calories)
  • Silverbeet - 3.7g carb/100g (19 calories)
  • Turnip greens (cooked) - 0.6g carb/cup (14 calories)
  • Watercress - 0.3g carb/cup (4 calories)
  • Zucchini - 1.5g carb/cup (14 calories)

The 'Eat Moderately/Occasionally' List

  • Apricot - 13.6g carb/cup (74 calories)
  • Blueberries* - 17g carb/cup (83 calories)
  • Cherries (sweet) - 16.3g carb/cup (74 calories)
  • Cherries (sour) - 16.4g carb/cup (78 calories)
  • Dragon fruit (pitaya) - 15g carb/140g (90 calories)
  • Grapefruit - 14.7g carb/cup (69 calories)
  • Guava - 14.7g carb/cup (112 calories)
  • Honeydew melon - 14g carb/cup (61 calories)
  • Lemon - 10.5g carb/cup (48 calories)
  • Mangosteen - 15.6g carb/100g (63 calories)
  • Orange - 18.2g carb/cup (94 calories)
  • Papaya - 13.2g carb/cup (62 calories)
  • Peach - 12.4g carb/cup (60 calories)
  • Pear - 18.5g carb/cup (87 calories)
  • Pineapple - 19.2g carb/cup (83 calories)
  • Plum -16.5g carb/cup (76 calories)
  • Watermelon - 10.9g carb/cup (46 calories)
  • Leeks - 11g carb/cup (54 calories)
  • Onion - 17.1g carb/cup (88 calories)
  • Potato (boiled no skin) - 14g carb/cup (67 calories)
  • Sweet potato (purple) - 11g carb/100g (48 calories)

The 'Avoid or Limit' List 

  • Apple - 20.9g carb/cup (103 calories)
  • Banana - 23.9g carb/cup (105 calories)
  • Black Sapote - 33g carb/100g (130 calories)
  • Custard apple - 25g carb/100g (101 calories)
  • Fig - 29.3g carb/cup (133 calories)
  • Kiwi - 20.6g carb/cup (108 calories)
  • Lychee - 28.9g carb/cup (125 calories)
  • Mandarin - 21.9g carb/cup (103 calories)
  • Mango - 31.5g carb/cup (135 calories)
  • Nectarine - 20.4g carb/cup (110 calories)
  • Passion fruit - 30.6g carb/cup (229 calories)
  • Persimmon - 21.2g carb/cup (99 calories)
  • Bean sprouts - 23.9g carb/cup (105 calories)
  • Corn - 111.2g carb/cup (606 calories)
  • Sweet potato (orange) - 20g carb/100g (86 calories)
  • Sweet potato (white) - 45.4g carb/cup (272 calories)

Note: The data on fruits and vegetables varies greatly on the internet. We got most of the food data from Carb Manager website. A couple of the readings were from My Fitness Pal and Nutrition and You.

You May Like Our Related Blogs ⬇️

 

References:

https://www.carbmanager.com/

https://www.myfitnesspal.com/

https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/daily-calorie-intake/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/259604#:~:text=Sugary%20beverages%20and%20sodas%20contribute,rapid%20spikes%20in%20blood%20sugar.

https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes-and-yogurt#:~:text=Yogurt%20can%20be%20a%20great,like%20other%20sources%20of%20carbohydrates.

https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes-and-yogurt#what-the-research-says

https://www.healthifyme.com/blog/is-avocado-good-for-diabetics/#:~:text=Avocados%20help%20increase%20insulin%20action,in%20lowering%20blood%20glucose%20levels.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html

 

Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.  

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