Are Apples Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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You typically want to avoid fruits to stay in ketosis but there are exceptions. Find out whether apples are keto-friendly or not.

Apples are a popular type of fruit that comes in different colors like green, red, and yellow. You typically eat them on their own as a snack or dessert but you can also add apples to salads and a variety of recipes.

100 grams of apples contain around 11.4 grams of net carbohydrates which comes down to total carbs minus fiber.

This is a relatively high amount of carbohydrates for the keto diet. In turn, you can say that apples are not very keto-friendly.

You could potentially eat small amounts of apples while staying in ketosis. However, it is likely not worth using so many grams of your daily carbs for food like this.

Even if you want to eat something sweeter on the keto diet, there are alternatives that contain fewer carbohydrates.

Carbs in apples

The next step is finding out how many carbs there are in apples and how many carbohydrates the other foods in your diet include.

100 grams of apples contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 13.8 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 11.4 grams

Even if you follow a relatively low-carb diet, the 11.4 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of apple can definitely be enough to kick you out of ketosis.

One medium apple is already about 182 grams and contains about 20.7 grams of net carbs.

It should become clear that this food is often not a great choice for people trying to follow a keto diet.

One ounce of apples is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 3.9 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.7 grams
  • Net carbs: 3.2 grams

By making your portions smaller, you could potentially eat some amount of apples while still staying in ketosis.

That being said, even then, it might not be worth consuming so many of your daily carbs in the form of a small amount of apple.

Other nutritional details about apples

The amounts of carbohydrates in foods are important on keto but you don’t want to forget about other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

These also influence whether you stay in ketosis and play a role in goals like losing weight and having good general health.

100 grams of raw apple contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 52
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Carbs: 13.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 8% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 3% of the DV
  • Potassium: 3% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 2% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

On top of being somewhat higher in carbs, apples contain relatively small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

You could argue that apples contain a few relatively unique micronutrients like quercetin. Even with that in mind, apples may not be worth it on a ketogenic diet.

Carbs in apple juice

The amounts of carbohydrates above are what you can expect from regular raw apples. It is also possible to only consume the juice of this fruit.

You do need to know that apple juice will have a different effect on your keto diet. In the table below, you can find how many carbs raw apples and apple juice contain (1, 2).

Values Per 100gRaw AppleApple Juice
Total Carbohydrates13.8 g11.3 g
Of Which Fiber2.4 g0.2 g
Net Carbs11.4 g11.1 g
Carbs in raw apple vs apple juice

It is actually surprising that the example apple juice is lower in net carbs than the raw apple example. The opposite is typically the case.

At the same time, it is important to note that this apple juice does not contain added sugar. Many brands do add extra sugar which makes the apple juice less keto-friendly.

Additionally, it is generally easier to drink half a glass of apple juice than to eat 100 grams of raw apples.

Fiber can also reduce the spike in blood sugar from food.

Because of these things, if you do decide to eat apples on keto, you still generally want to choose the raw ones instead of the juice.

Why an apple will typically take you out of ketosis

To better understand why you may be able to fit some amounts of apple in your keto diet, it can be helpful to quickly go over the fundamentals of this way of eating.

The goal of a ketogenic diet is getting and staying in ketosis. This is a state where your body mainly uses fat as fuel (3).

To get into this state, you need to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. How low depends on details like your weight, body composition, activity levels, time of the day, etc.

That being said, there are some general guidelines to help you get an idea of what it takes to follow a ketogenic diet.

A typical recommendation is getting 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

In amounts of grams, this will typically mean eating around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day.

One thing to note is that the amount of fiber in food is typically not included even though this is a category of carbohydrates. Your body processes fiber differently from other carbs.

With this, you can start to think about how many apples you can eat while staying in ketosis.

How to avoid eating too much apple on keto

By now it should be clear that apples can only fit into ketogenic diets in small amounts.

Slicing up a big bowl of apples and hoping you don’t eat too much will typically not help with this.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to control how many grams of apples you eat on keto:

  • Estimate how many apples would fit within the rest of your diet while staying in ketosis
  • Put this amount of apples in a separate bowl and put the rest somewhere else
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts of apples while you are doing other things like watching a movie
  • If you really crave apples too much you may need to buy smaller portions

It is possible that keeping your apple consumption low enough on keto is too challenging. In that case, you could also consider alternatives.

What to do if you ate an apple on keto

You may have eaten an apple on your keto diet before reading all the helpful information above. While it is likely that you will get out of ketosis, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of this happening.

The most important one will be doing a workout which can reduce to what extent the apple you ate raises your blood sugar (4).

Secondly, you could potentially see benefits from also eating foods high in fiber after the apple. Again to reduce to what extent the fruit raises your blood sugar (5).

However, this last tip may not always have the desired effect because foods with fiber tend to contain other carbohydrates too.

Something to note is that getting out of ketosis is not the end of the world for everyone (except with specific conditions). Especially if you leave it at one apple and do a good workout.

Substitutes for apple on keto

Apples are not the lowest on the list of low-carb fruits but there are definitely more keto-friendly options too.

If you are still craving something sweeter on your ketogenic diet and like the tastes of these alternatives too, they could be better choices.

The numbers next to the fruits are the amounts of net carbohydrates which comes down to total carbs minus fiber (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11):

  • Blackberries: 4.9 grams of net carbs
  • Raspberries: 5.4 grams of net carbs
  • Strawberries: 5.7 grams of net carbs
  • Watermelon: 7.1 grams of net carbs
  • Cranberries: 7.6 grams of net carbs
  • Cantaloupe: 7.9 grams of net carbs

Something you do want to keep in mind is that these fruits still contain carbohydrates. Sometimes in decent amounts.

That means you may have to implement some of the portion control tips for these apple alternatives too if you want to stay in ketosis.

Why do you want to stay in ketosis?

Apples are not a great food choice for people who want to stay in ketosis. Depending on what your goal is with this diet this could be an issue or not that bad.

For example, certain people need/want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day. These people want to be very careful about how many carbohydrates they eat and likely want to avoid apples.

On the flip side, apples can still be good for weight loss and decent/good for general health even if they raise your blood sugar too much to stay in ketosis.

Something to note is that apple juice is typically still not recommended for these last two health goals.

Related posts:


Is apple OK for low-carb diets?

Apple contains about 13.8 grams of carbohydrates (including 2.4 grams of fiber) per 100 grams. In turn, you can say that apples are generally not OK for low-carb diets.

What kinds of apples are keto-friendly?

All the kinds of apples I was able to find had carbohydrate levels that were not really keto-friendly.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.