Are Plums Keto-Friendly? (& Better Substitutes)

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Fruits are often not good for ketogenic diets but there are exceptions. Find out whether plums are one of these keto-friendly exceptions.

Raw plums contain around 10 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) per 100 grams.

This is somewhat higher in carbs so it is fair that say that plums are generally not that keto-friendly.

At the same time, it is worth noting that you could be able to eat small amounts of plums while staying in ketosis. To do this, you will also have to pay attention to the other things you eat.

That being said, you can also consider one of the lower-carb substitutes for plums. These allow you to eat something sweeter but make it more likely you stay in ketosis.

How many carbs there are in plums

While it is not the only detail that matters, how many carbs there are in plums influences whether you will stay in ketosis a lot.

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

  • Total carbs: 11.4 grams
  • Of which fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 10 grams

There are definitely foods that are even worse in this area but it is fair to say that plums are somewhat higher in carbs. In turn, they are generally not keto-friendly.

One plum is about 66 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 7.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 6.6 grams

By eating smaller amounts of plums, you will also consume fewer carbohydrates. You can even go lower than one plum if needed.

By making your portions smaller, it becomes somewhat easier to fit plums into a way of eating where you stay in ketosis.

Other nutrition facts plums

The carbohydrates in plums are important on ketogenic diets but they are not the only nutrients that matter.

Fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals still influence whether you will stay in ketosis and how good plums are for other goals like losing weight and good general health.

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

  • Calories: 46
  • Protein: 0.7 grams
  • Carbs: 11.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 16% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV
  • Copper: 3% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

While the amounts of vitamins and minerals in plums are welcome, they are not that impressive either.

From a nutrition standpoint, it is not necessary to squeeze small amounts of plums into ketogenic diets for their nutrients.

Carbs in dried plums

Another popular way to eat plums is in their dried form called prunes. However, by removing the water from the fruit, its nutrition content per 100 grams and in turn, keto-friendliness changes a lot.

You can find the amounts of carbs in raw plums and prunes in the table below (1, 2)

Values Per 100gRaw PlumsPrunes
Total Carbohydrates11.4 g63.9 g
Of Which Fiber1.4 g7.1 g
Net Carbs10 g56.8 g
Chart of carbs in raw plums vs prunes

It should be clear that if you want to implement plums in ketogenic diets, you definitely want to stay away from prunes.

Why plums are sometimes keto-friendly

There are cases where you can fit in small amounts of plums on a ketogenic diet. Quickly going over the keto basics can help you understand why this is and how to avoid overdoing it.

Ketogenic diets are ways of eating where get and stay in ketosis. This is a state where your body mainly uses fat as fuel (3).

To make this happen you need to keep your carb intake low enough. Just how low depends on details like your weight, muscle mass, and exercise habits.

So in reality, it is hard to predict how many plums and carbs you can eat while staying in ketosis. That being said, there are imperfect general guidelines that do give you somewhat of an idea.

A typical recommendation is getting 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates if you want to stay in ketosis.

If you do the calculations, you will likely conclude that you can consume around 20 grams to 50 grams of carbs a day.

Something important to note is that you don’t include fiber in these amounts even though this type of nutrient is a carbohydrate. Your body processes fiber in more keto-friendly ways.

How many plums can you eat on keto?

With the general recommendations above and how many carbs there are in the rest of your diet, you can estimate how many plums you can eat on keto.

For example, you may conclude that you can eat 20 grams of carbohydrates a day while staying in ketosis.

If the rest of your diet then contains 16.7 grams of net carbs, you would be able to eat more or less half a plum (33 grams) on keto.

Whether it is worth using up so many of your daily carbohydrates on such a small amount of food is a different question.

Substitutes for plums on keto

Many people are interested in plums to be able to eat something sweeter on keto. Luckily, this is not your only option.

There are a variety of lower-carb fruits that could offer similar benefits but make it easier to stay in ketosis.

The numbers next to these substitutes for plums are the amounts of net carbohydrates per 100 grams (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9):

  • 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

While these substitutes can satisfy your fruit cravings in lower-carb ways than plums, they do contain good amounts of this nutrient.

In turn, you will likely have to keep your portions of these foods small to stay in ketosis.

How to avoid eating too many plums on keto

Instead of choosing substitutes, you may also go for the strategy of limiting your plum intake enough to stay in ketosis.

Putting a big bowl of plums on your lap while watching an interesting movie will typically not result in success.

You can implement some of these tips to make it more likely you stay in ketosis:

  • Figure out beforehand how many grams of plums fit in your carb budget
  • Weigh out this many grams and put the other plums somewhere else
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts of plums while doing other activities
  • If you really like plums and crave them too much, you may have to buy smaller portions

Keep in mind that your initial estimations could be suboptimal. If you notice you get out of ketosis anyway you may need to eat fewer grams of plums.

What is your goal with staying in ketosis?

By now it should be clear that even small amounts of plums can kick you out of ketosis. How much of a problem this is depends on why you follow a ketogenic diet.

For example, you may need/want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day. In that case, you want to be very careful about your carbohydrate consumption and likely want to stay away from plums.

On the flip side, plums can be good for weight loss and decent for general health even if they are not technically keto-friendly.

Keto is generally not the only way to lose weight and get healthier.

  • Total carbs: 7.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 6.6 grams

Is a plum low-carb?

One plum is about 66 grams and contains around 7.5 grams of carbohydrates (including 0.9 grams of fiber). In turn, a plum is typically not considered to be low-carb.

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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.