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Want to know the best fruits for PCOS? I’m going to share a list of fruits that are good for PCOS but first let’s talk about how they fit into a PCOS diet plan.
Fruits need to be consumed in moderation when you have PCOS because they can spike your insulin levels. This leads me to a very common question…
Are Fruits Good for PCOS?
Yes. Some fruits are good for PCOS, but others aren’t so good. Generally, you want to eat whole fruits that are higher in fiber, lower in carbohydrates, and have a lower glycemic index reading.
Fruits that are higher in fiber take longer to digest, which results in a slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels after eating.
In addition to paying attention to the fiber and carb content, portion control is key to being able to enjoy fruit in a PCOS-friendly diet plan.
List of Fruits for PCOS
Here is a list of fruits that are lower in calories and carbohydrates, that also provide vital nutrients such as healthy fat, fiber, and vitamin C.
Avocado might not be the first thing you thought of when you think of fruit, but it is a nutritional powerhouse and is excellent to include in a low-carb diet.
One avocado half has approximately 15 grams of heart-healthy fat, while only having an average of two grams of net carbs!
Some studies indicate that they also help to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.
Avocados are so satisfying when you crave something creamy, and they make a great addition to low-carb smoothies.
Sweet, delicious blackberries are a wonderful snack when you need to satisfy a craving for something sweet.
They’re also a good source of fiber, with 4 grams of fiber in a half-cup serving. Blackberries are also a great source of vitamin C, with approximately 15g in that half-cup portion.
With only approximately 3 grams of net carbs in a half-cup, blackberries are a good fruit to add to a low-carb diet plan.
Blackberries are delicious as a snack on their own, but you can also add them to sugar-free yogurt or in smoothies for a flavor boost.
Blueberries are a healthy snack option for people with PCOS. In fact, blueberries are often referred to as a “superfood” because of their very high antioxidant properties. A half-cup of blueberries has approximately 7.5 grams of net carbs.
Blueberries are high in fiber, which helps to reduce cholesterol. They have also been known to improve blood glucose management and promote good heart health.
When enjoyed in healthy portions, they are a nutritious and tasty snack option.
This tropical fruit (yes, it is a fruit!) is so tasty and versatile. Sprinkle shredded coconut on salads or stir fry for just a touch of sweetness and a slightly chewy texture. One half-cup portion of coconut has 3.5 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of fat, but only 2.5 grams of net carbs. It also contains a good amount of MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which is currently being studied for the potential to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you buy shredded or canned coconut, be sure it is labeled as “unsweetened”, and double-check the ingredients. Packaged coconut sometimes has sugar added to it. If you can’t find packaged unsweetened coconut, fresh coconuts are readily available in many grocery stores.
Lemons and Limes
You’re probably not going to want to just eat whole lemons or limes. But, both of these citrus fruits pack a lot of flavor and are very low in calories and carbohydrates. A single lemon or lime has only 5 grams of net carbs in the entire fruit.
A squeeze of juice from a lemon or lime brightens up the taste of salads and most meats, and only has half of a gram of net carbs. A squeeze or two in sparkling water is refreshing and delicious.
You can use freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice with a zero-calorie sweetener (such as liquid Stevia, Swerve, or monk fruit sweetener) to make keto-friendly lemonade or limeade. On average, a small glass of lemonade made with a sugar-free sweetener only has about 2.5 net carbs.
Lemons and limes are both excellent sources of vitamin C. One entire lemon can provide approximately 51% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, and one lime provides approximately 32% of the recommended daily amount.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights “free radicals” in the body.
“Free radicals” are compounds that are associated with the effects of aging and chronic illness.
Olives might not have been something that came to mind when you think of fruit, but they are indeed a low-carb and healthy fruit choice!
Olives are low calorie, and 10 small green olives contain three grams of fat and only about 1.5 grams of net carbs.
The fat in olives is healthy monounsaturated fat. Olives are also loaded with antioxidants.
Olives make a nice snack if you crave something salty. When you need a salt fix, olives are certainly a better way to satisfy that craving than chips!
However, be aware that olives can be high in sodium, so practice moderation if you need to watch your sodium intake.
These lovely, jewel-like little seeds are actually one of the healthiest fruits you can eat! Pomegranate seeds are a great source of fiber, and they contain punicic and punicalagin acids, which are very potent antioxidants.
In fact, the antioxidants in pomegranate are approximately three times more powerful than the antioxidant properties of a glass of red wine.
Pomegranate also has a natural anti-inflammatory property that can help with joint pain from arthritis.
As healthy and flavorful as pomegranate is, this is one fruit where you need to be mindful of portion control.
A quarter cup of pomegranate seeds has a little bit less than 5 grams of carbs. That’s not a huge serving size, but they are very flavorful!
You can snack on them by themselves, or sprinkle over a salad or on yogurt for a burst of flavor.
A quarter cup of these beautiful little berries has only 1.5 grams of net carbs! They are high in fiber and antioxidant content and may help reduce inflammation and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
The slightly sweet/slightly tart flavor of raspberries is delicious when added to salads made with savory greens such as spinach or arugula.
Raspberries are also delicious when mixed with sugar-free yogurt or in a low-carb smoothie.
This tropical fruit used to be only found in specialty markets, but it is now readily available in many regular grocery stores.
Starfruit, also known as carambola, is a pale yellow fruit that slices into pretty star shapes.
It has a sweet-and-sour flavor that has been described as something like a cross between an apple and grapes.
It is one of the lowest-sugar tropical fruits you’ll be able to find. One entire starfruit has just 30 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and only 3.5 grams of net carbohydrates.
You can eat the entire starfruit raw, including the slightly “waxy” outside. It is also delicious sliced up and lightly grilled.
Strawberries are such a treat when you want something sweet and satisfying! They are full of nutrients, such as vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium.
Additionally, a study published in the February 2016 issue of Molecular Nutrition & Food Nutrition found that strawberries contain anthocyanin, which can improve insulin resistance.
A one-half cup serving of sweet, delicious strawberries contains just 4 grams of net carbs. They make a great addition to smoothies, salads, and mixed with sugar-free yogurt.
Yes, tomatoes are fruit. I know there will be never-ending debate over whether they are vegetables or fruit, but biologically they fit the definition of a fruit.
Regardless, tomatoes are tasty and nutritious.
One entire cup of tomatoes (diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes) has fewer than 30 calories and only 4 g of net carbs.
Sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are a good snack choice when you crave just a little bit of fruity sweetness, but not too much.
Tomatoes are filled with antioxidants and nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and lycopene.
Lycopene is the substance that gives tomatoes their lovely red color, and is known to have anti-cancer properties and may help lower the risk of heart disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few frequently asked questions related to fruit and PCOS.
Is Fruit Bad For PCOS?
Fruit isn’t necessarily bad for PCOS, as long as you pay attention to what type of fruit you’re eating and maintain good portion control.
Fruit can provide important nutritional benefits such as fiber, vitamin C, and even in some cases healthy fat.
Fruit is also a good choice when you are craving something sweet! It’s better to snack on a half-cup of sweet, juicy blackberries than grabbing a cookie or piece of chocolate.
Are Bananas Good For PCOS?
Bananas are beneficial for some symptoms of PCOS, but they contain a lot of carbohydrates so they should definitely be enjoyed in moderation.
They are high in potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C.
A medium banana has only 89 calories (give or take), making them lower in calories than many other fruits.
Because bananas are lower in calories than other fruits and have a higher fiber content, snacking on bananas makes your stomach feel less hungry and more full for a longer period.
This can help you resist snacking throughout the day.
However, bananas are pretty high in carbohydrates, with a medium banana having approximately 22 grams of carbs!
If you’re following a keto diet plan, that’s the total daily carbohydrate allowance that many people try to follow.
While bananas have a lot of nutritional benefits, moderation is key! This might be a fruit that you allow yourself to enjoy once in a while, as a “treat”.
Keep in mind that over-ripe bananas have an even higher amount of carbohydrates, so if you’re going to eat bananas, don’t let them get too ripe!
Are Oranges Good For PCOS?
Oranges can be a healthy snack for those with PCOS, as long as they are enjoyed in moderation.
They are a great choice for those who are trying to control their blood sugar levels, as they can prevent blood sugar spikes.
A medium size orange has 4 grams of fiber, but can have between 11 and 14 grams of net carbohydrates.
That’s not terribly high, but higher than you want if you’re following a strict low-carb or keto diet plan.
Are Grapes Good For PCOS?
Grapes (red or purple grapes in particular) can be a good snack for people with PCOS. They pack a lot of nutrients that can be beneficial for PCOS symptoms.
However, grapes are also high in sugar content so pay attention to portion size!
Grapes are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin B6. Dark-colored grapes also contain an important antioxidant called resveratrol.
Resveratrol is known to help significantly with inflammation and to support good heart health.
However, twelve red seedless grapes contain approximately 14 grams of carbohydrates.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few snacks as a delicious, refreshing snack; you should just be careful with how many grapes you eat.
Is Watermelon Good For PCOS?
Watermelon is a good choice for people with PCOS, as long you enjoy it in moderation.
It is made of approximately 92% water, and only has 46 calories in a one-cup serving. It is a good source of potassium and vitamin C. However, there are 11g of carbohydrates in one cup of watermelon.
That’s a relatively low amount compared to some other fruit, but if you’re following a low-carb or ketogenic diet, that is a significant portion of the daily carbs you want to consume.
Are Apples Good For PCOS?
Apples contain many nutrients that are beneficial for PCOS symptoms. They are high in fiber and have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Apples are also packed with magnesium and flavonoid antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. They’re delicious on their own, in salads, or paired with cheese.
However, on average an entire apple contains approximately 12 to 14 grams of net carbohydrates.
If you’re watching your carb intake, that might be slightly higher than you want to consume at once.
You can always cut the apple into slices and enjoy it in smaller portions for a healthy snack.
Is Too Much Fruit Bad For PCOS?
Too much fruit is not good for PCOS, because all fruits contain little fat and are higher in carbohydrates.
People with PCOS should try to eat more fat, lean protein, and very low amounts of carbs.
A low-carb diet helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance among people with PCOS. You can enjoy fruit, but just be careful about your portion sizes and carb intake!