Are Apples Keto-Friendly?

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Written by Bridget Nalwoga, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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As a food group, fruits are not the most keto-friendly. However, they are one of the most important groups overall: it is nearly impossible to have a healthy diet without them. 

Fruits offer a wide variety of healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, all of which are essential for health.

Luckily, some of them are low enough in carbs to feature on keto. But what about apples? 

In this article, we answer some of the questions you might have about apples on a low-carb diet. Are apples ketogenic? How many apples can you have on keto? Keep reading to find out.


What are apples?

Apples are a popular fruit eaten across the world. They originated in Asia, but have since grown in popularity on every continent.

Today, there are over 7,500 cultivars grown.

Different regions have different preferences when it comes to types of apples. While crisp sweet varieties like the Honeycrisp are the most popular in the West, most Asian communities prefer soft mushy varieties.

Is an apple considered a carb?

Yes, apples are mostly made of carbohydrates and water. The carbohydrates are mostly simple carbs in the form of a sugar called fructose.


Apple nutrition information

While still a healthy snack, apples do not compare to the nutrition of other fruits like bananas and blueberries. They are nearly 90% is water, which makes them an excellent source of hydration but not the most nutritious.

Serving size: 100 g. About 1 small-sized Honeycrisp apple.

  • Calories: 60 kcal
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Net carbs (total carbs - fiber): 13 g
  • Total carbs: 14.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 0.1 g

Are apples high in carbs?

Yes. From the nutrition information above, we see that there are 13 g of net carbs in an apple. That is over 50% of your daily carb allowance if your carb limit is 20 g per day or 26% of your carb allowance if your limit is 50 g.




Can you eat apples on keto?

No, not usually. Sadly, you will not be able to have apples on keto on a regular basis. 

If you eat a whole apple, you may be able to remain below your carb recommendation (depending on how big it is). But it would be very difficult or even impossible to fit the rest of your meals into the remaining carbs.

Besides, an apple may cause your blood sugars to shoot up, potentially kicking you out of ketosis. 

It is important to remember that an apple is most likely not going to keep you full for long due to low fiber content. This means that you will soon have to eat, further increasing your carb intake.

For these reasons, it is best to mostly keep away from this fruit while you are on a ketogenic diet. That said, if a recipe calls for a small portion of apple, you can usually get away with it, as long as you take special care with the amount and add the corresponding carbs to your daily count.


How many apples can you eat on a ketogenic diet?

Ideally, none.

Apples are so high in carbs that they should be excluded from the ketogenic diet. A single apple contains 13 g of net carbs.


What kind of apple can you eat on keto?

Apples come in a wide variety of forms. First, there are several types of cultivars available on the market. The main difference between different cultivars is texture and appearance. 

Most people choose their favorite cultivar based on the level of crispiness and sometimes sweetness. The most popular cultivars include:

  • Honeycrisp. Like the name says, this type is crisp and sweet. It has a slight crunch to it making it excellent for eating raw and baking.
  • Green (Granny Smith). This is the most popular type of green apple. It is known for its more tart than sweet taste. Some people may have the misconception that it is low in sugar because it is not very sweet.  It is, however, just as loaded with carbs as the sweeter varieties clocking in at about 11.6 g net carbs per 100 g fruit.
  • Red. These are loved and hated for their mushy texture. They are best eaten raw because they do not hold up well in other dishes.
  • Golden or yellow. This is very similar to the red in texture. They are both soft and juicy and have a sweet taste.
  • Gala. This type from New Zealand has become popular for its sweetness and juiciness. It is commonly used for making juices as it is very juicy.
  • McIntosh. Identical to the red but harder in texture, the McIntosh is very popular among apple lovers.
  • Pink Lady. These are similar to Honeycrisp but are more tart than sweet. They are also crisp and crunchy, and are delicious to eat raw and in salads.

Even though you may be craving an apple just from reading this, remember that you cannot have any of these types of apples on keto. 

Apples can also be processed to make other products:

  • Apple juice. Juicing fruit makes it even less keto-friendly because it is easy to over consume and removes the fiber.
  • Apple smoothies. Even if smoothies still have fiber, drinking your calories can quickly lead to overconsumption meaning that apple smoothies are still not keto-safe.  
  • Apple cider vinegar. While apples are not low-carb, apple cider vinegar is very keto-friendly.  

Apple cider vinegar goes through two stages of fermentation. Fermentation breaks down all the sugar in the apple. Apple cider vinegar, therefore, has 0 g of carbs. In fact, it is a  zero-calorie food.




Ketogenic replacements for apples

Even if you cannot enjoy an apple on keto, you can enjoy similar flavors from foods that offer the same crunch, sweetness, and juiciness.

The first and probably best low-carb apple alternative is another ketogenic fruit. While most fruits are too high in carbs to be on keto, some are low enough to fit on the diet. Some of these include:

If you are looking for equally hydrating snacks, you can try some of these vegetable alternatives:

  • Celery sticks
  • Cucumber
  • Bell peppers
  • Lettuce


FAQs about eating apples on keto

If you are still unsure of apples on the ketogenic diet, keep reading as we answer some questions on the subject.

No. Apples cannot be made keto-friendly. In fact, processing apples makes them less ketogenic.

Baking, drying, juicing, and blending all make apples less keto-approved by concentrating the net carbs.

Green. Per 100 grams, a green Granny Smith has 11.6 grams of net carbs, while a red delicious has 12.8 g.

Keep in mind that most apples weigh more than 100 grams.

You can make a keto-friendly apple pie with some creativity. Instead of apples, you can use blueberries or blackberries, or even a squash vegetable like yellow squash or zucchini. For the crust, stick to a keto-compliant flour like almond.

Apples aren’t ketogenic because they are high in carbs. A single small-sized Honeycrisp apple has 13 g of net carbs.

Apple cider vinegar is keto-friendly because it is made by fermentation. During fermentation, sugar and other simple carbohydrates are broken down.

Most fermented products like beer still contain carbs. However, apple cider vinegar is fermented twice.

First, the juice is fermented to make cider. Then the cider is fermented to make apple cider vinegar. After two stages of fermentation, apple cider vinegar contains no carbs at all.

No, they are not. 1 cup (90 g) of dried apple contains 51.5 g of net carbs.