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Are Plums Keto-Friendly?

Plums on a kitchen counter

Are plums keto-friendly? It's a bit like a sweet-and-sour situation: yes, but you'll want to enjoy them in moderation.

Plums, with their rich nutrients and delicious taste, have to be strictly limited on the keto diet due to their carb content.

In this article, we'll unpack the full carb breakdown of plums, discuss potential challenges for maintaining ketosis when consuming this fruit, and explore various ways to fit it into a keto meal plan in moderation.

TL;DR

  • Are plums keto-friendly? Yes, but only in moderation due to their carb content.
  • Plums have health benefits but must be carefully portioned to fit into a keto diet.
  • Overindulgence of plums can interfere with ketosis and potentially lead to keto-flu symptoms.

Are Plums Keto-Friendly?

Plums, like many fruits, walk a fine line when it comes to their compatibility with the ketogenic diet. The short answer is: yes, plums can be keto-friendly, but only when consumed in moderation.

The reason for this moderate consumption lies in the nutritional composition of plums. They contain 6.61 g of net carbs per fruit, which is about 66 g. It's crucial to keep in mind that while this amount of carbs isn't exceedingly high, it does contribute towards your daily carb limit on a keto diet, which usually hovers around 20-50 g net carbs per day.

Now, this doesn't mean you should remove plums from your diet entirely. Plums can still fit into a well-structured keto meal plan, but portion control is key. Remember, every individual's tolerance to carbs can vary, so the frequency and quantity of plum consumption on your keto diet should be tailored to your personal needs.

Can You Have Plums on a Strict Keto Diet?

Including plums in a strict ketogenic diet, which requires an intake of less than 20g of net carbs per day, necessitates careful consideration and precise portion control. Given that one plum (66g) contains 6.61g of net carbs, incorporating it into a strict keto diet could consume a substantial portion of the daily carb allowance.

However, this doesn't necessarily exclude plums from a strict ketogenic diet. It's about balance and moderation. The key is to plan your carb intake wisely throughout the day, ensuring you don't exceed the 20g limit. If your daily carb intake is already low and you're craving a sweet, juicy plum, having one won't necessarily disrupt your ketosis state, provided you stay within your daily carb limit.

For those who limit their carb intake to between 30-50g of net carbs per day, known as a low-carb or more relaxed version of the keto diet, plums can be a more frequent feature in the diet. The slightly higher daily carb limit allows for more flexibility in food choices.

Carbs In Plums

When it comes to carbohydrates in plums, one fruit (66g) contains 6.61g of net carbs. Net carbs are the total carbs minus dietary fiber and sugar alcohols, which are the types of carbohydrates that your body can digest and use for energy.

An important factor to consider when evaluating the keto compatibility of an item is its glycemic index, which measures how much a food raises blood sugar levels. Plums have a medium glycemic index of 40 [source]. This index indicates that while plums do contain sugars, they are not likely to drastically spike blood glucose levels, especially when consumed in moderation. 

Plums Nutrition Facts

A single fruit of a plum, weighing approximately 66 grams, is packed with essential nutrients. Let's delve into the rich nutrition profile of plums and understand what they offer.

To begin with, plums provide 126.72 kJ of energy. The net carbohydrates stand at about 6.61 grams, which includes around 6.55 grams of total sugars. The sugars are composed of glucose (3.35 grams), fructose (2.03 grams), sucrose (1.04 grams), minor amounts of galactose and maltose, which contribute to the sweet taste of the fruit. They also contain about 0.924 grams of dietary fiber.

Plums also have a protein content of 0.462 grams. They contain various amino acids like isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, and others. These amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and play a crucial role in the body.

In terms of fat, plums contain 0.1848 grams of total lipid, which includes both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The total saturated fatty acids account for 0.0112 grams, and the unsaturated fatty acids, which are heart-healthy, include 0.0884 grams of monounsaturated and 0.029 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Plums are also a source of various vitamins. They contain 6.27 mg of vitamin C, which is known for its immunity-boosting properties. Other vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and trace amounts of vitamin E and K. Plums also offer some amount of vitamin A, which supports eye health.

The mineral content in plums is also admirable. They provide potassium (103.62 mg), which supports heart health and contributes to better blood pressure regulation. Other minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc are also present in smaller amounts. Additionally, plums contain trace amounts of copper, manganese, and fluoride.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 1 fruit (66g)
Net Carbs6.61g
Water57.5718g
Energy126.72kJ
Protein0.462g
Total lipid (fat)0.1848g
Ash0.2442g
Carbohydrate, by difference7.5372g
Fiber, total dietary0.924g
Total Sugars6.5472g
Sucrose1.0362g
Glucose3.3462g
Fructose2.0262g
Maltose0.0528g
Galactose0.0924g
Calcium, Ca3.96mg
Iron, Fe0.1122mg
Magnesium, Mg4.62mg
Phosphorus, P10.56mg
Potassium, K103.62mg
Zinc, Zn0.066mg
Copper, Cu0.0376mg
Manganese, Mn0.0343mg
Fluoride, F1.32µg
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid6.27mg
Thiamin0.0185mg
Riboflavin0.0172mg
Niacin0.2752mg
Pantothenic acid0.0891mg
Vitamin B-60.0191mg
Folate, total3.3µg
Folate, food3.3µg
Folate, DFE3.3µg
Choline, total1.254mg
Vitamin A, RAE11.22µg
Carotene, beta125.4µg
Cryptoxanthin, beta23.1µg
Vitamin A, IU227.7IU
Lutein + zeaxanthin48.18µg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.1716mg
Tocopherol, gamma0.0528mg
Tocotrienol, alpha0.0264mg
Tocotrienol, gamma0.0066mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)4.224µg
Fatty acids, total saturated0.0112g
SFA 16:00.0092g
SFA 18:00.002g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.0884g
MUFA 16:10.0013g
MUFA 18:10.0871g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.029g
PUFA 18:20.029g
Phytosterols4.62mg
Tryptophan0.0059g
Threonine0.0066g
Isoleucine0.0092g
Leucine0.0099g
Lysine0.0106g
Methionine0.0053g
Cystine0.0013g
Phenylalanine0.0092g
Tyrosine0.0053g
Valine0.0106g
Arginine0.0059g
Histidine0.0059g
Alanine0.0185g
Aspartic acid0.2323g
Glutamic acid0.0231g
Glycine0.0059g
Proline0.0178g
Serine0.0152g

Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Plums on a Keto Diet

The inclusion of plums in a keto diet presents some potential challenges. Given their moderate net carb content, overindulging in plums could potentially jeopardize the state of ketosis, the metabolic state where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. Therefore, those on a keto diet must pay careful attention to portion sizes when consuming this fruit.

Incorporating Plums Into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Balance with High-Fat Foods: Since plums are only keto-friendly in moderation due to their carb content, one way to incorporate them into a keto diet is by pairing them with high-fat, low-carb foods. For instance, serving a small slice of plum with a portion of cheese can make a satisfying keto-friendly snack.
  2. Add to Salads: Another way to incorporate plums into your keto meal plan is by adding them to salads. A few slices of plum can add a sweet, juicy element to your leafy greens. Pair them with a high-fat dressing to keep your macros in check.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Plums

  1. Berries: Berries such as raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are considered more keto-friendly than plums. They are lower in net carbs and can satisfy a sweet tooth while keeping you within your daily carb limit.
  2. Avocado: While not as sweet as plums, avocados are a staple in the keto diet due to their high healthy fat content and low carb count. They can be used in both sweet and savory dishes and are incredibly versatile.
  3. Olives: Another savory alternative to plums, olives, are low in carbs and high in healthy fats. They also provide a robust and satisfying flavor to keto-friendly meals.

Concluding Thoughts on Plums and Keto

While plums offer a sweet, juicy treat and provide several health benefits, their moderate net carb content can create challenges for those on a strict keto diet. Including plums without jeopardizing ketosis requires careful portion control and precise tracking of your daily carb intake.

Maintaining ketosis while consuming plums may be tricky, but not entirely impossible. It's about balance and moderation. For those craving the taste of plums, consider incorporating them into your diet in small amounts, paired with high-fat, low-carb foods to balance your macros.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can, but in moderation. Plums contain a moderate amount of carbs, so you'll need to monitor your portion size to ensure you don't exceed your daily carb limit.

Keto-friendly alternatives to plums include fruits like berries, avocados, and olives, which are lower in net carbs.

Small amounts of plums can be included in your keto diet by pairing them with high-fat, low-carb foods, adding them to salads, or using them in keto-friendly recipes.

While there may be slight variations in carb content among different plum varieties, the difference is typically minimal. It's still important to practice portion control with all types of plums on a keto diet.