Carbs in Lemons: Are They Keto?

Medically reviewed article

Lemons | Carbs | Keto | Lemon Juice | Bottom Line | FAQ

Lemons can be found in almost every kitchen. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is said to have countless health benefits. These citrus fruits are refreshing and tart.

Nevertheless, lemons contain carbohydrates and also sugar. Therefore, a legitimate question arises about whether lemons suit low-carb and keto diets.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lemons are suitable for keto and low-carb.
  • One lemon contains 4.2 g net carbs.
  • 5+ lemons can throw you out of ketosis.
  • One glass of lemon juice contains 16.5 g net carbs.

Are Lemons Keto?

Lemons are native to India, China, and Burma. Although known to the ancient Romans, lemons were not widely used or grown until later in Europe.

Today, lemons are experiencing a second spring as a health elixir. Lemon water is said to make the skin radiant, aid digestion, and help with weight loss.

But can lemons and lemon juice be suitable for keto and other low-carb diets because of the carbohydrates?

To find out, we need to look closer at their nutritional values.

Carbs in Lemons

Lemons, as the name suggests, are citrus fruits. These are known to be poorer in carbohydrates. So can lemons not be considered nature’s candy at all?

To find out, we need to look at the net carbs of the fruit.

How Many Carbohydrates Are in Lemons?

100 grams of lemons provide the following average nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 29 calories
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 9.3 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 6.5 grams

According to the nutritional information, carbohydrates predominate in lemons. They are also free of fat and protein.

At first glance, lemons are a high-carbohydrate, low-fat food. They have a fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio of 0.05.

However, only 6.5 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams is manageable. Lemons do even better than their little sister, the lime (*,*).

Are Lemons Keto-Friendly?

Lemons are suitable for the ketogenic diet.

Only five lemons can throw you out of ketosis, as it contains about 23 grams of net carbohydrates. An average lemon has 4.2 grams of net carbohydrates (*).

However, few people eat large amounts of lemons with a spoon. The versatile lemon is most often consumed as juice.

Carbs in Lemon Juice

100 grams of freshly squeezed lemon juice provides the following average nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 22 calories
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 6.9 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.3 grams
  • Net carbs: 6.6 grams
Lemons are keto and low in carbs

Is Lemon Juice Keto?

Yes, lemon juice is suitable for the ketogenic diet.

Lemon juice is a fruit juice with amazingly low net carbs. You can drink more than one glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice daily and stay in ketosis. But it is rarely drunk straight. Lemon juice is primarily a keto-friendly ingredient for drinks.

Lemon water, for example, is an ideal keto drink and can even be a drink for intermittent fasting.

Even alcoholic drinks with lemon juice can be ketogenic if you keep it too hard for alcohol, like vodka, soda, and lemon.

What makes fresh juice different from fruit is the lack of fiber.

Fiber reduces the effects on blood sugar, insulin levels, and fat buildup (Teff et al. 20041Meijssen et al. 20012Chandalia et al. 20003).

Are Lemons and Their Juice Healthy?

100 grams of lemon juice contains only 0.4 grams of sucrose plus one gram each of glucose and fructose (*).

Sucrose is what we understand by table sugar. Ordinary sugar, in turn, consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Therefore, a glass of lemon juice provides the equivalent of about 6 grams of table sugar, which is tiny for a juice.

Lemons are rich in vitamin C. Therefore, they help absorb iron better and synthesize collagen.

So they can also contribute to the health of your skin (Boyera et al. 20194).

Despite Carbs, Lemons Are Keto

The bottom line is that lemons and lemon juice are the healthiest fresh fruits or juice suiting a low-carb diet.

Finally, they are versatile and are usually consumed in limited quantities. However, this may also be because they taste sour.

Lemons are a type of fruit that you can always have in your keto pantry.

Limes and lemons are allowed on keto

Carbs in Lemons: Keto FAQ

How many lemons can you have on keto?

You can have up to 5 lemons a day on keto.

Does lemon break ketosis?

You must have more than five lemons to get kicked out of ketosis.

Can I drink lemon water during keto?

Yes, you can drink lemon water on a keto diet.

How many net carbs are in a lemon?

One lemon has 4.2 net carbs.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

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