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A medium apple is around 200 grams in weight which has 27 carbs and only 4.8 grams of fiber. There's also 20.8 grams of sugar in this apple as well. (source) Therefore, as a general rule, this is why apples are not keto-friendly.
However, depending on how much of an apple you eat on the keto diet, you could stay into ketosis if you have some of an apple. If you want to still have apples go ahead and have a slice or two. Feel free to test your blood for ketones if you want to be strict with it.
Crab apples are keto-friendly apples with only 5 grams of carbs for each small apple. Be aware though this variety is not sweet at all. Also, eating the seeds is not good for humans, so please stay away from them.
Carb Counts in Apples
Depending on the apple variety and size the carb counts vary along with the percent of natural sugar. Comparing the apples below in the cart, Red Delicious would be the one to avoid the most, and crab apples would be okay to eat on a keto diet. Just don't eat the seeds of the crab apple.
|Pink Lady||200 grams||28.6||6.4||20.8|
|Fuji Apples||200 grams||31.2||4.2||26.6|
|Granny Smith||200 grams||28.2||5||21.2|
|Red Delicious||200 grams||29.6||4||24.4|
|Crab Apple (*)||35 grams||5||1|
Are Cooking Apples Keto Friendly?
Even though they tend to be less sweet and more tart, cooking apples still are not keto-friendly. The granny smith apple is a great example of a cooking apple. The chart above shows that for 200 grams (medium size) of the green apple there are 28 carbs in it. The carbs are still too high.
Keto Apple Substitutes
The best alternatives to using apples on a low-carb diet are jicama and chayote squash. Per cup or about 130 grams the jicama has 5.1 net carbs while the chayote has 3.8 net carbs. A lot of sugar-free food bloggers will use chayote squash in keto baked apple recipes.
For 1 cup (130 grams) of jicama there are 11.5 total carbs and 6.4 grams of fiber with 2.3 grams of sugar. (source) Jicama can be described a mix between an apple and a water chestnut. It's crispy and has a slightly sweet nutty flavor.
For 1 cup (132grams) of chayote squash there are 6 carbs and 2.2 grams of fiber with 2.2 grams of sugar. (source) Chayote squash has a slightly sweet and hints of cucumber flavor. It also provides a good crunch.
How to get Apple Flavor on a Low Carb Diet
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has no carbs in it. It's apple juice that's been fermented. Yeast is added to the juice and the yeast eats the sugar and turns the drink into alcohol. (source) This vinegar has a lot of acid in it and can cause problems if you drink it straight. Typically when it's used in recipes not a lot of it is used.
Using flavor extracts is a great way to add flavor with zero carbs. I try to use these often in recipes with sugar-free sweeteners to dessert recipes.
If you are looking to make a hot drink that's flavored apple, using tea would work great. There are apple flavor teas on the market. My friend Trina actually created a sugar-free hot apple cider recipe with tea.
To confirm, apples are not keto-friendly. However, there are many ways to get the flavor of apples in many recipes. 🙂