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Benefits of Lemons on the Ketogenic Diet

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  Published on January 18th, 2021
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified April 15th, 2023
Lemon water has many benefits

The lemon is juicy, citrusy, summery, and almost as bright as the sun! All hail the glorious yellow lemon (citrus limon) — one of the world’s most popular citrus fruits. This sour-tasting fruit grows on lemon trees and is usually used to garnish or flavor drinks and recipes, rather than the consumed whole. When life gives you lemons, you make keto lemonade, of course! So, let’s discuss the health benefits of lemons on a ketogenic diet.

Lemon Nutrition Information

Lemons don’t provide much fat and protein, but they do give you fiber and vitamin C, and various beneficial plant compounds and minerals. They mainly consist of water (88-89%) and a small number of carbs (10%).

One medium lemon only provides around 20 calories. ½ cup (100 grams) of raw, peeled lemon provides 1.1 grams of protein, 9.3 grams of carbs, 2.5 grams of sugar, and 2.8 grams of fiber. This means lemons are a low-carb fruit and a great choice for your keto diet! The carbs in lemons are mostly fibers and simple sugars like glucose and fructose.

The primary fiber in lemons is called pectin, which can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of starch and sugar [1] [2] [3] Most health experts agree dietary fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and associated with a plethora of health benefits [4]

Plant Compounds, Vitamins, and Minerals!

Lemons aren’t just a pretty yellow color; they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, such as:

Vitamin C is key for skin health, and immune function. Potassium can lower blood pressure levels and boost heart health.

Vitamin B6 is involved in converting food to energy [5] [6] [7].

The plant compounds in citrus fruits like lemons might also have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammation. [8] [9] [10].

Lemons contain plant compounds like diosmin — an antioxidant used in some medications that affect the circulatory system improves muscle tone and reduces chronic inflammation of the blood vessels [11].

Should You Eat Lemons on Keto?

You could try drinking lemon water and exploring some lemony recipes here at Ketogenic.com! Choose a keto-approved lemonade, and make sure you confirm there’s no sneaky added sugar!

There’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy the benefits of lemons unless you have an allergy. For some people with dermatitis, lemons can cause skin irritation and contact allergy. A small percentage of people have a lemon allergy, but lemons are typically well-tolerated and provide health benefits! [12] [13]

For example, intake of fruits high in vitamin C is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease [14] [15]. Some animal studies reveal the plant compounds diosmin and hesperidin might have positive effects on key risk factors for heart disease [16] [17] [18]. The citric acid in lemons might also reduce your risk of kidney stones [19] [20].

So, will you enjoy the benefits of lemons as part of your healthy ketogenic diet?

Steph Green is a content writer specializing in and passionate about healthcare, wellness, and nutrition. Steph has worked with marketing agencies, written medical books for doctors like ‘Untangling the Web of Dysfunction,’ and her poetry book ‘Words that Might Mean Something.’ In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.



United States Department of Agriculture. Lemon, Raw. FoodData Central (usda.gov)


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Benavente-Garcia, O., & Castillo, J. (2008). Update on uses and properties of citrus flavonoids: New findings in anticancer, cardiovascular, and anti-inflammatory activity. J Agric Food Chem, 56(15), 6185-6205. DOI: 10.1021/jf8006568


Benavente-Garcia, O., Castillo, J., Alcaraz, M., Vicente, V., Del Rio, J. A., & Ortuno, A. (2007). Beneficial action of citrus flavonoids on multiple cancer-related biological pathways. Curr Cancer Drug Targets, 7(8), 795-809. DOI: 10.2174/156800907783220435


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Del Rio, J. A., Fuster, M. D., Gomez, P., Porras, I., Garcia-Lidon, A., & Ortuno, A. (2004). Citrus limon: A source of flavonoids of pharmaceutical interest. Food Chemistry, 84(3), 457-461.


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Cardullo, A. C., Ruszkowski, A. M., & DeLeo, V. A. (1989). Allergic contact dermatitis resulting from sensitivity to citrus peel, geraniol, and citral. J Am Acad Dermatol, DOI: 10.1016/s0190-9622(89)80043-x


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Joshipura, K. J., Hu, F. B., Manson, J. E., Stampfer, M. J., Rimm, E. B., Speizer, F. E., Colditz, G., Acherio, A., Rosner, B., Spiegelman, D., & Willett, W. C. (2001). The effect of fruit and vegetable intake on risk for coronary heart disease. Ann Intern Med, 134(12), 1106-1114. DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-134-12-200106190-00010


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Penniston, K. L., Steele, T. H., & Nakada, S. Y. (2007). Lemonade therapy increases urinary citrate and urine volumes in patients with recurrent calcium oxalate stone formation. Urology, 70(5), 856-860. DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.06.1115


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