Carbs and Calories in Figs: Are Figs Keto Friendly?


Figs, along with most other dried fruits, are high in carbs and sugar.  For this reason, figs don’t fall under the approved foods for a ketogenic diet.  It is best to avoid them or only consume them in moderation.

Although figs do not fit into a low carb diet plan like Keto, you may be following a different diet plan, such as a low fat diet or calorie reduction plan.  In these cases, eating figs are low in fat and in calories (in moderate amounts).  If you love figs, you can probably get away with including a few in most diets. 

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Fresh figs are not as high in carbs as dried figs.  Although they contain natural sugars and carbs, both fresh and dried figs are good for you. In fact, they have a number of health benefits. Keep reading to find out more…

If you’re looking to shed pounds, figs are a great replacement for unhealthy snacks. So why not swap out your candy and have a fig instead?

How Many Carbs are in Figs?

Fresh Figs:  There are 8 grams of sugar and 5.4 grams of carbs per medium fresh fig.

Dried Figs:  It may be harder to estimate for dried figs of different varieties, which can have up to 12 grams of sugar per fig.

Are Figs Keto-Friendly?

Dried fruit, including figs, can pack a high-carb punch.  It is best to stick with fresh figs, as they are lower in carbs.  It is safe to enjoy one or two fresh figs while on Keto. Eat one as a treat or use one to sweeten smoothies, but be careful not to overindulge.  Eating too many figs in one sitting could cause you to exceed your daily carb limit, ultimately preventing ketosis.

How Many Calories in Figs?

One large, fresh fig has just 47 calories.

One dried fig contains 21 calories.

There are 74 calories in a 100 gram serving of figs.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 fig (8.4 grams)
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 21  
Calories from Fat 2  
Total Fat 0.1 grams 0%
Saturated Fat 0 grams 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 grams  
Monounsaturated Fat 0 grams  
Cholesterol 0 milligrams 0%
Sodium 1 milligram 0%
Potassium 57 milligrams 4%
Carbohydrates 5.4 grams 2%
Dietary Fiber 0.8 grams 3%
Vitamin K  · Vitamin C  0%
Calcium · Potassium 1%
Sugar 4.3 grams

Health Benefits 

figs keto

Figs may be high in sugar and carbs, they are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They’re also an excellent source of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants in the form of flavonoids that work to detoxify the body. 

Figs are also rich in alkaloids, triterpenoids, and vitamin C – compounds that have anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial properties.  Figs are quite a nutritional powerhouse and if you consume them regularly, they could help lower your risk of chronic diseases. 

In fact, one research study discovered important antioxidant and anti-cancer activities in participants who took dried coarse fig powder over a period of time.

Figs are a good source of micronutrients, like calcium, magnesium and potassium. The potassium and calcium that is rich in figs are vital nutrients for muscle function.  The magnesium found in figs regulates blood pressure and supports enzyme reactions.

Vitamin K is also abundant in figs, an important building block used by the body for blood coagulation and wound healing.

Fun Fig Facts

  • Figs come from the Ficus species, of which there are over 750 known varieties in the world.
  • There are as many distinct species of fig wasp, an insect that coevolved to pollenate and fertilizes each species of Ficus.
  • Among the different fig species are trees, vines, shrubs, and epiphytes.
  • There is a species called Strangler figs that grow differently.  Their roots grow downward from the trees, which ultimately kills and replaces them (hence the name).
  • A banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) can span many acres and resemble a small forest because of trunks grown from aerial prop roots. The largest banyan fig tree on record was planted in India and continues to grow today, spanning over 4 acres.
  • Fig trees are a common species in many rainforests.  They produce figs all year round and are important food sources for thousands of animal species, as well as humans.
  • Fig trees were once believed to be flowerless because the tree’s flowers are hidden inside the fruit.  The fruit itself is the blossom, containing hundreds of tiny seeds inside each fig.
  • Figs are documented in every major modern religious text, including the Holy Bible, the Quran and the Torah.  Figs are central to many creationist stories. Perhaps this is the reason why they are known as “fruit of the Gods”.
  • In the early Olympics, figs were given to the winners as prize medals.
  • Figs are part of the Mulberry family.
  • Many cultures in Africa, Asia and South America have learned to turn the bark of fig trees into a cloth material, used to produce clothing and paper. Ugandans still produce cloth from the bark of fig trees even today.

Related Questions:

Are Figs High in Fiber?

Yes, figs are a good source of Dietary Fiber.  One fig contains 3 percent of your daily recommended amount of fiber. One ounce of dried figs contains 3 grams of fiber.

Are Figs High in Sugar?

Figs have a high glycemic index, coming in at an estimated Glycemic load of 44.  They are made up of 55% sugar, which is the highest sugar content of all fruit. 

Depending on the size and type (dry or raw), one fig can contain anywhere from 3 to 9 grams of sugar. Figs (particularly dried figs) fall into the type of fruit that diabetics should avoid, because of their concentrated sugar content. 

Can Figs Treat Constipation?

carbs in figs

Yes, figs can assist you in making healthy, regular bowel movements because of their fiber content. Dried figs have more dietary fiber than most other common fruits.  Due to their natural laxative effects, dried figs are often used in the treatment of constipation. 

Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber daily, while men should aim to consume 28 grams of fiber to keep bowels moving regularly.  A fistful of fresh or dried figs (about 3 -5 figs)  provides 5 grams of dietary fiber.  That’s 20% of your daily requirements!

Figs, fresh or dried, are a great way to achieve your daily value of fiber to support healthy digestion and regularity.

Why Do Figs Make my Tongue Burn?

Do you ever experience a sore tongue or a burning sensation in your mouth after eating fresh figs?  You may have noticed this side effect, if you eat a lot of figs and may have wondered the cause.  This is due to the substance in the skin of the fig called phison. Your tongue may feel burned from exposure to phison, the proteolytic enzyme that breaks down proteins. 

Some individuals complain of having a sore mouth and tongue after eating figs because they are sensitive to phison. If your reaction is severe, it may indicate a fig allergy.  If you’re new to figs or a person who has a lot of allergies, it’s best to try just one or two figs to start and then wait a while to make sure you don’t have a reaction to the fruit.

Since most of the phison is contained in the fig’s skin, the best way to avoid this burning sensation or any allergic reaction is to spoon out the inner part of the fig and eat it separately, disposing of the skin. 

The less ripe a fig is, the more phison that it contains. Therefore, choose more ripe figs to avoid the burning tongue after-effect.  If a fig is firm, it is not ripe enough. Choose figs that are soft, but not mushy.

How Do I Pick the Best Figs to Buy?

When purchasing fresh figs in bulk, look for figs that are clean and dry, with unbroken skin.  Avoid figs that are too firm as they have not fully ripened. 

Good figs should be soft, smooth, and pliable to the touch. Avoid purchasing figs that are wet, dirty, split-open or mushy.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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