How many calories are in a Straightneck squash?

Straightneck squash, also known as yellow squash, is a summer variety of squash that is culinary versatile, nutritious and low in calories. Straightneck squash gets its name from its elongated, cylindrical shape with tapered necks. When harvested young, straightneck squash has tender edible skins and sweet, mild flesh. It can be enjoyed raw in salads, sautéed, baked, grilled or fried. With its mild flavor and soft texture when cooked, straightneck squash serves as a nutrient-rich substitute for starchy foods like pasta or rice.

But exactly how many calories are found in straightneck squash? And how do the calories in straightneck squash compare to other varieties of summer squash? Keep reading to learn more about the calorie and nutrient composition of straightneck squash.

Calories in Straightneck Squash

One cup of raw straightneck squash (about 116 grams) contains approximately: (1,2)

  • Calories: 18
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams

There are very minimal calories found in straightneck squash, with just 18 calories in 1 cup raw. The calorie count comes mostly from carbohydrates, with a small amount of protein and virtually no fat.

The calorie content changes slightly when straightneck squash is cooked:

  • 1 cup cooked straightneck squash (about 180 grams): 41 calories
  • 100 grams cooked straightneck squash: 23 calories

Cooking straightneck squash causes it to lose some water content, condensing the nutrients like carbohydrates into a smaller volume and increasing the calorie density slightly. However, cooked or raw, straightneck squash is very low in calories and can be enjoyed freely on a weight loss diet.

Calories in Other Types of Summer Squash

Straightneck squash is one of several common varieties of summer squash. How does its calorie content compare to other types of summer squash?

Here is the calorie count for 1 cup raw, sliced summer squash varieties (3):

Type of Squash Calories
Straightneck 18
Crookneck 19
Zucchini 18
Yellow squash 20
Pattypan 16

As you can see, the calorie content of popular summer squash varieties is very similar, ranging from 16-20 calories per cup raw.

This makes all types of summer squash an ideal low calorie addition to a healthy diet. Their mild flavor and versatility also makes them easy to incorporate into many dishes as a nutrition-packed ingredient.

Macronutrients in Straightneck Squash

In addition to being low in calories, straightneck squash provides a nutritious balance of macronutrients.

Here is the macronutrient breakdown for 1 cup of raw straightneck squash (116g) (1):

  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Sugars: 2.2 g
  • Fat: 0.1 g

Straightneck squash provides a small amount of filling fiber and digestible carbohydrates, mainly in the form of natural sugars like glucose and fructose. It’s also virtually fat-free.

The protein content is minimal at just over 1 gram per serving, but this can add up if enjoying larger portions.


The carbohydrate content in straightneck squash is very low, with just under 4 grams per cup raw. This comes mainly from natural sugars.

Once cooked, the carbohydrate content of 1 cup straightneck squash increases slightly to around 10 grams due to water loss (2).

Non-starchy vegetables like summer squash have a low glycemic impact, meaning they do not significantly spike blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of straightneck squash is estimated to be very low, around 15-20 (4).

This makes straightneck squash a great choice for low carb and diabetic diets. Its mild flavor can mimic starchy foods like pasta or rice, but with a fraction of the carbohydrates.


Straightneck squash contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.

A cup of raw straightneck squash provides 1.1 grams of fiber. This increases to 2-3 grams per cooked cup due to water loss during cooking (1, 2).

The fiber content helps slow digestion, promote fullness and regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber also supports digestive health and feeds the healthy gut microbiome.


With 1.2 grams of protein per raw cup, straightneck squash is not a significant source of this macronutrient (1).

However, the protein it does provide includes essential amino acids like lysine, tryptophan, and the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine (5).

When enjoyed frequently or in large portions, the small amounts of high quality protein in straightneck squash can help meet daily protein needs.


Straightneck squash gets less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving. It contains beneficial unsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, but in negligible amounts (5).

The virtual absence of fat makes straightneck squash ideal for low fat diets. It allows you to boost the nutrition of a meal without adding additional fat calories.

Vitamins and Minerals in Straightneck Squash

In addition to its macronutrient content, straightneck squash provides a variety of beneficial micronutrients:

Vitamins Amount (in 1 cup raw)
Vitamin C 12.4 mg (21% DV)
Vitamin A 765 IU (15% DV)
Thiamin 0.1 mg (7% DV)
Niacin 0.5 mg (3% DV)
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg (9% DV)
Folate 36.9 mcg (9% DV)
Pantothenic acid 0.3 mg (3% DV)
Minerals Amount (in 1 cup raw)
Manganese 0.2 mg (11% DV)
Copper 0.1 mg (6% DV)
Magnesium 16.9 mg (4% DV)
Phosphorus 38.2 mg (4% DV)
Potassium 261 mg (6% DV)
Calcium 16.3 mg (2% DV)
Iron 0.4 mg (2% DV)
Zinc 0.3 mg (2% DV)

Key nutrients provided by straightneck squash include:

Vitamin C

With over 20% DV in a single cup, straightneck squash is an excellent source of immune-supporting vitamin C. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant to reduce cellular damage from free radicals.

Vitamin A

The vitamin A in straightneck squash comes from carotenoids like beta carotene. Vitamin A supports eye health and immune function.

B Vitamins

Straightneck squash provides small amounts of B vitamins, including vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. These support energy metabolism, brain function and red blood cell production.


Straightneck squash is a good source of manganese, which acts as a cofactor for enzymes needed for nutrient metabolism, bone health and wound healing.

Magnesium and Potassium

These minerals support nerve signaling, muscle contraction, heart health and fluid balance.

Overall, the vitamin and mineral content of straightneck squash makes it a nutritious addition to the diet, providing key micronutrients to support health.

Potential Health Benefits of Straightneck Squash

With its stellar nutrient profile, enjoying straightneck squash regularly may promote better health in the following ways:

Supports Heart Health

The combination of nutrients in straightneck squash like potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and dietary fiber promote a healthy heart. Potassium helps control blood pressure. Vitamin C protects against cellular damage and oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels. Fiber helps remove LDL cholesterol from the body (6, 7, 8).

Bolsters Immunity

The vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins and manganese in straightneck squash support proper immune system function to help fight off pathogens and prevent infections (9).

Supports Bone Health

The vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese in straightneck squash helps strengthen bones and prevent bone loss. Vitamin K is especially important for bone metabolism (10).

May Have Anti-Cancer Effects

Carotenoids like beta carotene in straightneck squash have been linked to reduced risk of certain cancers. Other antioxidant compounds may limit cancer cell growth and tumor progression (11, 12).

Supports Eye Health

Lutein and zeaxanthin found in yellow straightneck squash promotes eye health and may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts (13).

Benefits Blood Sugar Control

The low glycemic impact, fiber and antioxidants in straightneck squash helps regulate blood sugar levels. This makes it beneficial for diabetes management (14).

Aids Digestion

The combination of soluble and insoluble fiber in straightneck squash promotes regularity, healthy digestion and an optimally functioning gut.

How To Add More Straightneck Squash To Your Diet

Here are some simple ways to enjoy more straightneck squash and reap its nutritional benefits:

– Dice raw straightneck squash into salads for added crunch.

– Saute cubed straightneck squash in olive oil with garlic and herbs for a quick side dish.

– Roast straightneck squash wedges tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.

– Grill straightneck squash slices or skewers for a tasty barbecue option.

– puree cooked straightneck squash with seasonings to make a creamy soup.

– Make zucchini noodles with a spiralizer for healthy pasta alternative.

– Stir diced cooked straightneck squash into casseroles, omelets, frittatas and pasta dishes.

– Make baked squash fries by cutting into wedges, tossing in oil and baking until crispy.

– Stuff halved straightneck squash boats with meat, vegetables, beans or grains.

– Substitute straightneck squash ribbons for pasta in lasagna recipes.

– Bake seasoned, mashed straightneck squash into fritters or latkes.

With its mild flavor and versatility, enjoying more straightneck squash is an effortless way to boost your nutrition.

Nutrition Summary

Straightneck squash is an ideal food to add to your diet for better health:

  • Low in calories – just 18 calories in 1 cup raw
  • Provides filling fiber to support digestion
  • Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins and manganese
  • Excellent source of bone-building vitamin K
  • Loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, beta carotene and lutein
  • Contains beneficial minerals like potassium, magnesium and phosphorus
  • Has a mild flavor that takes on the flavors of sauces and seasonings
  • Very versatile to use raw, roasted, grilled, sautéed or pureed

Straightneck squash offers an abundance of nutrition for minimal calories, making it easy to reap its many health benefits. Adding more of this summer squash variety to your diet can enhance your intake of antioxidants, key vitamins and minerals, fiber, and more.


Straightneck squash offers an impressive amount of nutrition for very few calories. Just one cup of raw straightneck squash contains only about 18 calories, along with 1 gram of protein, 4 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber and is virtually fat-free.

When cooked, the calorie content increases slightly to about 41 calories per cup, but remains very low. The calorie content of other summer squash varieties like zucchini, crookneck and pattypan is comparable at around 16-20 calories per raw cup.

In addition to being low-calorie, straightneck squash provides beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins, manganese, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus to support health. Its mild flavor and versatility makes it simple to add more straightneck squash into your diet by roasting, sautéing, grilling or blending into recipes.

Enjoying more low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods like straightneck squash can help with weight management while providing a health boost at the same time.

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