Strawberries are a popular and nutritious fruit that are low in carbohydrates. For those watching their carb intake, knowing the number of carbs in a typical serving of strawberries can help with meal planning and staying within daily carbohydrate goals.
The Short Answer
A 1/2 cup serving of whole strawberries contains about 5.5 grams of carbohydrates.
Carb Counts in Different Types of Strawberries
The carbohydrate content can vary slightly depending on the type and size of strawberry:
- Whole fresh strawberries: 5.5 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup
- Sliced fresh strawberries: 6 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup
- Frozen strawberries: 6 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup
- Canned strawberries: 7 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup
As you can see, fresh whole strawberries tend to have slightly fewer carbs than pre-sliced, frozen, or canned strawberries. But the differences are small. All types of strawberries are relatively low-carb.
Nutrition Facts for 1/2 Cup of Whole Strawberries
Here are the full nutrition facts for 1/2 cup (about 4 large) whole, fresh strawberries:
As you can see, one serving of strawberries is low in calories, fat, and carbs compared to many other fruits. The 5.5 grams of carbs consists of 2 grams of fiber and 3.3 grams of natural sugar.
The Fiber Lowers the Net Carbs
The total carb count only tells part of the story. A portion of the carbs in strawberries comes from fiber, which has minimal effects on blood sugar.
Net carbs refer to the number of digestible or absorbable carbs, excluding fiber. To calculate net carbs, you subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbs.
For strawberries, with 5.5 g total carbs and 2 g fiber, the net carb count comes out to 3.5 g for 1/2 cup of whole strawberries.
How Strawberries Compare to Other Fruits
Here’s how the carb and calorie count for strawberries compares to a few other common fruits:
|Fruit||Serving Size||Total Carbs||Net Carbs||Calories|
|Strawberries||1/2 cup||5.5 g||3.5 g||23|
|Apple||1 small||21 g||17 g||95|
|Banana||1 medium||27 g||23 g||105|
|Blueberries||1/2 cup||11 g||7.5 g||42|
|Grapes||1/2 cup||14 g||12 g||52|
As the table illustrates, strawberries contain fewer digestible carbs and calories than most other common fruits. Bananas, apples, grapes, and even blueberries have more net carbs per typical serving than strawberries.
Tips to Reduce Carbs in Strawberries
While strawberries are already low-carb, there are some ways you can reduce the carbs even further if needed:
- Leave them whole: Slicing strawberries appears to increase their carb count slightly. Leaving them whole keeps it a bit lower.
- Remove excess juice: Letting sliced strawberries sit in a colander for 5-10 minutes allows some of the free sugars in their juice to drain off.
- Combine with lower-carb options: Mix strawberries into a salad with spinach rather than eating a big bowl of just strawberries.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries are considered one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. Here are some of their top health benefits:
- High in antioxidants: Strawberries contain polyphenols and flavonoids that can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
- May improve heart health: Studies show strawberries may reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and decrease risk of heart attacks.
- Can help control blood sugar: Despite their sweet taste, strawberries have a low glycemic index and may help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Provides vitamin C: One serving of strawberries contains about 85% of the RDI for vitamin C, an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties.
- Boosts immunity: The vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in strawberries can help strengthen your immune defenses.
Most of these benefits are attributed to the unique combination of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and bioactive compounds found in strawberries.
Potential Downsides of Strawberries
Strawberries are safe for most people, but there are some things to be aware of:
- Allergies: Strawberries are among the more common food allergens, especially in children. Allergic reactions can include hives, itching, trouble breathing, and anaphylaxis.
- Pesticide residues: Strawberries tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides. Buying organic helps reduce exposure.
- Higher fructose: Strawberries contain slightly more fructose than glucose. People with fructose malabsorption may experience bloating/gas.
- Serving size: While healthy, strawberries are still relatively high sugar and carbs compared to low-carb veggies. Portion size matters.
Uses for Strawberries
Here are some delicious ways you can enjoy strawberries while keeping carbs in check:
- Top yogurt, oatmeal, or chia pudding
- Blend into smoothies
- Mix into a salad with spinach, walnuts, and balsamic dressing
- Layer with cream for a keto-friendly dessert
- Make into a chia jam
- Infuse in water for a refreshing beverage
- Freeze and eat as a sweet snack
The Bottom Line
A 1/2 cup serving of whole strawberries contains about 5.5 grams of total carbs and 3.5 grams of net carbs. This makes them one of the lowest-carb fruits you can eat while providing an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit your health.
Moderating your portion sizes and combining strawberries with low-carb foods can help keep daily carbs in check. While small amounts are great for most diets, someone following a very strict low-carb or keto diet may want to limit intake to about 1/4-1/2 cup per day.
Overall, strawberries are a nutritious and versatile fruit that can be included in moderation on low-carb and carb-conscious diets.