How many carbs is 1/2 cup blueberries?

Quick Answer

Blueberries are a nutritious fruit that are low in calories but contain natural sugar. A 1/2 cup serving of fresh blueberries contains approximately 11.5 grams of carbohydrates. Of those carbohydrates, 9-10 grams typically come from natural sugars. This means that a 1/2 cup of blueberries contains about 2 grams of fiber and less than 1 gram of starch or other complex carbohydrates. So in summary, a 1/2 cup serving of fresh blueberries contains about 11.5 total carbs, with 9-10 grams coming from natural sugars.

Detailed Answer

Blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense fruits around. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. They are relatively low in calories and carbs compared to other fruits. Here is a detailed look at the carb content of 1/2 cup of blueberries:

Total Carbohydrates

A 1/2 cup serving of raw blueberries contains about 11.5 grams of total carbohydrates. This is considered a low-carb fruit option. Other fruits like bananas, grapes, and apples contain 15-30 grams of carbs per serving.

The total carb count comes from a combination of natural sugars, fiber, and a small amount of starch.

Natural Sugars

The majority of the carbohydrates in blueberries come from natural sugars. Raw blueberries contain around 9-10 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup serving. The natural sugars include glucose, fructose, and sucrose. These sugars account for the sweet flavor of blueberries.

Even though blueberries are relatively high in sugar compared to vegetables, the sugar is from natural fruit sources. The sugar in whole blueberries is packaged with beneficial antioxidants, fiber, and water.


There are approximately 2 grams of fiber in a 1/2 cup serving of blueberries. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies cannot digest. It passes through the digestive system intact.

Fiber is important for digestive health. It promotes fullness and healthy bowel movements. It also helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome.

The skin and seeds of blueberries contain the majority of the fiber. Make sure to eat your blueberries whole instead of juicing them to get the full fiber benefits.

Starch and Other Carbs

The remaining 1-2 grams of carbohydrates in blueberries may come from starch or other complex carbs. However, blueberries contain minimal amounts of starch compared to foods like potatoes, grains, and legumes.

Some studies show blueberries contain small amounts of pectin. Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that may contribute to the total carbohydrate content.

Overall, the amount of starch and other complex carbs is very low compared to the sugars and fiber.

Nutrition Facts for 1/2 Cup of Blueberries

Here are the full nutrition facts for 1/2 cup of raw blueberries according to the USDA:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 42
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 11 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 9 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Protein 1 g

As you can see, a 1/2 cup of raw blueberries is low in calories, fat, and sodium. The 11 grams of total carbohydrates is on the lower end for fruits. These nutrition facts illustrate why blueberries are a great choice as part of a balanced, low-carb diet.

Net Carbs in Blueberries

To calculate net carbs, you subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbs. Therefore:

Total carbs in 1/2 cup blueberries – Fiber in 1/2 cup blueberries = Net carbs

11 g – 2 g = 9 g net carbs

This net carb method is sometimes used for low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet. By accounting for fiber, it gives a more accurate view of the carbs that will directly impact blood sugar levels.

The relatively low net carb count makes blueberries a good keto-friendly fruit option. But you still need to watch your portions and fit them into your daily carb limit.

Comparing Blueberries to Other Fruits

Here is how the carbohydrate content of blueberries compares to other popular fruits per 1/2 cup serving:

Fruit Total Carbs Net Carbs
Blueberries 11g 9g
Raspberries 8g 5g
Blackberries 9g 5g
Strawberries 11g 5g
Cantaloupe 12g 10g
Honeydew 16g 11g
Watermelon 11g 6g
Grapes 15g 12g
Banana 27g 22g
Mango 17g 12g
Apple 15g 12g

This comparison shows that berries like blueberries and raspberries tend to be lower in carbs than other fruits. Bananas, mangos, and apples contain significantly more carbs per serving.

Among the berries, blueberries are a bit higher in carbs than blackberries and raspberries due to their natural sugar content. But they are still one of the lowest-carb fruits.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Here is some more good news about blueberries – they are loaded with antioxidants and compounds that reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is at the root of many modern diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries may help lower inflammation and reduce disease risk.

Specific antioxidants found in blueberries:

  • Anthocyanins – Give blueberries their blue-purple pigment. Linked to lower risk of heart disease.
  • Pterostilbene – A powerful polyphenol antioxidant with anti-cancer effects.
  • Resveratrol – Also found in red wine. May protect against dementia and diabetes.
  • Vitamin C – Boosts immune function and acts as an antioxidant. One cup of blueberries provides 24% of the RDI for vitamin C.

In addition to antioxidants, blueberries are high in fiber and low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. All of these factors contribute to their anti-inflammatory properties.

While blueberries won’t cure chronic inflammation on their own, they are an excellent food to incorporate into an overall anti-inflammatory diet.

Tips for Enjoying Blueberries on a Low-Carb Diet

Here are some tips for fitting blueberries into a low-carb meal plan:

  • Use them as a topping for full-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Mix them into a keto smoothie along with cocoa powder, avocado, and almond milk.
  • Include a 1/2 cup serving in a salad topped with nuts and feta cheese.
  • Blend them in homemade mayonnaise or aioli.
  • Stir them into chia seed pudding made with coconut milk.
  • Fold them into whipped cream with lemon zest and use as a topping for low-carb desserts.
  • Sprinkle them over oatmeal or cold cereals like All-Bran Buds.

The fiber and nutrients in blueberries can help keep you feeling full. They add sweetness with minimal impact to your overall carb intake.

Track your portions and daily net carbs to maintain ketosis. But there is room for nutrient-packed choices like fresh blueberries in moderation on keto.

Should You Buy Fresh or Frozen Blueberries?

Both fresh and frozen blueberries are healthy options. Here is a comparison:

Fresh Blueberries

  • Higher antioxidant content – levels drop after harvest
  • Softer texture and bursting flavor
  • Shorter shelf life – only about 1 week
  • Higher price when not in season
  • Can be difficult to find year-round in some regions

Frozen Blueberries

  • Flash frozen at peak ripeness to lock in nutrients
  • Longer shelf life – keeps most nutrients for about 1 year
  • Lower antimicrobial risk than fresh
  • Cheaper and easier to find year-round
  • Works well for smoothies, baking, oatmeal
  • Less tender skin and texture

In summary, fresh is best in the short term for maximum nutrition and flavor. But frozen has a longer shelf life and offers convenience.

For the best of both worlds, buy fresh blueberries when possible and freeze any extras yourself at home.

Blueberry Allergy Information

Allergies to blueberries are rare but can occur. People who are allergic to birch pollen may also react to blueberries.

Symptoms of a blueberry allergy may include:

  • Itching or swelling of the mouth, tongue, lips, and throat
  • Hives, itchy rash, or skin redness
  • Digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • Runny nose, sneezing, and coughing
  • Breathing difficulties

In severe cases, a blueberry allergy can cause anaphylaxis. This is a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

People with an allergy should avoid all forms of blueberries including raw, cooked, frozen, dried, and juice. Talk to your doctor about allergy testing if you experience symptoms.

Many other fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries can typically be eaten safely by those with a blueberry allergy. But it’s best to get tested to identify all possible food allergens.

Blueberry Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) measures how much specific foods impact blood sugar levels.

Low GI foods cause a gradual rise in blood sugar. High GI foods lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

Blueberries have a low glycemic index of 53 (anything under 55 is low). The natural sugars in blueberries are absorbed more slowly than refined carbohydrates.

This is good news for people with diabetes or prediabetes. Blueberries are less likely to lead to blood sugar crashes and energy dips compared to high GI foods.

However, portion control is still important for managing glycemic response. While low in the GI, excessive blueberry intake could result in blood sugar spikes.

Blueberries for Diabetes and Weight Loss Diets

Here’s a summary of why blueberries are a smart choice for diets focused on blood sugar control, diabetes, or weight loss:

  • Low glycemic index won’t drastically spike blood sugar
  • High in fiber to promote satiety and healthy digestion
  • Provide antioxidants that may increase insulin sensitivity
  • Nutrients and fiber aid weight loss when calories are controlled
  • Can satisfy a sweet tooth in moderation on low sugar diets
  • Low calorie density allows larger portions for fewer calories

As with any fruit, it’s important to be mindful of portions. But blueberries can be incorporated into a balanced eating plan geared toward diabetes or weight management.

Healthiest Ways to Eat Blueberries

There are endless healthy and delicious ways to enjoy blueberries, including:

  • Eat them raw by the handful for a snack or tossed into a salad
  • Blend them into a smoothie bowl with Greek yogurt and chia seeds
  • Make homemade blueberry sauce and use it to top fish, poultry, oatmeal, or pancakes
  • Mix blueberries into whole grain muffin, pancake, or waffle batter
  • Simmer them into an antioxidant-rich fruit compote
  • Puree fresh or frozen blueberries into a fruit sorbet
  • Fold them into kefir or full-fat Greek yogurt for a quick parfait

For maximum nutrition, enjoy blueberries raw or lightly cooked. Avoid adding unnecessary sugars like syrup. Pair them with foods containing protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Potential Health Risks of Eating Too Many

Blueberries are packed with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. However, there are some potential downsides to excessive intake:

  • May contribute to weight gain if eating large portions that exceed daily calorie needs.
  • Large amounts could impact blood sugar control for people with diabetes or prediabetes.
  • Possible digestive issues in sensitive individuals, especially when consumed raw in large quantities.
  • Phytochemicals may interact with certain medications like blood thinners. Speak with your doctor about possible interactions.
  • Allergies are rare but possible.

As with most good things, moderation is key. About 1/2 cup per day, or 1 cup at most, is recommended for healthy adults. Monitor your portions and response to determine your optimal intake.


In summary, a 1/2 cup serving of fresh blueberries contains around 11.5 grams of total carbohydrates. Approximately 9-10 grams come from natural sugars like glucose and fructose. The rest comes from 2 grams of fiber and a small amount of starch.

Blueberries are lower in carbs than many fruits. Their nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber make them a diabetes and weight loss-friendly choice. Just be mindful of portion sizes and daily carb totals.

Aim for 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries per day. They add nutrition, flavor, and texture to meals and snacks without spiking your blood sugar when eaten in moderation.

Leave a Comment