How many net carbs are in 10 asparagus spears?

Quick Answer

There are approximately 5-8 grams of net carbs in 10 medium-sized asparagus spears. Asparagus is a low carb vegetable, with 4-5 grams of total carbs and 2-3 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounce serving. For 10 medium 6-8 inch spears, the total carbs would be around 10-15 grams and the fiber 3-5 grams, making the net carb count roughly 5-8 grams. The exact amount can vary based on the size of the spears and how they are prepared. Grilling or roasting asparagus causes some carb loss vs steaming or boiling.

Asparagus Nutrition Facts

Asparagus is one of the lowest carb vegetables, but it does contain some carbohydrates. Here are the nutrition facts for a 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving of raw asparagus spears:

Calories 20
Total Fat 0 g
Sodium 2 mg
Potassium 202 mg
Total Carbs 4 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugar 2 g
Protein 2 g

As you can see, a 3.5 ounce serving of raw asparagus contains only 4 grams of total carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. This makes the net carbs just 2 grams per serving.

Net Carbs in Asparagus Explained

Net carbs refer to the number of digestible carbohydrates that impact blood sugar levels. They are calculated by subtracting fiber from the total carbs.

Fiber is indigestible for humans, so it does not raise blood sugar. Subtracting the fiber from the total carbs gives you the net carbs – which is the number of carbs that actually get absorbed and impact blood sugar levels.

For asparagus, with 4 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of fiber per serving, the net carb count comes out to 2 grams.

Calculating Net Carbs for 10 Asparagus Spears

When determining the net carbs for 10 asparagus spears, the portion size matters. Larger, thicker spears will have more carbs than thin, pencil-sized spears.

Here is how to estimate the net carbs for 10 spears based on spear thickness:

Thin Asparagus Spears

For thin, pencil-sized spears that are 4-5 inches long, each spear is roughly 1/2 ounce.

10 spears at 1/2 ounce each is 5 ounces total.

At 4 grams of total carbs per 3.5 ounces, 5 ounces would have about 6 grams of total carbs.

With 2 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces, 5 ounces would have around 3 grams of fiber.

Therefore, for thin asparagus spears:

  • Total carbs: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Net carbs: 3 grams

Medium Asparagus Spears

For medium spears that are 6-8 inches long and 1/2 inch thick, each spear is roughly 3/4 ounce.

10 spears at 3/4 ounce each is 7.5 ounces total.

At 4 grams of total carbs per 3.5 ounces, 7.5 ounces would have about 11 grams of total carbs.

With 2 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces, 7.5 ounces would have around 4 grams of fiber.

Therefore, for medium asparagus spears:

  • Total carbs: 11 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 7 grams

Large, Thick Asparagus Spears

For very large, thick spears that are 8-10 inches long and 3/4 – 1 inch thick, each spear can be 1 ounce or more.

10 spears at 1 ounce each is 10 ounces total.

At 4 grams of total carbs per 3.5 ounces, 10 ounces would have about 15 grams of total carbs.

With 2 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces, 10 ounces would have around 5 grams of fiber.

Therefore, for large asparagus spears:

  • Total carbs: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Net carbs: 10 grams

As you can see, the net carbs can range quite a bit based on the size and thickness of the asparagus spears. Anywhere from 3 to 10 grams of net carbs would be reasonable for 10 spears.

Comparing Raw vs Cooked Asparagus Carbs

Cooking asparagus can alter the carb and fiber content slightly. Here is a comparison of raw vs cooked:

State Total Carbs Fiber Net Carbs
Raw 4 grams 2 grams 2 grams
Boiled/Steamed 4 grams 2 grams 2 grams
Roasted 3 grams 2 grams 1 gram
Grilled 2 grams 1 gram 1 gram

As you can see, roasting or grilling asparagus causes more moisture loss, so it reduces the total carbs and fiber slightly compared to raw or boiled. However, the differences are minor.

No matter how the asparagus is prepared, you can expect around 1-2 grams of net carbs per 3.5 ounce serving.

So for 10 spears of grilled or roasted asparagus, the net carbs would likely be in the range of 3-5 grams.

Tips to Reduce Asparagus Carbs Further

Here are some tips to reduce the carbs in asparagus even more:

  • Choose young, thin asparagus spears which are lower carb than thick spears.
  • Trim the bottoms of the spears to remove the fibrous lower part.
  • Grill or roast instead of boiling or steaming.
  • Don’t coat in batter or breadcrumbs.
  • Avoid topping with high carb sauces or dressings.
  • Use healthy fats like olive oil or avocado oil for roasting.

Following these guidelines can help keep your side of asparagus as low carb as possible.

Health Benefits of Asparagus

Although not carb-free, asparagus is packed with nutrients and health benefits that make it worthwhile in a low carb diet:

  • Fiber – Asparagus contains insoluble fiber which promotes digestion and gut health.
  • Antioxidants – It contains flavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Folate – It is high in folate, an important B vitamin for cell function and tissue growth.
  • Vitamin K – Needed for proper blood clotting and bone building.
  • Vitamin C – Boosts the immune system and aids collagen formation.
  • Vitamin E – A powerful antioxidant that can protect cells from damage.
  • Potassium – Important for blood pressure, fluid balance and nerve transmission.

The beneficial nutrients in asparagus can help fight disease, support detoxification, and reduce aging and inflammation when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet. The low net carbs make it easy to add to a keto or low carb eating plan.

Ways to Enjoy Low Carb Asparagus

Here are some delicious ways to prepare asparagus that keep it low in net carbs:

  • Roasted – Toss spears with olive oil, salt, pepper and roast at 400°F until crispy.
  • Sauteed – Cook quickly over medium-high heat in olive oil or butter.
  • Grilled – Toss spears in olive oil and grill 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Steamed – Place spears in steamer basket and steam 3-5 minutes.
  • With eggs – Add raw or roasted spears to frittata, omelette or scrambled eggs.
  • In soup – Thinly slice and add to chicken or vegetable soup.
  • With fish – Sautee or roast spears to serve alongside salmon, tuna or other fish.
  • In salad – Thinly slice and add raw to salads for crunch.

Enjoy asparagus as a side to meat, fish and poultry, or incorporate into low carb main dishes for a flavor and nutrition boost. Monitoring your portions will help keep net carbs low.

The Bottom Line

10 medium asparagus spears will provide around 5-8 grams of net carbs. This makes it easy to incorporate into a keto, paleo, or other low carb diet. Prioritize young, thin spears, avoid high carb sauces, and use cooking methods like grilling and roasting to reduce carbs further. Enjoy asparagus for its many nutritional benefits and versatility as a low carb vegetable.

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