Frozen strawberries are high in nutrition and low in carbs.
Whether you're tossing them into a smoothie, mixing them into a yogurt parfait or munching on them for a refreshing snack on a hot summer day, frozen strawberries are a great option if you can't find the fresh fruits. Strawberries are packed with phytonutrients and vitamin C, making them a nutritious snack that protects the heart and strengthens the immune system. If you're counting carbs, frozen strawberries are a smart choice.
Strawberries: The Basics
Since all fruits contain natural sugars, they all contain at least a small amount of carbohydrates. But compared to other fruits, strawberries boast one of the smallest carb counts. In fact, diabetes health company dLife names them as one of the вЂњlowest carb fruits.вЂќ One medium-sized strawberry has less than 1 gram of carbs, while one whole cup of the frozen fruit has approximately 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, according to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory.
While strawberries are relatively innocent in the carb department, keep a close eye on the added sweeteners. Some manufacturers add sugar to fruit before the freezing process. According to вЂњRedbookвЂќ magazine, frozen fruits are occasionally harvested when they're still immature. Sugar is then added to give them a more appealing taste. But along with the sweeter flavor, the sugar also delivers a hefty amount of calories and carbohydrates. In fact, the Nutrient Data Laboratory estimates that 1 cup of frozen sweetened strawberries packs a whopping 53 grams of carbohydrates.
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories come from carbohydrates. One gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. So if your daily calorie intake is 1,500 calories, approximately 675 to 975 calories should come from carbs; this equates to roughly 168 to 244 grams per day.
Why It Matters
Although carbohydrates often receive a bad reputation, they are vital for healthy body functioning. The Harvard School of Public Health explains that carbohydrates provide the body with the energy it needs for organ function, cellular processes and physical activity. But eating too many carbs can be dangerous. If you eat more carbohydrates than your body needs, they'll be stored in fat tissue for later use. If this overconsumption habit continues, your body might eventually become resistant to insulin, the hormone responsible for pushing sugar into your cells for energy. Untreated insulin resistance can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.