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July 27, 2023
April 23, 2024
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Strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) are a bright, juicy red fruit originating in Europe in the 18th century. A favorite summer fruit, these berries appear in jams, jellies, and desserts. Strawberries are the sixth most popular fruit in the United States with the average American consuming a little over five pounds of this red berry yearly.¹

This article will explore how strawberries may impact blood sugar levels and the health benefits of including this fruit in your diet. 

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Glycemic Index Table

Strawberries are considered a low glycemic index fruit, with a score of 40.²  This glycemic index rating means that consuming strawberries should not cause dramatic rises or spikes in blood sugar levels.

While fresh fruit is always the best option, many people consume strawberries in jams and jellies, which can contain added sugars. These add-ins can dramatically increase the glycemic index of the product, and people living with chronic conditions like diabetes should be mindful of consumption. When selecting a product that may include this delicious berry, review the nutrition label to determine if other ingredients have been added.

The below glycemic index and glycemic load data is for 100g (approximately 3.5 ounces) of raw strawberries:² ³

Glycemic Index

40

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

7.96 g

GL per Serving

6.00

Nutritional Facts

Strawberries are made up of 91% water and 7.7% carbohydrates. They also contain small amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%). Strawberries provide vitamins, fiber, and high levels of antioxidants without containing significant amounts of sodium, fat, or cholesterol. One serving (eight strawberries) provides more vitamin C than an orange.

The nutritional information below is for 100g of raw strawberries.³

Calories

36 kcal

Carbs

7.96 g

Protein

0.64 g

Fiber

2 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

A (1 µg), B6 (0.05 mg), C (59.6 mg).

Sodium

1 mg

Total Fat

0.22 g

Are Strawberries Good for Weight Loss?

If you want to lose weight as a health goal, you must eat in a caloric deficit, which means burning more calories than consumed throughout the day. Strawberries are low in calories but high in volume, allowing you to feel fuller without consuming more calories. 

Strawberries are also lower in sugar than other fruit options, which allows them to fit into almost every eating style, including keto and low-carb diets. 

Strawberries contain almost 3 grams of fiber per 100 grams. Research has found that increasing fiber intake can reduce body weight without making other changes in your food choices.²⁶ Fiber also serves as a food source for healthy gut bacteria. Possessing a thriving number of these healthy bacteria is linked to better blood sugar control, appetite suppression, and a healthier metabolism.²⁷

One way to support your weight loss goals with the consumption of strawberries is to replace higher-calorie foods with these berries. Ways to do this include:

  • Creating a strawberry protein shake with unsweetened nut milk
  • Enjoy whole strawberries
  • Slice strawberries on top of plain Greek yogurt

Are Strawberries Safe for People Living with Diabetes?

Strawberries are a safe choice for people living with diabetes due to their low glycemic index and low glycemic load ratings. 

A 2020 review suggests that strawberries could improve glycemic profiles since they have a low glycemic index and contain fiber.24 Strawberries also contain magnesium, which a 2022 study found may help increase insulin sensitivity in those living with type 2 diabetes.25

When choosing products that contain strawberries, be mindful of added sugars. Many processed foods, such as jams or syrups, can have added sugars and not contain actual strawberries. If possible, aim for fresh or frozen strawberries without added sugars.

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Allergies

Strawberry allergies are fairly common, especially in young children. This is normally attributed to strawberries containing a protein that causes allergy symptoms in individuals sensitive to birch pollen or apples (also known as a pollen-food allergy).²¹ ²² ²³

Symptoms of a strawberry allergy include itchiness of the mouth, lips, or throat, swelling, and redness. In severe cases, allergic reactions can cause hives, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis. Please consult a healthcare professional if you suspect an allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance to strawberries.

Outside of an allergic reaction, strawberries contain goitrogens that could cause health complications in people with thyroid problems.

If you are concerned about consuming strawberries, please consult your healthcare provider.

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FAQs

What is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.

Does Strawberry Spike Insulin?

No, strawberries do not typically cause a significant spike in insulin levels. They have a low glycemic index and are considered a low-carbohydrate fruit. Additionally, strawberries contain dietary fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. However, individual responses may vary, and it's important to consider portion control and overall dietary context when managing blood sugar levels.

Is Strawberry Low Glycemic?

Yes, strawberries have a low glycemic index, which means they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Strawberry?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat strawberries as they are low in glycemic index and high in fiber and antioxidants. However, they should consume them in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice.

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References

  1. Apples and oranges are the top U.S. fruit choices. (2023, May 5). https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/chart-gallery/gallery/chart-detail/?chartId=58322
  2. University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI Newshttps://glycemicindex.com/
  3. USDA FoodData Central. (2019, Dec 16). Food Details - Strawberries, raw. Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2346409/nutrients 
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About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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