Spaghetti Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Spaghetti

Spaghetti annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Spaghetti is one of the most popular forms of pasta, and it's used in dishes all around the world. Most spaghetti is made from durum wheat, so it's high in complex carbohydrates and includes all the nutrients found in refined white flour.

Regular spaghetti is fairly neutral, diet-wise, but whole-wheat spaghetti can be a good source of fiber. The amount of spaghetti and whatever you put on top of your pasta is probably is what makes for a healthy meal or not.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (140 grams) of cooked spaghetti with no added salt, fat, or toppings.

Spaghetti Nutrition Facts
Nutrient Amount per serving
Calories  221
Fat  1.3g 
Sodium  1mg 
Carbohydrates   43.2g
Fiber   2.5g
Sugars  0.8g
Protein   8.1g
Iron   1.01mg
Folate   115mcg
Thiamin   0.42mcg

One serving is equal to one cup of cooked spaghetti or 2 ounces of dry spaghetti, which is about the amount of dry pasta that would fit through a soda bottle opening. 


Made from grain, spaghetti is energy-dense, with more than 200 calories per cup. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates, with more than 40 grams of carbs in one serving. It's not well suited to low-carbohydrate diets, but it is a low-fat food on its own and encouraged as part of a heart-healthy diet. 

One serving of spaghetti has 2.5 grams of fiber. Its glycemic index is 45 and its glycemic load is 22, which makes it a low glycemic food, which should have little impact on blood sugar. However, many people with diabetes or blood sugar problems find all types of pasta can have a large impact on blood sugar.

If you are watching your blood sugar or counting carbs or calories, It's important to watch your portion sizes with spaghetti.


On its own, spaghetti is a low-fat food. A typical 1 cup serving contains less than 2 grams of fat, with just a trace of saturated fat. However, typical pasta sauces and toppings like cheese can quickly add fat to your plate.


Spaghetti has 8 grams of protein in a 1 cup serving, which is 16% of the recommended daily protein intake for adults. Some brands make a noodle that is slightly higher in protein, with 10 grams of protein in a 2 ounce serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

A typical 1 cup serving of spaghetti contains about 10% of your daily iron needs, as well as 5% of your daily dose of vitamin B-6 and 6% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.

Spaghetti Calories

Spaghetti has 221 calories for 1 cup (140 grams) of cooked spaghetti with no added salt, fat, or toppings. The calories are 80% carbs, 15% protein, and 5% fat.

Health Benefits

Spaghetti, especially whole grain varieties, is a source of energy, fiber, and nutrients. While there are not many studies specifically on spaghetti specifically, there are several known benefits of consuming grains.

Provides Source of Carbohydrates

Most people, especially active individuals, should include carbohydrates in a balanced diet. In fact, about half of your daily grains should be whole grains. That said, you may want to choose spaghetti made with whole wheat flour to ensure you are getting a wider variety of nutrients.

Source of Dietary Fiber

Whole wheat spaghetti tends to be a good choice because it has more fiber than regular pasta. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system, and most Americans don't get the daily recommended amount. If you follow a gluten-free diet, consider chickpea pasta or pasta made from brown rice for a fiber benefit.

We've tried, tested, and reviewed the best gluten-free pastas. If you're in the market for a gluten-free pasta, explore which option may be best for you.

Fortified with Essential Nutrients

The dry pasta you find on shelves in the United States is typically enriched with iron, riboflavin, thiamine, and folic acid. You'll get 185mcg of folic acid, which is 46% of the Daily Value in a 140g serving of spaghetti. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps prevents congenital birth abnormalities (neural tube defect).

Spaghetti is also a good source of iron, providing about 20% of the Daily Value in the same 140g serving. Pasta is an affordable, convenient, versatile, and nutritious food that is shelf-stable and lasts a long time in your pantry. This makes it an important and accessible source of vitamins and minerals.

Whole Grain Spaghetti May Improve Heart Health

Whole grain spaghetti is an excellent food for improving heart health since it provides plenty of fiber, and getting in enough fiber helps maintain a balanced weight and control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. All of these factors improve heart health and reduce the risks of heart disease. People who consume more whole grains have less risk of cardiovascular disease.

May Reduce Risks of Some Cancers

People who eat more whole grains than others have less risk of developing colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and gastric cancer. Two meta-analyses found that those who consume a greater amount of whole grains have fewer overall deaths from any cancer. Whole-grain spaghetti will help you consume more of this health-promoting group of foods.


Spaghetti is made from wheat, which contains the protein gluten. Gluten is one of the top food allergens for both adults and children. While some people may have a gluten sensitivity and should limit gluten intake, other people have a condition called celiac disease and need to avoid gluten entirely. 

Symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. Some people with celiac disease also get rashes or headaches from eating wheat. 


Spaghetti is one form of pasta. Other pasta nutrition facts per gram of pasta will be the same, so long as the pastas are made from the same ingredients. For instance, whole wheat spaghetti and whole wheat penne will have the same nutrition facts gram for gram. The same is true for white spaghetti and white penne.

A 140g serving of whole-grain cooked spaghetti has 207 calories, 2.4g of fat, 42g of carbs, 6g of fiber, and 8g of protein.

Storage and Food Safety

Dry pasta is shelf-stable and can be stored a long time in an airtight container. Cooked spaghetti should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and consumed within two to three days.

How to Prepare

Top your spaghetti noodles with a tomato sauce such as marinara, Fra Diavolo, or regular spaghetti sauce. Make your own, or look for brands that are a little lower in sodium, especially if you are on a sodium-restricted diet. Add extra veggies and mushrooms to add flavor and bulk to your meal without many extra calories. Serve your spaghetti with a green salad on the side for even better nutrition.

If you haven't tried whole wheat pasta yet, keep in mind it has a stronger flavor and different texture than regular spaghetti. Some people like it right away while others need to eat whole-grain spaghetti a few times before acquiring a taste.

8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Dietary reference intakes (DRIs): Recommended dietary allowances and adequate intakes, Total water and macronutrients.

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Additional Reading

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.