Spaghetti Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Spaghetti

spaghetti nutrition facts and health benefits
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

Spaghetti Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup, cooked (140 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 221 
Calories from Fat 12 
Total Fat 1.3g2%
Saturated Fat 0.2g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 61.6mg2%
Carbohydrates 43.2g14%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugars 0.8g 
Protein 8.1g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% · Iron 10%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

 

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

Carbs in Spaghetti

Made from grain, spaghetti is energy-dense, with more than 200 calories. 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 type diets, however 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.

Fats in 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.

Protein in Spaghetti

Spaghetti has 8 grams of protein in a 1 cup serving, which is 16 percent 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.

Micronutrients in Spaghetti

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

Health Benefits

Spaghetti isn't bad for you because you do need carbohydrates in a balanced diet, but most people get more refined grains than they need, so you're better off with spaghetti made with whole wheat flour. In fact, about half of your daily grains should be whole grains.

The reason whole wheat spaghetti is better for you is that 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, so eating more whole wheat pasta is a great idea.

Common Questions

Is Pasta Bad for Your Health?

Spaghetti isn't bad just because it's high in carbs. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy, especially if you're an active person. A balanced diet should have about half your calories coming from carbohydrates. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate.gov, says that about one-quarter of a healthy balanced meal should be made up of grains such as pasta, rice, cornmeal or oatmeal.

If you're following a strict low-carb diet, it's tough to fit much pasta into your meal plans. But it's perfect for a balanced diet and fits comfortably into a low-fat diet (as long as you keep the sauces and other toppings light).

Does Pasta Have Gluten?

Since spaghetti is usually made from wheat, it contains gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat and barley. Gluten consumption is a problem for people with celiac disease, wheat allergies or intolerances, but for the rest of us, there's no need to follow a gluten-free diet. Some fad diets are based partly on avoiding gluten, but they're not based on credible scientific research.

If you do need to avoid gluten, you can find gluten-free pasta made from corn or rice. It's still high in carbohydrates and has about the same number of calories as wheat pasta. It's also considered part of the grain group and, nutritionally speaking, isn't any better or worse for you than regular pasta.

How Does Spaghetti Compare to Other Types of Pasta?

There are many sizes and shapes of pasta, including noodles, shells, macaroni and so on. Some, like spaghetti, are usually served with sauce, but other types of pasta are used as the main ingredients in soups, and casseroles. As far as nutritional value, any type of pasta is going to be similar, as long as the serving size is the same.

Spaghetti Recipes and Preparation Tips

Top your spaghetti noodles with a tomato sauce such as marinara, Fra Diavlo, 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 adding 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.

Recipes

Are you looking for something other than traditional spaghetti and red sauce? Try these healthy dishes made with whole grain spaghetti:

Allergies and Interaction

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. 

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