Carbs in Figs, Fiber, Carb Counts and Glycemic Index

Fig Nutritional Information

Two halves of a fig, one on top of the other
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Did you know there was once a study which suggested that extracts from the leaves of the fig plant may have properties that help regulate blood sugar in diabetics?  Perhaps ironically, the figs themselves are very high in sugar, so, for the most part, people on low-carb diets or with blood sugar problems will want to limit them.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Figs

  • ¼ cup chopped dried figs: 23 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 4 grams fiber and 93 calories.
  • 1 oz dried figs: 15 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 3 grams fiber and 70 calories.

Glycemic Index for Figs

One study of dried figs had an average GI of 61. There are no studies of fresh figs.

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Glycemic Load of Figs

  • 1 large fresh fig (2.5 inches in diameter; a little over 2 oz): 4
  • ¼ cup chopped dried figs: 11
  • 1 ounce chopped dried figs: 8

More Information about the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Figs

Figs are high in fiber, and are also a fairly good source of Vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium.

How to Buy Figs: Varieties and Types of Figs

Figs have an Asian origin, and are generally called the common fig. The best figs will be soft to the touch, smooth yet firm and tender throughout. There are over 620 fig varieties, but here are the most popular and easier to buy in the United States:

  • Mission Figs(generally found dried)
  • Kadota Figs
  • Calimyrna Figs
  • Conadria Figs
  • Brown Turkey Figs
  • Sierra Figs
  • Sequoia Figs

How to Eat Figs

Most people eat dried figs, but you can also eat them fresh. The stem of the fig should not be eaten, but other it can be split in half and eaten without incident. If you experience fig burn, you may want to eat only dried figs whole.

 The reason why fig burn exists is because of the latex of the fig called phison. The less ripe a fig is, the more phison is present. The phison is a proteolic enzyme that breaks down proteins, thus your skin and tongue may itch or burn from exposure. To avoid fig burn, or the soreness that some people experience from eating figs, spoon the inside of the fig out and eat it separately from the skin where most of the phison is contained.

More Information About Fresh Figs and Dried Figs at Calorie Count Plus.

More Carb Profiles:

Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).
Serraclara, A , Hawkins, F. et al. "Hypoglycemic action of an oral fig-leaf decoction in type-I diabetic patients." Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 39(1):19-22 (1998)
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20.

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