Carbs in Okra

Okra Carbs, Nutrition Information, Fiber, and Glycemic Load

Okra
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Okra is a highly nutritious green vegetable which is the edible pod of the okra plant. It is perhaps best known for its soluble fiber, which creates what is sometimes described as "goo." This can be minimized by stir-frying with high heat, or cooking in a soup or stew such as gumbo, where the fiber disperses and provides a thickening component. Cooking okra with an acidic food, such as lemon juice or vinegar (or even tomatoes, to a lesser extent) also helps to cut down on the sliminess.

A Bit of Interesting Okra History

Okra was originally brought to the Americas by Africans during the slave trade.  It is said that the word okra in Swahili is "gumbo", which would explain the origins of that classic Louisiana dish.  In some places, okra is still called gumbo.

Okra is also sometimes called "lady's fingers", apparently.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Okra

  • ½ cup of fresh okra (raw or cooked): 2 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 of grams fiber and 16 calories
  • ½ cup of frozen okra, cooked: 2 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 3 grams of fiber and 26 calories
  • ¼ lb (4 oz.) of raw okra: 4 grams of effective (net) carbohydrate plus 4 grams of fiber and 35 calories

Glycemic Index for Okra

As with most non-starchy vegetables, there is no scientific study of the glycemic index of okra.

Estimated Glycemic Load of Okra

  • ½ cup of okra: 1
  • ¼ lb (4 oz.) of okra: 3

Health Benefits of Okra

Okra is a very good source of fiber, including soluble fiber, which has many health benefits, including to colon health, blood sugar, and cardiovascular benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, a very good source of folate, and a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, and thiamin.

Read More About Okra at Calorie Count.

Okra Selection and Storage

For tender, tasty okra choose pods that aren't too large -- no more than 4 inches long, but preferably 2 to 3 inches, as the large ones are more likely to be over-mature and tough. Store the pods dry, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.  If they are moist they will mold quickly and then will become slimy, so do not wash them until you are ready to cook them.

If you aren't going to eat your okra within a few days, it's best to freeze it.  Blanch it in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, and then immerse in an ice bath for 5 minutes, and freeze in freezer bags, removing as much of the air as possible.

More Carb Profiles:

Sources:

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).

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.

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