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Carbohydrate Information for Chard

Carbs, Calories, Nutritional Information and Glycemic Load

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Updated June 30, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Red, Rainbow and Golden Chard

Red, Rainbow and Golden Chard

Photo: Anthony-Masterton/Getty Images
Chard (also called Swiss chard) and other leafy greens are sometimes considered a "free" food on low-carb diets because they have so little impact on blood glucose. The vitamin K they are packed with may even have a positive impact on blood glucose, and some diabetics notice that it is easier to control their blood glucose when they eat a lot of greens. For a long time, the only variety of chard available was "Swiss" chard. Some of the newer varieties, such as red chard and rainbow chard, have less bitterness. They are slightly hardier than spinach, but still can be cooked very quickly on the stove. The stems are also edible, either raw or cooked, and the chopped stems can add some nice color to the dish.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Chard

  • 1 cup raw chard: .7 gram effective (net) carbohydrate plus .6 gram fiber and 7 calories
  • 1 large chard leaf: 1 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 9 calories
  • 4 oz. (¼ pound) raw chard: 2.5 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1.5 grams fiber and 21 calories
  • ½ cup cooked chard: 2 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 17 calories

Glycemic Index for Chard

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

More Information about the Glycemic Index

Estimated Glycemic Load of Chard

  • 1 cup raw chard: 1
  • 1 large chard leaf: 1
  • 4 oz. (¼ pound) raw chard: 2
  • ½ cup cooked chard: 2

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Chard

Leafy greens like chard are simply packed with nutritional goodness. Chard is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K (1 large leaf has 4 times the daily requirement!), vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It is a very good source of vitamin E and copper, and a good source of choline, calcium, and riboflavin. More Information on the Health Benefits of Chard and other Leafy Greens

Low-Carb Recipes with Chard

See also Spinach, as chard can substitute for spinach in many of those recipes. More Information About Chard at Calorie Count.

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 21.

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