Carrots are a healthy, tasty vegetable with lots to offer, but are they suitable for a ketogenic diet? The answer is kind of… with some considerations and limitations. Carrots are a bit of a gray area on keto. So, let’s talk about carrots!
Carbs in Carrots
The water content of carrots varies from around 86-95%. Carrots don’t have much protein or fat and are mostly made up of carbs and water with the edible portion containing around 10% carbs. One medium raw carrot has about 5.8 grams of total carbs and 1.7 grams of fiber, leaving 4.1 grams of net carbs[1,2].
If you’re wondering about baby carrots, one serving of about four large baby carrots is 4.5 grams of net carbs.
Are Carrots Keto?
The carb count of carrots isn’t that simple and can vary based on different factors, such as if it’s raw or cooked. When you’re contemplating carrots on keto, remember they aren’t really considered low carb veg, but this doesn’t mean they’re completely off-limits.
In the keto community, the consensus is that carrots are suitable in small amounts. Consuming slivered carrots on a salad or in a stew orsoup is ideal.
With keto and carrots, pay attention to serving size and use carrots more to enhance the flavor and texture instead of making them the star of the dish.
Health Benefits of Carrots!
The carrot is a charming, colorful root vegetable that’s packed with beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and antioxidants. The bright color you see in traditional orange carrots is thanks to the beta-carotene antioxidant that your body converts to vitamin A.
Soluble fibers like the pectin found in carrots can help lower blood sugar levels and slow the digestion of starch and sugar.
This soluble fiber can also feed beneficial bacteria in the gut, improve health, and lower certain disease risks.
Carrots also have insoluble fibers, such as lignin and hemicellulose, that can reduce the risk of constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
Diets rich in carotene, such as those found in carrots, might have a protective effect against several types of cancer, including prostate, colon, and stomach cancer[8,9,10].
Are You Eating Carrots on Keto?
Do you think that the higher quantity of carbs in carrots should exclude them from being eaten on a ketogenic diet? Or, do you consume them in moderation? Comment below and let us know!
1) Singh, G., Kawatra, A., & Sehgal, S. (2001). Nutritional Composition of selected green leafy vegetables, herbs and carrots. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 56(4), 359-364. DOI:10.1023/a:1011873119620
4) Sharma, K. D., Karki, S., Thakur, N. S., & Attri, S. (2012). Chemical composition, functional properties and processing of carrot: A review. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 49(1), 22-32. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0310-7
6) Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: Mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients, 5(4), 181-192. doi: 10.3390/nu5041417
7) Marlett, J. A., Burney, M., Slavin, J. L. (2002). Position of the American Dietetic Association: Health implications of dietary fiber. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 102(7), 993-1000.https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(02)90228-2
8) Wu, K., Erdman Jr, J. W., Schwartz, S. J., Platz, E. A., Leitzmann, M., Clinton, S. K., DeGroff, V., Willett, W. C., & Giovannucci, E. (2004). Plasma and dietary carotenoids and the risk of prostate cancer: A nested case-control study. Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention, 13(2), 260-269. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.epi-03-0012.
9) Slattery, M. L., Benson, J., Curtin, K., Ma, K. N., Schaeffer, D., & Potter, J. D. (2000). Carotenoids and colon cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(2), 575-582. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/71.2.575.
10) Larsson, S. C., Bergkvist, L., Näslund, I., Rutegard, J., & Wolk, A. (2007). Vitamin A, retinol, and carotenoids and the risk of gastric cancer: A prospective cohort study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(2), 497-503. DOI:10.1093/ajcn/85.2.497
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