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Carbs in Carrots: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Vegetables are the foundation of any healthy eating diet, including keto! But some veggies are a no-no for the ketogenic lifestyle.

For starters, it’s important to note that the basic rule of thumb for ketosis diet is to replace carbohydrates with fats. Limiting the number of carbohydrates you consume daily sends signals to your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. A healthy ketogenic lifestyle requires you to get 5%-10% of your calories from carbs. That’s about 25-50 grams of carbs daily.

Carrots are important, and their nutritional benefits can never be ignored. Incorporating them into your keto diet menu in small amounts will help reap their full health benefits without being kicked out of ketosis. In this article, we’re going to discuss the carrot’s nutritional facts and whether they fit into a keto diet.

Carbs in Carrots
Photo by Suresh Designer on Unsplash

Carbohydrates Found In Carrots

Your body requires two types of carbohydrates, starch, and sugar, for energy and proper brain and nervous system functioning. The third type of carbohydrate (fiber) is responsible for maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

One cup serving of chopped carrots packs 12.3 grams of carbs along with 0.3 gram of fat and 1.2g of protein. This is about 60% of the daily value of 50 grams of carbs for anyone on keto diet. That’s too many carbs in a single serving that may force you to skip meals or reduce your portion sizes to ensure you’re within your macros.

Starches

Starches are complex carbohydrates. They are formed when three or more sugar molecules bond together. Because the bonds formed needs to be broken down by digestive enzymes, these carbs take longer to digest than regular sugars. One cup serving of chopped carrots packs 2.6g of starch.

Sugars

Sugars are simple carbs. They comprise of one or two molecules and are easily digested. The carbs in carrots are 49.5% sugar, with 1 cup serving packing up to 6 grams of sugar. This means that carrots contain more sugar than either fiber or starch.

Fiber

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that’s comprised of bound together sugar molecules. Unfortunately our bodies can’t make enzymes break those tough bonds, and so it’s never digested and passes through your digestive tract.

How Many Carbohydrates In Carrots?

carbs in carrots

Although most of us are only familiar with the orange carrots, these veggies can be yellow, white, purple, or even reddish-orange. They are root vegetables high in carbohydrates. A medium-size carrot weighs 61 grams and contains approx. 4grams of net carbs. They are also a good source of vitamin B-6, C, K and potassium and niacin. As with most carbs containing foods, carrots pack all three types of carbohydrates.

Carrots are 88% water and 11% carbohydrates — 100grams of carrots serving to contain 6.7g digestible carbs and 2.8g indigestible carbs. Ketogenic diet demands eating low carbs but nutrients dense veggies like cucumbers. Eating too many carb-rich plant foods may kick you out of ketosis.

Type Amount of carbs in 100grams
Raw carrots 9.58
Raw baby carrots 8.24
Boiled carrots without salt 8.22
Boiled carrots with salt 8.22
Frozen, unprepared carrots 7.9

Carrots are low caloric foods despite being starchy. One medium-sized carrot (weight 61 grams) provides approximately 25 calories. The calories come from carbohydrates in carrots.

Carrots Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts 1 medium carrot= 61 grams
Calories 25
Total Carbohydrates 5.8g
Sugars 2.9g
Dietary fiber 1.7g
Cholesterol 0mg
Protein 0.6g
Sodium 42mg
Total fat 0.6g

Can You Eat Carrots On Keto?

Yes, you can, but it’s best not to. While they pack plenty of health benefits, unlike diet sodas, it’s best to avoid them because most recipes call for more than one carrot. You can replace carrots from your keto diet with one of the following:

  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Capsicum
  • Pumpkin
  • Celery stalks
  • Daikon radishes.

Most of these alternatives have less than 5 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams.

Want To Try Carrots On Keto? Here’s How You Do It

Avoid carrots at all costs; especially, you’re on a strict keto diet. On the other hand, if you insist on keeping carrots on your keto food list, here’s what you should do.

Eat it as a snack

Crunchy and tasty carrots make for a great snack. Eat a medium carrot between meals and avoid eating any other fruits for the day. The carrot should give you 4g net carbohydrates per day, which isn’t much if you keep the meals low carb.

Carbs in carrots
Carrots as snacks

Add to soups or mix with veggies

Carrots are necessary ingredients in chicken and bone soups. You can add one or two carrots in your soups and make sure to keep all other ingredients carb-free as possible. Alternatively, when preparing salads or crudités you can add some carrots. This way, you’ll be able to satisfy your love for carrots without ruining your ketogenic lifestyle.

5 Health Benefits of Carrots

As a child, you may have been tricked to thinking that eating lots of carrots will make see at night. While carrots won’t give you magical night-vision eyesight, they are best known for the ability to improve eyesight. Carrots are not only a treat to your eyesight because their benefits extend to other parts of the body. This orange vegetable has been dubbed as superfood. Below are some health benefits of carrots.

1. Clean teeth and gums

Carrot is one of the varieties of foods that act as a natural toothbrush. It works like a natural abrasive that helps remove leftover food particles in your mouth. And because food stains can attach themselves to plaque, chewing slices of carrot after meal can help reduce discoloration and clean your mouth if you’re not able to brush immediately after eating.

Additionally, eating carrots stimulates saliva production. Saliva helps prevent plaque from forming.

2. Cancer Prevention

One of the major health benefits of carrots is cancer prevention for women and men. Carrots contain antioxidants that have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Additionally, carrots also produce a natural pesticide known as falcarinol that helps protect the roots from fungal diseases. Medical researchers strongly believe that falcarinol has anti-cancer properties.

Carrots also contain beta-carotene. A study found out that people who consumed beta-carotene regularly had reduced risks of colon cancer while another study found out that people who smoke and don’t eat carrots are three times more likely to develop lung cancer. (Source)

3. Boost immune system

The vitamin in carrots helps boost your immune system. A healthy immune system can help prevent common infectious diseases like flu and help your body heal faster. Some herbalist believes strongly agree carrots have antiseptic properties that can prevent infection if you apply mashed carrots to cuts.

4. Glowing skin

If your skin is sagging or looks dull, some carrots will help it glow again. The antioxidants and vitamins found in carrots help protect your skin from sun damage will help protect your skin from toxic free radicals and the harmful sun ultraviolet rays.

Carrots also contain retinoic acid, which helps maintain healthy skin. Not only do you benefit from eating carrots, but you can also get glowing skin by applying carrot juice or pulp concoction direct to the face to help prevent acne and skin dryness.

5. Boost cardiovascular health

According to the CDC, heart disease was the main cause of death in the USA in 2010. Carrots can help reduce the risks of developing heart diseases. A 10-year study conducted on 20,000 men and women in Netherlands found out that those who ate a cup of carrots daily were less likely to develop heart diseases.

Final Thought Carrots on Keto Diet

From all the information discussed above, it’s evident that carrots have myriads of health benefits. They are starchy and provide about 4g carbs per 100g, and thus they aren’t considered as keto-friendly vegetables due to high carbs content per serving.

While not recommended, you can squeeze them into your weekly keto meal plan or replace them with low carbs vegetables that are similar in color, taste, and texture like carrots.