Carrots are a very popular vegetable used in many dishes such as soups and sauces, and they can also be pickled, roasted or eaten raw as a healthy snack. Plus they are also a tasty side dish to chicken, as well as other meats.
They have been used in many cultures and many cuisines in many different ways, not only for their taste but also for their health benefits- which they have many. But, can you eat this tasty and healthy food on the keto diet?
Keep on reading to find out.
Here is the nutritional information of 100 grams of raw carrots (*):
What Are Carrots Good For?
When you think of why carrots are healthy, you probably think of their vitamin A content, since they are widely known for it.
Vitamin A is known to be beneficial for eye health, immune response, and development, which cannot happen without it.
However, carrots actually don’t have active vitamin A, but a compound called beta carotene that needs to be converted by the body to become active vitamin A. Studies have shown that the absorption of beta carotene is easier when it is consumed along with fats- something that the keto diet certainly doesn’t lack. (*)
Carrots are rich in carotenoids, which are pigments that give the color of fruits and vegetables. There are studies done that suggest that a diet high in carotenoids may help prevent some forms of cancer such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, and colon cancer. (*), (*), (*), (*)
Other beneficial nutrients that carrots have are:
- Biotin- B vitamin that was formerly called vitamin H, that has a beneficial and important role in fat and protein metabolism (*)
- Vitamin B6- a group of vitamins that are chemically related that have a role in the conversion of food to energy (*)
- Vitamin K1- also known as phylloquinone, this vitamin is beneficial for bone health and blood coagulation (*)
- Potassium- an important mineral that plays a vital role in cell metabolism and in the controlling of blood pressure. (*)
Even though we still need to know and research more about cholesterol, studies have also shown that carrots may potentially help to lower blood cholesterol. (*)
Carrots also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
The soluble fiber that carrots have is called pectin. Soluble fiber has been linked to the prevention of cardiovascular disease and improving gut health. Also, soluble fiber can help slow down the absorption of sugar and starch because it can slow digestion. (*)
Insoluble fiber can help you feel fuller and help with constipation.
Can You Eat Carrots On The Keto Diet?
Raw carrots have 41 calories and 6.78 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, and also carrots have a high glycemic index which goes slightly lower when they are boiled.
Carrots have close to 7 grams of net carbs, they are very nutritious and they have many health benefits, as you can see in the above section.
Just like most root vegetables, carrots are not the most ketogenic vegetable out there. They contain starch and sugar, and it might seem like a lot of net carbs. But, 100 grams are roughly 2 medium-sized carrots, and usually, the amount you eat per serving is much less than that, so they will not take up many net carbs.
To sum it all up, carrots are a nutritious and healthy, whole food and you can eat them on the keto diet only in moderation and with careful monitoring of the serving size as they can kick you out of ketosis if you consume too much of them.
However, if you are on a strict keto diet, then it might be best to stay away from carrots.
No, carrots are not strictly keto-friendly food, but they can be consumed on a well-planed low-carb diet and even on a keto diet.
In 100 grams of carrots, there are 6.78 grams of net carbs.
While carrots are root vegetables, and root vegetables usually don’t belong in a keto dieter’s menu, they are highly nutritious and they have many health benefits.
So, for those who are not on strict keto or those who are on a low-carb diet, carrots can be a great addition to their dishes- but with careful planning and monitoring of the serving sizes.
Did You Know?
Carrots are root vegetables from the species Daucus Carota, subspecies sativus, and they are usually orange in color, but other colors such as purple, black, red, white, and yellow exist as well. The carrot was domesticated from wild carrot called Daucus Carota, which is native to Europe and Southwestern Asia.
When the seed is planted, the plant grows its rosette of leaves while it also grows its taproot- the central, enlarged, and dominant single root. The fast-growing plant breed matures within 90 days of sowing the seed, and the slow-growing plant breed matures in 120 days.
The domesticated carrot, as both written history and molecular history confirm, originates from one single origin in Central Asia. And the wild carrot is believed to originate from Persia or today’s regions of Iran and Afghanistan. These regions to this day remain the center of diversity for the Daucus carota.
Over the centuries it is presumed that a naturally occurring subspecies of wild carrots were bred selectively in order to increase sweetness, minimize the woody core and reduce bitterness. The carrot was first cultivated for its seeds and its aromatic leaves, which were widely used around the world, rather than its root, which is most commonly used part of the plant today.
Today, when we use the word “carrot” we mean the taproot of the carrot plant, which can be used in many ways- raw or cooked to alter its taste and properties. It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, fried and pickled, and it can be incorporated in soups, sauces and stews and many other dishes.
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*Photo by AndreySt/depositphotos