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Are Carrots Keto-Friendly?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/31/2023

Carrots are often thought of as a healthy snack. They’re crunchy, delicious, and have a natural sweetness, but are carrots keto-friendly?


Carrots are tuber vegetables, also known as root vegetables, which typically have high-carb content. Although there are some carbs in carrots, there’s also a good amount of fiber. This is important when calculating a vegetable’s grams of net carbohydrates. 


Let’s take a look at how carrots can be incorporated into a low-carb ketogenic diet. 

Fresh carrots

What is keto?


Keto is a variation of a low-carb diet in which you consume a high amount of fat and a moderate amount of protein. The goal of a keto diet is to get your body into a state of ketosis. This means that your body is running on fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates.


If you’re following a ketogenic diet, it’s important to pay very close attention to the carb content of your food. You’re allowed 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates each day. Our keto food list contains some of the best foods to help you stay within that range! 


Dietary fiber does not affect your blood sugar, so you don’t have to count fiber towards your total carbs. Net carbs are what you need to calculate for your daily carb count. To calculate net carbs, you take a food’s total carbs and subtract the fiber. 



Are carrots low-carb? 


The glycemic index is a scale that rates how fast a food will raise your blood sugar. The glycemic index of carrots may be high compared to other ketogenic foods.


However, when you’re on a high-fat keto diet, it’s better to look at the whole picture rather than just the glycemic index! The glycemic load tells us the number of carbohydrates in a food but takes the amount of fiber into consideration as well. 


The glycemic load of carrots is 2.88—anything below ten is considered low. Carrots have a tremendous amount of fiber which inhibits a glycemic reaction.


Carrots contain 12 grams of carbs per cup, but they also contain 3.6 grams of fiber. This means one cup of carrots contains about eight net carbs. Considering that you can have up to 50 grams of carbs each day and still be in ketosis, this means that carrots are keto-friendly!


Whole carrots are fine on keto, but carrot juice is not! When you have carrot juice, the fiber is removed, and it will spike insulin. 


Carrot nutrition facts


A serving of one cup of chopped carrots (128 g) contains: 


  • 52 calories

  • 0.3 g total fat 

    • 0.1 g saturated fat

    • 0 g trans fat

    • 0 mg cholesterol

  • 1.2 g protein

  • 12 g total carbohydrate 

    • 3.6 g dietary fiber 

    • 8.4 g net carbs 

  • 88 mg sodium 

  • 410 mg potassium


Learn more about calculating the glycemic index of carrots and other vegetables in this video!

Health benefits of carrots on keto


Carrots are a great addition to a keto diet, especially if you’re looking for something that has a crunch without the carbs! 


Carrots have fewer carbs than other root vegetables and have numerous health benefits. Here are a few of the benefits of carrots:


  • Excellent source of potassium

  • Support eye health

  • High beta-carotene content 

  • 10 percent of daily vitamin C

  • Support healthy blood pressure 


This study examines the current scientific literature that demonstrates the nutritional benefits of carrots. 

woman making salad with carrots

How to enjoy carrots on keto


Carrots are best eaten raw on a keto diet. Cooking carrots will break down the fiber and also release the plant’s natural sugar. Cooked carrots will spike your insulin a lot more than raw carrots.


Thinly sliced carrots can be added to your favorite salad greens or you can also try one of these low-carb carrot recipes!


  1. Keto Carrot Cake Fat Bombs - This recipe combines delicious ingredients like shredded carrots, coconut flour, cinnamon, and cream cheese for a dessert that’s perfect on a keto diet. Just because you’re on a low-carb diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dessert!


  1. Ginger, Turmeric, Carrot, and Coconut Milk Soup - This tasty soup is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This soup is creamy, delicious, and contains only five grams of net carbs per serving. 


If you want to enjoy hummus or another tasty dip, carrots are a keto-friendly alternative to chips or pita. There are so many keto-approved dips you can try with carrots. 


Check out these keto recipes for dipping carrots:


  1. Spinach Artichoke Dip

  2. Blue Cheese Dip

  3. Avocado Ranch Dip

  4. Keto Cauliflower Queso Dip

  5. Keto Spicy Edamame Dip

  6. Keto Smoked Trout Dip

 

These dips are an excellent way to eat raw carrots. Be careful not to go over your daily net carb allotment!

keto carrots substitutes

Key takeaways


If you’re on keto, it’s best to choose low-carb veggies. Make sure to calculate the net carbohydrates, and consider the fiber content of your veggies.


There’s no need to be concerned about the carbs in carrots. If you want to eat carrots on keto, just make sure you’re consuming reasonable portions. 



FAQ


1. How many carbs are in carrots? 

Carrots contain 12 grams of carbs per cup. Carrots also contain around three grams of fiber, so they have about eight net carbs per cup. 


2. Are carrots keto?

Yes! You can definitely eat carrots on a keto diet. Although there are carbs in carrots, there’s also a good amount of fiber. This lowers the total grams of net carbs.


3. How many carrots can I have on keto?

Carrots will only kick you out of ketosis if you consume them in very large quantities. 


It’s best to consume raw carrots on keto because they have a lower glycemic load than cooked carrots. As long as you are not consuming copious amounts of carrots, they’re just fine on keto! 


4. Are carrots good for your eyes?

Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is beneficial for eye health. While carrots won’t necessarily improve your eyesight, the beta-carotene and lutein found in carrots may help prevent macular degeneration.  


5. What are the benefits of eating carrots?

Carrots are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Carrots support healthy blood pressure and will not spike insulin if consumed in moderate amounts. 


6. Are raw or cooked carrots healthier?  

Raw carrots retain more nutrients and also have a lower glycemic index than cooked carrots. If you’re on a keto diet, it’s best to consume raw carrots.


7. Are carrots good for weight loss? 

Carrots, in moderation, fully support ketosis. They’re an excellent food to add to your diet if you want to lose weight. Carrots are a great substitute for chips or bread for things like hummus and other keto-friendly dips.


8. Can I drink carrot juice on keto? 

No! Carrot juice is not keto-friendly because the fiber is removed. Without fiber, carrot juice is mostly sugar and has a much higher glycemic index. Carrot juice will spike insulin and kick you out of ketosis.  

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