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Carb Information for Carrots

Carrot Carbs, Glycemic Index, Nutritional Information

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Updated April 07, 2014

Carrots

Carrots

Photo: Michael Blann/Getty Images
Since carrots are root vegetables, people on low-carb diets often stay away from them. However, I recommend people embrace carrots in moderate amounts for these reasons: 1) carrots are among the lowest-carb root vegetables (and lower in carbs than many low-sugar fruits, such as strawberries), and 2) they are just packed with nutrients, including the valuable carotenoids. Even just a sprinkling of grated carrots on a salad can provide a real nutrient boost.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Carrots

  • ½ cup chopped raw carrot: 4 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 26 calories
  • 1 medium baby carrot (about 3 per oz): 1 gram effective (net) carbohydrate and 4 calories
  • 2 oz (56 grams) raw baby carrots: 3 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 20 calories
  • ½ cup cooked sliced carrots: 4 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 27 calories

Compare the Carb Counts of Root Vegetables

Glycemic Index for Carrots

The studies on the glycemic index of carrots have wildly varied results. Carrots got a bad glycemic reputation, because of one study of (probably cooked) carrots that showed a GI of 92. A study of raw carrots, however, came up with a GI of 16, and two other studies of cooked carrots showed GIs of 32 and 49. It's probably safe to say that raw carrots have a lower GI than cooked ones.

More Information About the Glycemic Index

Glycemic Load of Carrots

Since the computation of the glycemic load is based on the index, it is probably also difficult to assign a glycemic load to carrots. These, though, are commonly used numbers:
  • ½ cup chopped raw carrots: 1
  • 1 medium baby carrot (about 3 per oz): 0
  • 2 oz (56 grams) raw baby carrot: 1
  • ½ cup cooked sliced carrots: 2

More Information About the Glycemic Load

Health Benefits of Carrots

To say that carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A and alpha and beta carotene is to understate the situation. You can get a whole day's supply of vitamin A from ¼ cup of grated carrot, which is a little over an ounce of carrots. Carrots are also a very good source of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and have a fair source of other micronutrients.

Diets high in carotenoids have been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and some cancers, and may also improve glucose metabolism, lower insulin resistance and provide other health benefits.

Low-Carb Recipe with Carrots

More Information About Carrots at Calorie Count.

More Carb Profiles:

Sources:

Gaziano JM, Manson JE, Branch LG, et al. A prospective study of consumption of carotenoids in fruits and vegetables and decreased cardiovascular mortality in the elderly. Ann. Epidemiol. 1995; 5:255-260 1995.

Harris RA, Key TJ, Silcocks PB, et al. A case-controlled study of dietary carotene in men with lung cancer and in men with other epithelial cancers. Nutrition and Cancer(1991)15:63-68 1991

Kritchevsky SB. beta-Carotene, carotenoids and the prevention of coronary heart disease. J Nutr 1999 Jan;129(1):5-8 1999.

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).

Michaud DS, Feskanich D, Rimm EB, et al. Intake of specific carotenoids and risk of lung cancer in 2 prospective US cohorts. Am J Clin

Suzuki K, Ito Y, Nakamura S et al. Relationship between serum carotenoids and hyperglycemia: a population- based cross-sectional study. J Epidemiol 2002 Sep;12(5):357-66 2002. Nutr(2000)Oct;72(4):990-7 2000.

United States Department of Agriculture. "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods - 2007. November 2007

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20.

Ylonen K, Alfthan G, Groop, L et al. Dietary intakes and plasma concentrations of carotenoids and tocopherols in relation to glucose metabolism in subjects at high risk of type 2 diabetes: the Botnia Dietary Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun; 77(6):1434-41 2003.

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