A Nutritionist Breaks Down How (And Why!) To Work Carrots Into The Keto Diet

The keto diet can get confusing when it comes to which foods you can eat and will keep you in ketosis. It requires you to have a good understanding of what are carbs, proteins, and fat are to help you stay within the diet’s parameters for macronutrients. And while you may assume that all veggies would be allowed on the keto diet (because, hello, vegetables!), not all are actually ideal picks on keto.

food, a nutritionist breaks down how (and why!) to work carrots into the keto diet

The crunchy veggie has dietary fiber and many vitamins and minerals, but its carb content leaves many confused on whether it’s okay to eat on keto.

“Veggies are our most nutrient-dense food yet are composed mainly of carbohydrates, which the keto diet advises a person to limit,” says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a dietitian in Miami. “A keto diet may say no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, therefore a person following a keto diet may be confused on how much vegetables they can really consume.”

Nutrient Content In A Serving Of Carrots

In a little less than one cup of raw carrots (100 grams), this is the nutritional breakdown:

Calories: 41 caloriesFat: 0 gramsCarbs: 9.08 gramsDietary Fiber: 2.7 gramsProtein: 0.8 grams

Health Benefits Of Carrots

1. They’re hydrating.

The veggies have a high water content, which will help keep you hydrated. “Carrots, like other veggies, contain roughly 88 percent water,” explains Ehsani. “Therefore, when we consume veggies, we are not only getting all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber from the veggie, we also can count the veggie as part of our daily fluid needs.”

If you’re on the keto diet, you are consuming mostly fat and protein, and low amounts of dietary fiber, which can easily cause constipation, Ehsani adds. So, “drinking enough water and eating fruits and veggies can help hydrate you and prevent constipation.”

2. They help protect eye and immune health.

Carrots are great for your vision, as well as your overall immune function.”You may have heard carrots are good for your eyes, and that’s thanks to them being a rich source of beta carotene,” says Ehsani. “So consuming carrots can benefit your eye health (vision), as well as immune function too.”

3. They’re loaded with dietary fiber.

Fiber is so good for your overall health, and carrots are an excellent source. “Like many other fruits and veggies, carrots contain dietary fiber, which supports healthy gut health, regular bowel movements, can prevent constipation, and keep one’s blood sugar stable,” says Ehsani.

4. They are nutrient-rich.

Not only do they contain beta-carotene, but carrots have so many other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. “Carrots also have lots of biotin, vitamin K, potassium and vitamin B6,” says Ehsani. “They also contain other antioxidants like lycopene and lutein, which are good for eye health as well, and can prevent risk of developing certain diseases like cancer or heart disease.”

Can you eat carrots on the keto diet?

So if you are on the keto diet, do carrots make the cut? According to Ehsani, the answer is yes. “Carrots contain mostly carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and water,” says Ehsani. “I think people might associate carrots with containing lots of sugar as they are sweet to taste, but overall, per cup, they are quite low in overall calories and sugar.”

She reiterates that carrots contain 2.7 grams of dietary fiber per cup, which helps keep a person’s blood sugar more stable than another type of sugary foods, like a cupcake for example. “Fruits and veggies should not be avoided just because they taste sweet, as they contain so many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber!” says Ehsani.

Do carrots kick you out of ketosis?

Refresher: The state called ketosis, which is what the ketogenic diet is focused around, is where you start burning fat instead of carbs for energy. Ketosis is pretty difficult to stay in, as overeating carbs can quickly kick you out. But eating carrots, despite their carb content, will likely not kick you out of it.

“You’d have to consume over five cups of carrots per day to be kicked out of ketosis, which most people won’t be consuming so many carrots in one day or sitting,” says Ehsani.

Can you eat *too many* carrots on the keto diet?

Technically, you could disrupt your body’s state of ketosis by eating carrots, but it would have to be a lot of carrots, as Ehsani noted.

“Keep in mind, other foods have small amounts of carbs in them too that you might not be closely counting towards your daily allowance, like other fruits, veggies or even if consuming yogurt or drinking milk,” says Ehsani.

How To Work Carrots Into A Keto Diet Plan

Carrots are a great addition to the keto diet, and here’s how to get them into your meal plan.

“I’d recommend keeping them to just about 1 cup a day, so you can fit in other fruits and veggies into your diet as well,” says Ehsani. “You can add a half-cup to a mixed green salad or roast a few large ones in the oven to enjoy at dinner time with a piece of protein like salmon or chicken.”

Bottom line: Carrots are full of fiber and vitamins and minerals and are a healthy food to eat as part of a keto diet.

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