Can Diabetics Eat Carrots

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The combination of carrots and diabetes is worrying for some people, given how sweet these vegetables taste, but there are some benefits to eating carrots as a diabetic patient.

What are Carrots?

To begin with, carrots are root vegetables of varying colors that are typically tapered in shape. Scientifically known as Daucus carota subs. sativus, these vegetables have a high level of fiber, antioxidants, and various other nutrients, carrots are some of the most popular vegetables in the global diet. Available all year round and extremely versatile in different styles of cooking, these are simple and healthy choices, even for diabetics, in moderation!

Can Diabetics Eat Carrots?

Can diabetics eat carrots that are packed with antioxidants & vitamin C? It is an interesting challenge, as eating too many carrots may cause a blood sugar spike. Boasting a Glycemic Index rating of just over 40, carrots are considered “moderate” in terms of the effect they have on blood sugar. If you are crafting your diabetic diet, it is okay to eat certain foods that are in the moderate range, although you will want to eat them with some self-control. In the past, carrots’ sweet taste convinced researchers that their impact was much greater on blood sugar, but that has been proven untrue.

Fresh and sweet carrots on a wooden table

Carrots help to lower cholesterol levels. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Carrots, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]88.29
Energy [kcal]41
Energy [kJ]173
Protein [g]0.93
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.24
Ash [g]0.97
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.58
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.8
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]4.74
Sucrose [g]3.59
Glucose (dextrose) [g]0.59
Fructose [g]0.55
Starch [g]1.43
Calcium, Ca [mg]33
Iron, Fe [mg]0.3
Magnesium, Mg [mg]12
Phosphorus, P [mg]35
Potassium, K [mg]320
Sodium, Na [mg]69
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.24
Copper, Cu [mg]0.05
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.14
Selenium, Se [µg]0.1
Fluoride, F [µg]3.2
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]5.9
Thiamin [mg]0.07
Riboflavin [mg]0.06
Niacin [mg]0.98
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.27
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.14
Folate, total [µg]19
Folate, food [µg]19
Folate, DFE [µg]19
Choline, total [mg]8.8
Betaine [mg]0.4
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]835
Carotene, beta [µg]8285
Carotene, alpha [µg]3477
Vitamin A, IU [IU]16706
Lycopene [µg]1
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]256
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.66
Tocopherol, beta [mg]0.01
Tocotrienol, alpha [mg]0.01
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]13.2
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.03
16:0 [g]0.03
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
16:1 [g]0
18:1 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.1
18:2 [g]0.1
18:3 [g]0
Tryptophan [g]0.01
Threonine [g]0.19
Isoleucine [g]0.08
Leucine [g]0.1
Lysine [g]0.1
Methionine [g]0.02
Cystine [g]0.08
Phenylalanine [g]0.06
Tyrosine [g]0.04
Valine [g]0.07
Arginine [g]0.09
Histidine [g]0.04
Alanine [g]0.11
Aspartic acid [g]0.19
Glutamic acid [g]0.37
Glycine [g]0.05
Proline [g]0.05
Serine [g]0.05
Sources include : USDA

That being said, carrots offer quite a few benefits besides its rather “average” GI score. The high level of dietary fiber found in carrots is very important for people struggling with diabetes, as fiber can help to regulate the release of insulin and glucose into the blood. Furthermore, carrots are packed with other important nutrients and antioxidants, including high levels of potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, and anthocyanins. Carrots present a case of the “pros” outweighing the “cons” for a given medical condition.

As a diabetic person, you will want to limit your intake of carrots to a few times a week, and always in moderate quantities. Eating raw carrots is the most nutritious option, but cooking them doesn’t compromise their nutritional profile too much. Carrot juice, unless you have prepared it yourself, should generally be avoided, as more sugar may have been added. Also, a single carrot shake could contain more than 2 cups of carrots, which would have an impact on your blood sugar.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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