Non-starchy vegetables play a big role in the low-carb, high-fat keto diet.
On this diet, net carbs, which is the number of total carbs minus fiber, are generally restricted to 25 grams or less per day.
Many people on the keto diet spend a large amount of their daily net carb allotment on low-carb veggies like zucchini, cauliflower, avocado, broccoli, and salad greens.
However, you may wonder if carrots are appropriate to eat on the keto diet.
This article reviews the carbs in carrots, whether they can be eaten on keto and some keto-friendly alternatives.
Carrots are considered root vegetables because the carrot itself is the root of the carrot plant. On the other hand, some root vegetables like potatoes are tubers or the storage site for the plant’s natural sugar.
Because carrots are a root, they’re lower in sugar and carbs than tuber vegetables like potatoes.
One medium (61-gram) raw carrot provides:
- Calories: 25
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Net carbs: 4 grams
Additionally, 1 cup (122 grams) of sliced raw carrots contains:
- Calories: 50
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 12 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Net carbs: 9 grams
While carrots aren’t as low in carbs as leafy green vegetables like lettuce or spinach, they’re not as high in carbs as many other root vegetables.
Summary: Raw carrots contain 9 grams of net carbs per cup (122 grams). Although they’re not as high in starch as other root vegetables, they’re still higher in carbs than many non-starchy vegetables.
Can carrots be eaten on keto?
As you can see from the nutrient content of carrots, they can be eaten in small quantities on a keto diet.
However, you’ll need to stick to a reasonable portion. With 1 cup (122 grams) of carrots containing 9 grams of net carbs, a single portion can use up nearly half of your net carbs for the day if you’re aiming for a standard allotment of 25 grams of net carbs daily.
The cooking method of carrots doesn’t affect their carb content significantly, so they can be included raw or cooked in reasonable portions on the keto diet.
Summary: Carrots can be part of a keto diet. However, given that they contain moderate amounts of carbs, you’ll need to strictly limit your portion size.
Below are some lower-carb veggies to eat raw or use in recipes instead of carrots:
- Celery: contains 2 grams of net carbs per cup (120 grams)
- Broccoli: contains 3 grams of net carbs per cup (71 grams)
- Cauliflower: contains 3 grams of net carbs per cup (107 grams)
Like carrots, each of these veggies can be eaten raw or added to recipes.
Summary: Some lower-carb substitutes for carrots include celery, broccoli, and cauliflower. These veggies can be eaten raw or cooked, making them fair alternatives to raw or cooked carrots.
Carrots can be eaten on keto, but it may be difficult to include them regularly or in large quantities, as they contain a fair amount of carbs.
Suggested read: Are cashews keto-friendly?
Some less starchy alternatives to enjoy raw or cooked include celery, broccoli, and cauliflower.
That said, when it comes to getting adequate nutrition on keto, carrots are an important source of vitamin A, which is important for skin, hair, and eye health, providing significantly more vitamin A per cup than celery or broccoli.
Remember to stick to a small portion of carrots when you’re enjoying them on keto and consume a variety of vegetables to meet your nutritional needs.