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Are Carrots Good for Diabetes? What You Should Know
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Are Carrots Good for Diabetes? What You Should Know

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 3
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5 min

Finding suitable foods can be frustrating if you have diabetes. Many people go on a specific diet to avoid products with sugar, trans fats, and processed meats. But are vegetables like carrots good for diabetes? We explain how carrots may support glucose levels.

Are carrots good for diabetes

Not every food is suitable for someone who has diabetes.

Products containing a high glycemic index score are likely to raise blood sugar levels. This might include cakes, white bread, breakfast cereals, and fruit yogurt. Eating the right food can be a challenge, but there are certain vegetables that reduce high blood glucose.

Carrots are probably one of the best things to eat on a diet. They contain plenty of nutrients that fuel your body throughout the day. People with diabetes may enjoy products that have a low glycemic index, including carrots and other non-starchy vegetables.

You might think – so, are carrots really good for diabetes?

In this article, you’ll discover whether carrots maintain steady blood sugar levels and are suitable to eat for people with diabetes.

Are Carrots Good for Diabetes?

Yes, carrots are great for people who have diabetes. They have important nutrients like fiber and vitamin A that support healthy blood sugar levels. Any type of non-starchy vegetable usually has antioxidant properties that reduce diabetes-related symptoms. 

Carrots have many amazing health benefits, including the reduction of high glucose in your system. Fiber is the main nutrient that slows down the release of sugar. The body can’t physically absorb and break down fiber, preventing a glucose spike in your bloodstream. 

This food especially contains carotenoids – a type of pigment that protects you against diabetic retinopathy. It’s recommended to add carrots to your diet to support your vision and prevent eye issues. Carotenoids also enhance your immune system by minimizing oxidative stress in cells. 

Many people go on the ketogenic diet due to the low-carb foods. Eating too many carbohydrates leads to high blood sugars. You can consume carrots in moderate amounts on the keto diet to stay under the recommended carb (15 g per day) and natural sugars (20 g per day) intake.

Is carrot juice good for diabetes?

Making carrot juice at home can help manage high blood sugar levels. Just be aware that buying a grocery store drink might contain added sugars or preservatives. These secret ingredients may cause symptoms like nausea and shortness of breath. 

Carrot juice is perfectly healthy and can fill you up between meals. All you need to do is blend together some apples, carrots, lemon juice, and water. This should create a thick smoothie that’s easy to drink. If preferred, you can use just carrots and water for those richer flavors.

It might be tempting to buy carrot juice from your local store, but there’s a chance of it having artificial sweeteners. Sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame are common sweeteners that may increase insulin resistance, leading to high blood sugar that’s hard to bring down again.

Do Carrots Have Sugar?

Yes, carrots have around 4.74 g of sugar in a 100 g serving. This sugar content might seem high, but you can limit how much you have during meals. Carrots only contain sucrose – a naturally occurring sugar that’s found in various amounts of plants. 

Most foods have organic sugar substances that enhance their sweet flavor. Eating carrots is still healthy, meaning they won’t raise blood glucose levels. You can have this food once a day with meals or use it as your daily snack. Natural sugars can’t disrupt your healthy diet plan if you control your portion size. 

Just remember that you can’t have too much sugar on the keto diet. If you’re trying to eat low-carb foods, try to monitor your sugar intake as well. Even though carrots only have 4.74 g, this might go over your recommended limit when paired with other foods. 

Glycemic Index of Carrots

Raw carrots have a GI of 16. Boiled carrots range from 32 to 49, depending on what you add to the water. Foods with a glycemic index below 55 are considered healthy for blood glucose levels, as the minimal carbohydrates aren’t broken down into loads of sugars.

The glycemic index refers to a system that ranks how much certain foods affect blood sugars. People who have diabetes usually need to check the GI for every product they eat. This is especially important for non-starchy vegetables like raw and boiled carrots. 

Do Carrots Raise Your Blood Sugar?

No, carrots won’t mess with your blood sugar. Raw carrots score low on the GI scale, meaning they can’t spike high levels of glucose. This vegetable also contains dietary fiber – a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested and turned into sugars. 

You should try to eat plenty of carrots in your everyday diet. They have great health benefits that improve your body while maintaining glucose volume. People with diabetes eat carrots for little snacks between meals, and some might mix them with homemade tomato soup dishes or salad.

Vitamin A and beta-carotene also help to lower diabetes-related symptoms. Vitamin A especially regulates insulin production and energy homeostasis, making it beneficial for diabetes conditions. Consider taking vitamin supplements alongside eating carrots in meals.

How Many Carrots Can a Person With Diabetes Eat a Day?

Half a cup (around 80 g) of raw or cooked carrots is enough. You can also eat one full serving if you wish to snack on some during the day. Even though carrots have minimal carbs and sugars, going over this amount may exceed your recommended intake.

The average intake of vegetables might seem small, but 80 g is plenty to pair with other healthy recipes. You might only need half a cup when making carrot soup or green salads. You can always document your carb, sugar, and fiber intake throughout the day to prevent blood spikes.

Remember that carrots have all the nutrients you need for managing diabetes. Beta-carotene is shown to strengthen insulin sensitivity, leading to better glucose production in your body. Eating small amounts of this food a day can hugely improve your health over time. 

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Figuring out what foods to eat can be challenging if you have diabetes. One day, you might realize that even seemingly healthy foods are not good for maintaining blood sugars. Vegetables like carrots may be your savior when it comes to making low-carb recipes.

These root vegetables are great for a diabetic diet. You can pair them with leafy greens, green beans, and other fiber-rich foods that have low GI scores. People with diabetes are used to counting carbs and limiting their carbohydrate intake to around 50 grams per day.

Eating just a medium-sized carrot in a big meal can fuel your body with nutrients. Vitamin C, beta and alpha-carotene, dietary fiber, and vitamin A are just a few healthy minerals. Getting enough of these ensures you’re at a reduced risk of kidney or heart-related problems.

Conclusion 

So, the main question is, can diabetics eat carrots? In short – yes.

Carrots are perfect for achieving your fiber and vitamin content. They contain minimal carbs and sugars that won’t disrupt glucose production in the body. You can snack on this food throughout the day or add it to other low-carb meals – it’s completely down to your dietary preferences. 

Always speak to a healthcare professional if you experience diabetes complications. It’s better to gain diabetes treatment from someone who knows the best solutions.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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