is carrot good for diabetes
Nutrition

Are Carrots Good for Diabetics?

Diabetes is a long-term condition in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired.

What to eat and what not to eat is always a source of consternation for people with diabetes. Carrots are non-starchy veggies that are vital in our diet. Blood sugar levels are less affected by non-starchy foods. Carrots are high in nutrients and vitamins, and they have a low glycemic index, making them ideal for people with diabetes.

Let’s see what we can find out in our detailed article titled ‘Is carrot good for diabetics?’

Nutritional Profile of Carrot

We have all heard the benefits of eating carrots but what exactly is their nutritional composition? Let’s find out.

Nutrients Amount in 1 medium, raw carrot Daily recommendation for adult males Daily recommendations for adult females
Energy (calories) 25 1,800–2,400 1,600–2,000
Carbohydrate (g) 5.8 — including 2.9 g of sugar 130 130
Fiber (g) 1.7 28–34 22–28
Calcium (mg) 20.1 1,000–1,300 1,000–1,300
Phosphorus (mg) 21.4 700–1,250 700–1,250
Potassium (mg) 195 3,000–3,400 2,300–2,600
Vitamin C (mg) 3.6 75–90 65–75
Folate (mcg DFE) 11.6 400 400
Vitamin A (mcg RAE) 509 900 700
Vitamin E (mg) 0.4 15 15
Vitamin K (mcg) 8.1 75–120 75–90
Beta carotene (mcg) 5,050 no data no data
Alpha carotene (mcg) 2,120 no data no data
Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg) 156 no data no data

A medium sized carrot’s caloric value is between 25 to 42 on an average. This changes depending on the sugar content and size of the carrot.

Carrot for Diabetes

Is carrot good for diabetics? Yes, it is rich in carotenoids, vitamin A, fibre, and healthy carbs.

Colourful fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients, making them ideal for a balanced diet. Beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is abundant in carrots. There are also antioxidants, fibre, and other nutrients present. A medium carrot is a low-glycemic food with only 4 grams of net (digestible) carbs. Foods with low carbs and a low glycemic index have little effect on blood sugar levels.

Vitamin B-6 is a water-soluble vitamin which are essential for a variety of metabolic processes. Vitamin B1 and B6 deficiencies are seen frequently in persons with type 2 diabetes.  Furthermore, low vitamin B-6 levels are associated with an earlier onset of diabetic nephropathy.

Dietary fibre is an essential aspect of diabetic blood sugar regulation. In addition, fibre intake can assist persons with diabetes lower their long-term and fasting blood glucose levels.

On the other hand, carrots are not a very good source of calcium or iron, but their beta-carotene aids in iron absorption. Beta-carotene is also converted into Vitamin A, which regulates blood sugar levels.

Carrots have a GI score of less than 55, which is considered low, proving beneficial to diabetic patients.

Carrots appear vivid orange due to the presence of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, which regulates blood sugar levels.

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Do Carrots Raise Blood Sugar?

A balanced diet should include foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and plant-based chemicals like those found in carrots. According to studies, eating a variety of vegetables, including carrots, helps enhance the body's natural immune system, digestive system, and cardiovascular health. People with diabetes may consume carrots without any issues since they are a non-starchy vegetable. They have a great taste and are packed with nutrients, so you can eat them raw or cooked. People with diabetes need to take extra precautions due to a number of additional health hazards, including heart disease, obesity, vision loss and renal damage, as well as nerve damage. Consuming foods that support the treatment of diabetes and the prevention of other illnesses is essential, as is maintaining a balanced diet. 

Carrots have a low glycemic load which means that they slowly release glucose in the blood upon consumption and do not cause blood sugar spikes.

Benefits to eating Carrots if you have Diabetes

Carrots are non starchy vegetables that people with diabetes can eat without hesitation. They can be had raw or cooked as they have a delicious flavor and also provide a lot of nutrients. People with a diabetic condition have a lot of additional health risks that they need to be careful about such as heart disease, obesity, ocular and renal damage as well as nerve damage. Eating a healthy diet is super important and having food that helps in the management of diabetes and prevention of any other diseases is crucial. Here are some of the major benefits of eating carrots, especially for people with diabetes. 

Benefits vision

Xerophthalmia is a degenerative eye condition that may be brought on by a vitamin A deficit. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A. Xerophthalmia may lead to night blindness or trouble seeing when there is not enough light, both of which can be disabling. Carrots also include the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and the combination of the two may help prevent age-related macular degeneration. 

Aids Diabetes Management 

Carrots, whether cooked or eaten raw, have a low score on the glycemic index. This indicates that there is a low likelihood that they may cause a surge in blood sugar. People who have diabetes may benefit from using the GI index to determine which foods are most likely to cause their blood sugar levels to rise. Since carrots also have an abundance of fiber, they help to manage weight and are beneficial in warding off the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Improves cardiovascular health

Carrots are rich in potassium, which has the ability to relax blood vessels, which lowers the chance of developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders. About 4% of a person's recommended daily intake of potassium may be met by eating one medium-sized carrot. Eating vegetables that are rich in fiber, like carrots, may lessen a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease in addition to lowering their levels of low-density lipoprotein, generally known as "bad" cholesterol.

Carrots are a great source of nutrition as well as taste and if you have diabetes, you can eat carrots without hesitation. Carrot’s glycemic index is low which makes it ideal for people with diabetes as it won’t cause any blood sugar spikes.

Risks to eating carrots if you have diabetes

Some downsides to eating carrots if you have diabetes include:

  • Carrots are notorious for having a high natural sugar content, which is bad news for diabetes patients.
  • The glycemic index of carrots is relatively high. This is not something that a person with diabetes would want.
  • According to another significant study, carrots may contain vitamin E with traces of gamma-tocopherol. There’s a risk that this substance will raise your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Studies on the benefits of carrots on diabetic individuals are still being conducted.
  • Excess carrot eating may result in a vitamin A overdose, especially if vitamin A supplements are also consumed. Carotenemia is a yellowish colouring of the skin caused by excessive carrot eating. Carrots can cause constipation if consumed in excess.

Best Ways To Have Carrots For Diabetics

Carrots are versatile foods that are tasty and have a great flavor. They can easily be eaten without cooking by adding them in salads or just as carrot sticks. Simply give it a thorough washing to eliminate any dirt or debris, and then savor it. Carrots, on the other hand, do not need to be peeled (but it is recommended that you do) as long as they are well washed beforehand. The following are some other ways that people with diabetes can enjoy carrots:

  • If you're looking for a replacement for celery, try carrots dipped in hummus or salad dressing, or smeared with a little peanut butter.
  • It can be made into a morning sugar-free smoothie combined with other veggies using a blender.
  • Shredded or grated and added to your go-to stir-fry, soup, or slaw recipe.
  • Baked at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 45 minutes after being tossed in a little bit of olive oil, along with a tiny quantity of salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning. 

All of these don’t require any amount of additional sugar and will not cause blood sugar spikes.

How Much Carrots Should A Diabetic Eat?

Carrots have various nutritional benefits and are a safe choice for people with diabetes. They have a low sugar content and are fiber rich and don’t cause sugar spikes but even then, they should be consumed in moderation. 

A person with diabetes can eat 2 medium sized carrots in a day or one cup of chopped carrots overall without facing any issues. Be careful not to add any additional sugar to your carrots so you can get all of its nutrition.

Bottomline

Can diabetics eat carrots? Yes, because along with other non-starchy veggies, carrots are an excellent addition to a diabetic’s diet. They are high in vitamin A and fibre, which are beneficial to blood sugar levels.

Despite its sweet flavour, people should include carrots in their everyday diet since as they can help manage blood glucose levels. Although carrot juice contains sugar and carbohydrates, it does not raise blood sugar levels.

We all know that health is wealth, but is carrot good for diabetes? To get enough nutrients, you need to eat a well-balanced diet. Carrots are a great addition to any diet, and they are especially beneficial to dieters. Adding one healthy habit to your daily routine is significantly preferable to taking medicine.

FAQs

What's the Glycemic Index of Carrots?

A person with diabetes would often have several questions in their minds about which foods they should or should not eat. “Are carrots good for diabetes?” is also something that they may often end up asking their dieticians before they begin to consume it in their diet. Raw carrots have a glycemic index of 16 – this is a number on the low side, which means that the consumption of a raw carrot will not increase and hike the blood sugar levels by a lot. However, the glycemic index of a boiled carrot would be between 32-49. While this is not on the higher side, mixed with high-carb foods, it can end up increasing the sugars.

Does carrot increase blood sugar?

A person with diabetes can choose to incorporate carrots into their daily routine. Even though it has a slightly sweet flavor, it does not have a very high glycemic index which makes it easy to manage blood glucose levels. Carrots in the form of juice might have lesser nutrients and higher carbs but raw or cooked carrots can be beneficial owing to the plethora of advantages they may provide. Carrot for diabetes might be a good option occasionally and in moderate quantities.

Are carrots good for weight loss?

Yes, carrots are good for weight loss as they have a very low sugar content and are packed with healthy fiber. They prevent insulin resistance and weight gain by balancing out blood sugar and helping a person feel full for longer because of its fiber content. Eating carrots in moderation along with other healthy vegetables will aid in weight loss. 

Are carrots high in sugar?

No, carrots are sweet but they do not have a high sugar content. Furthermore, whatever amount of sugar they do have is balanced by the amount of fiber they contain, making them especially good for people with diabetes.

What is the sugar content of Carrot?

In 100 grams of a raw carrot, there are only 4.7grams of sugar. This means that the direct and natural sugars in a carrot might almost be negligible. Additionally, in 100 grams of carrot, the carb content is limited to 10grams. Therefore, unlike the popular misconception that carrots might be bad for a person with diabetes, these facts prove that the vegetable can be beneficial overall. They are not even as high in starch as compared to other root vegetables.

Is boiled carrot good for diabetics?

There is a common misconception that carrots are sugar-loaded food. As per researchers, boiled carrots have a glycemic load (GL) of 2. The GL number estimates how much the particular food will raise the person’s blood glucose level post-eating. Since it is at the lower level 2 and carrot is a non-starchy and high-fibre vegetable, it is a safe food for diabetic people to eat in small amounts at every meal.

What foods don’t raise blood sugar?

To reverse prediabetes, it is important to have a healthy diet. Food that has a low glycemic index (GI) won’t raise the blood sugar level thus, preventing the spike. Here are such food items mentioned- 

  • Avocado
  • Carrot
  • Tuna Fish
  • Garlic
  • Sour cherries
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach
  • Chia seeds
  • Blueberries 
  • Almonds
  • Eggs
  • Coffee

Does chicken raise blood sugar?

Chicken contains no amount of carbohydrates, thus it makes a fantastic low-glycemic meal having hardly any effect on blood sugar levels. Since it's also low in insulin dependency, diabetic people can consume chicken to suffice their protein intake regularly but in the form of chicken recipes that have a low GI. As they are also low in fat content, there is no risk of cholesterol increase either. 

Is milk at night good for diabetes?

People with diabetes have to regularly monitor their carbohydrate intake to manage their blood sugar levels. While milk is considered a complete nutrient food, it is a matter of concern when consumed at night by diabetic people. Since it contains carbohydrates in the form of lactose, the lactose then breaks down into sugar in the body, hence spiking up the blood sugar level of the person. Thus, the person having diabetes should avoid having milk at night.

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