Carrots and low carb
For some reason, not exactly sure why, carrots have gotten a really bad rap in the low carb world. And I just can’t figure it out. Everybody says it’s because of the sugar content of carrots? So let’s take a look at that a little more carefully.
Now 2.89g is a pretty small amount. For example a packet of sugar has about 4g of sugar (1 teaspoon). So 1 whole medium carrot has less than a teaspoon of sugar.
Perhaps it’s the Glycemic Index of carrots. A cooked carrot (boiled) has a GI of 33. A whole carrot raw has a GI of 16. Both of those levels are considered to be ‘low’ on the Glycemic Index scale, meaning they don’t cause a dramatic rise in blood sugar levels.
Now maybe when you look at the Glycemic index, you see diced and boiled carrots with a GI of 49. A Snickers bar has a GI of 43. Maybe that’s where the misconception came into play. Cooked carrots have a higher GI than a candy bar? They are roughly the same size even. Ad on paper, yes, that’s an accurate count.
But no so fast, let’s take a look at that a little more carefully. A Snickers candy bar has 31g of sugar, with only 1g of fiber to slow down that sugar intake. Compare that to the 2.89g of sugar in a carrot. You’d have to eat more than 10 medium sized carrots in one sitting to get the same amount of sugar in a candy bar. It would seem the Glycemic Index is a bit mis-leading.
That’s why they came up with the Glycemic Load to account for quantity. It looks like those same carrots have about half the Glycemic load as a Snickers candy bar, based on the charts I could find and even those numbers were all different.
However, considering the nutritional content of a carrot I would say that only adds more reasons to eat carrots on any diet. They contain vitamins and minerals, and are particularly high in Vitamin A and Potassium and a good source of Lutein.
So put more simply, I just don’t see the low carb issue with carrots. That’s why I eat carrots on a low carb diet. I even make it easy and just eat them raw. And I also like to use the California Veggie (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) blend cooked to go with a steak or chicken. And it is kind of nice to eat something sweet, even if it’s just a carrot.