Author's opinion

Are Carrots Good For Weight Loss? Here’s The Answer In 2024

Ellie Busby, MS, RDN

Published at 11:09

Jennifer Olejarz

Medical reviewer

Like most vegetables, carrots are great for weight loss. Photo: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

There’s no shortage of superfoods claimed to be amazing for weight loss — but is there any truth to it? Are carrots good for weight loss, or are they just a veggie like any other? The truth may be a bit of both.

This article dives into the relationship between carrots and weight management, along with recipes and tips to add them to your diet.

Do Carrots Help You Lose Weight?

Yes, carrots are good for weight loss. They’re nutrient and fiber-rich, making them great for immunity and satiety. They also benefit healthy gut bacteria, which is possibly associated with weight loss.

Are Carrots Good For Weight Loss?

are carrots good for weight loss
Carrots also benefit healthy gut bacteria, which is possibly associated with weight loss.Photo: Arsenii Palivoda/Shutterstock

If you want to lose weight and you’re wondering if you should add carrots to your plate, the answer is — it depends. If you like the taste of carrots or are open to trying them, go for it.

Like most vegetables, carrots are great for weight loss. But if you hate them, don’t worry — plenty of other vegetables have numerous health benefits for your weight loss journey, including:

  • Cruciferous: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. 
  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale, lettuce, swiss chard, and collard greens.
  • High water content: cucumbers, celery, zucchini, radishes, and tomatoes. 
  • Assorted: green beans, asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, and eggplant. 

By experimenting with different vegetables, you’re more likely to get the necessary nutrients. Variety helps us stay healthy and avoid food boredom, which can lead to snacking.[1] Luckily, there are plenty of fruits and veggies to choose from — and recipes to make them even tastier.

Benefits Of Carrots For Weight Loss

Here’s why it’s a smart idea to give carrots a try:

Low-calorie

Carrots are a low-calorie food, which is helpful if you need to maintain a calorie deficit. A cup of baby carrots or two medium raw carrots is about 50 calories.[2]

High-fiber

Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient for weight loss. It helps you feel full and reduces hunger. Carrots are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber,[3] so you’re getting the best of both worlds. Soluble fiber lowers blood sugar levels[4] by slowing your digestion of starch and sugar. Meanwhile, insoluble fiber promotes regular bowel movements.

Gut Health Support

The fiber in carrots feeds your friendly gut bacteria — and a healthy gut[5] and digestive tract promote overall health. Weight loss is associated with a healthy increase in gut biodiversity,[6] and it’s a two-way street. Weight loss improves your gut microbiome, and a healthier gut microbiome[7] may help you lose weight.  

Nutrient-rich

Carrots are packed with vitamins and minerals — especially large amounts of vitamin A as beta-carotene.[8] It’s an essential vitamin for immune function, skin, and eye health, and one serving meets half your daily needs. After eating carrots, your body converts the beta-carotene into vitamin A.

But carrots aren’t the only source. Most orange veggies, like sweet potatoes or pumpkin, will give you a boost. Even cantaloupe, mangoes, and apricots have beta-carotene.

Although there’s no direct evidence that beta-carotene aids weight loss, studies suggest it plays a role in fat tissue regulation.[9] This might help regulate new fat cell growth and protect against obesity. It also supports overall health and immunity.

Naturally Sweet

If you’ve got a sugar craving, you’ll probably go for cake, cookies, or ice cream. But veggies can also curb or prevent those cravings. Carrots are surprisingly sweet, and even more so when cooked and caramelized. You could even drizzle a bit of honey and crushed pistachios on top for an extra hit of flavor. 

If you start eating less processed sugar, you’ll begin noticing the natural sweetness[10] in fruits and veggies more. This can help your weight loss efforts since you might crave less high-sugar foods and be more satisfied with a bowl of strawberries or grapes.

Low-Glycemic Index

Many people are interested in weight loss and search for low-glycemic index foods.[11] They release sugar into your bloodstream more slowly, creating more stable blood sugar levels and reducing fat storage. Less blood sugar spikes and crashes can lead to fewer intense cravings and overeating.

Are raw carrots good for weight loss? Raw carrots are best as they have a lower glycemic index[12] than cooked carrots,[13] such as boiled carrots.

Ways To Eat Carrots For Weight Loss 

If you think raw carrot sticks are just for hummus, think again. There are many ways to add carrots to your day, including:

  • Soup. 
  • Salad.
  • Juice. 
  • Steamed.
  • Spiralized.
  • Oven-roasted.
  • Raw carrots as snacks.

Recipes To Try

Here are some tasty recipes that highlight the versatility of this crispy and bright veggie, including juicing for weight loss:

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrots made into soup. Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 500 grams peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1-inch of ginger grated
  • 4 cups of vegetable
  • Salt, pepper, or herbs, to taste

Instructions

  • Saute the garlic, ginger, and onions until translucent. 
  • Add chopped carrots and broth.
  • Simmer until carrots are tender.
  • Blend ingredients until smooth and season to taste.

Roasted Carrot And Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries or raisins 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt, pepper
  • Parsley, basil, cilantro, or mint to taste

Instructions

  • Toss carrots in olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. 
  • Roast until tender. 
  • Mix with quinoa and garnishes to taste.

Apple And Carrot Juice

Caption A glass of Apple and Carrot juice. Photo: chuckstock/Shutterstock

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, cored 
  • 1-inch ginger
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey, to taste

Instructions

  • Juice carrots, apples, and ginger. 
  • Stir in lemon juice, honey, or ice if desired.

Precautions To Keep In Mind

There aren’t many precautions related to a moderate consumption of carrots. However, if you eat them in excess,[14] you can risk:

  • Carotenemia: A harmless condition where the skin turns yellow-orange due to excess beta-carotene.
  • Pesticides: Aim to eat organic carrots since many non-organic varieties have pesticide residue.[15] Always wash and peel non-organic carrots to reduce the risk of ingesting harmful chemicals. 
  • Digestive discomfort: Carrots are high in fiber, so if you eat raw carrots in high amounts, you can feel pain and bloating since they might be difficult to digest.
  • Medication interactions: The vitamin K in carrots,[16] when consumed in high amounts,  such as in juice, might interfere with some blood thinners.[17] Be sure to talk to your doctor about possible interactions.

Vitamin A toxicity is not a worry when eating carrots. This condition only occurs when consuming excessive vitamin A levels, not beta-carotene as present in carrots.

Conclusion

While carrots aren’t the trendiest of vegetables, they’re a great addition to a balanced diet for weight loss. When made well, they’re delicious and fiber-rich, which can keep you fuller for longer. They’re also low in sugar and can benefit your gut health — two important health benefits for a weight loss diet — and much healthier than taking a diet pill or even the best fat burner on the market.

If you’re not the biggest carrot fan, try a few new recipes before giving up on them. As long as you eat 5-10 servings a day of various fruits and veggies, you’ll increase your chances[18] of achieving a healthy weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best veggies for weight loss?

All veggies low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients, like carrots, leafy greens, or cruciferous veggies, are good for weight loss. How long it takes to lose weight depends on servings of veggies and other healthy lifestyle habits.

Can I eat as many carrots as I want on a diet?

Not exactly. Carrots are good for dieting, but don’t overeat any individual vegetable because variety is healthiest. Half a cup of cooked or raw carrot slices is one serving. Aim for five servings of vegetables and fruit daily.[19]

What does eating three carrots a day do?

Eating three carrots every day is good for vitamin A and fiber, which might help you eat less. Do carrots help you lose belly fat? No, losing weight fast, naturally, and permanently requires a holistic approach.

Is it good to eat three carrots a day?

Yes, three carrots daily is good for a balanced diet. Just make sure to add other fruits and vegetables for variety and balance.

Resources

MANA adheres to strict sourcing guidelines and abstains from utilizing tertiary references. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research from reputable medical associations and institutions to ensure the accuracy of our articles. For more information regarding our editorial process, please refer to the provided resources.

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