Carbs In Carrots
Carbs In Carrots, Too Many?
Counting carbs in carrots, and any other vegetable for that matter, goes hand in hand with planning a low carb diet. Certain food need to be either eliminated from the diet or consumed only in small amounts. Should carrots be one of those eliminated? The carrot is a very healthy vegetable, and banning it from any list of "correct foods" for a given diet doesn't seem to make much sense.
Carrots On The See Saw - The problem with carrots, and carbs in carrots for that matter, is if you put together a list of vegetables you should be eating as part of a low carb diet, and a list of those vegetables you should avoid, depending on the diet or who you talk to, you can find carrots on either list, and some times on both! There's a reason for this that we'll get to in a moment.
When you go on a low carb diet, you're generally either trying to lose weight or at least keep from gaining it. Carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates aren't bad; in fact they are essential to our good health. At issue is not the elimination of carbs from the diet, but one of consuming them in a balanced manner along with the other nutrients our bodies require. It's not a matter of how many carbs you eat, but the percentage of carbs making up the nutrients in your diet. You want to keep that percentage within certain bounds to maintain a healthy weight, and lower the percentage somewhat if you need to lose weight.
It's almost impossible to imagine anyone who eats lots and lots of carrots becoming grossly overweight. Almost any vegetable tray presented to you will contain carrots, along with several other nutritional vegetables. When you nibble from a vegetable tray you feel good, and you should, unless the dip is excessively fattening. You're eating healthy food, and low carb food as well, except maybe, for the carrots.
The Good Guys - If you really want to focus on low carb vegetables in planning you diet, the very best are herbs, greens, sprouts and celery. For a little more variety you can add green beans, asparagus, cucumbers and cabbage to the list. Near the middle of the pack of the best low carb vegetables are the various peppers, both bell peppers and the hotter varieties, tomatoes, leeks, broccoli and summer squash. At the bottom of your "good" list you'll find pumpkin, turnips, onions and, carrots. Carrots made the good list but barely it seems. If you take part in a diet where every carb counts and you're really, really trying to minimize your intake of carbs, you'll be going heavy on the greens and sprouts and missing out on carrots. Greens and sprouts are very healthy of course, but carrots are just as healthy, and contain a few beneficial elements not found in the leaf vegetables.
The Not So Good Guys - In putting together a list of the worst vegetables, you may find that in some cases carrots failed to make the cut, and ended up on the bad list, with an asterisk noting that of all the bad vegetables, as far as carbs are concerned, the carbs in carrots are the lowest in number. Your vegetables that are truly loaded with carbs are beets, peas, corn, and near the bottom of the pile, good old starchy potatoes. If you are intent on maintaining a healthy weight it's probably a good idea to lay off of the French fries - but, lay off the carrots?
Excluding Carrots Makes Little Sense - In most low-carb diets, people shy away from the root vegetables, which of course includes the carrot. The carrot though, has the lowest carb count of any root vegetable, and has fewer carbs per serving than some fruits, which are generally included in most low-carb diets. Carbs in carrots should really not be anyone's concern, as the vegetable is packed with so many other nutrients, some of which are quite valuable, that by not eating them you are probably losing more than you are gaining in terms of benefit. If you feel you must stick to a strict diet, prescribed by someone else of course, it wouldn't hurt to demand some justification behind what foods are or are not included, beyond simple carb count.