Carrots are an affordable, nutrient-dense vegetable that strengthens your bones and improves eye health.
However, are carrots keto?
This post will answer the question of whether carrots are keto or not. We’ll also cover tasty ways to implement carrots into your diet and some less starchy alternatives.
Can You Eat Carrots On A Ketogenic Diet?
You can eat carrots on a ketogenic diet. Although it contains 11 grams of carbs per cup and has a glycemic index or GI score of 71, the high fiber content ensures you aren’t spiking insulin or blood sugar.
But I’d recommend you not eat more than a few servings because too much can affect ketosis.
Cooking carrots also raises the GI score. So if you’re having a steak with some salad on the side, try sprinkling some raw carrots on top. If it isn’t for you, get some cooked carrots but watch your serving size.
Nutritional Information Of Carrots
Carrots are root vegetables that contain 11 grams of net carbs, one gram of protein and 45 calories per cup. This makes it a low-calorie option for dieters looking to lose weight. It’s also a good source of essential nutrients like:
- Vitamin K
The high beta-carotene content of carrots sets them apart from other vegetables. Although beta-carotene isn’t ready-to-use vitamin A, your body can convert it into vitamin A to help with skin, eye and organ function.
To ensure that your body converts as much beta-carotene into vitamin A as possible, eat your carrots with something fatty like butter, bacon, eggs or coconut oil. This is because vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient, meaning your body needs fat to absorb it.
Studies show that people who eat carrots with fat convert significantly more beta-carotene into vitamin A.
Can I Drink Carrot Juice On Keto?
Drinking carrot juice on keto is a big no because you’re taking all the fiber away and only consuming the sugars and carbs.
When you eat carrots raw or cooked, it still contains significant amounts of fiber which buffers the glycemic reaction. This way, you don’t spike blood sugar or knock yourself out of ketosis.
So carrot juice is way higher on the glycemic index because your body has to digest all this sugar without fiber.
Can I Eat Carrot Greens On Keto?
Most people throw away carrot greens and only use the yummy orange part. But carrot greens are super high in fiber, beta-carotene and vitamin C and only contain one calorie per cup.
But how do you implement them into your diet?
You can add carrot tops to your smoothies for extra nutrients and fiber. If you’re eating a salad, sprinkle some on top to spice it up. Or, if you’re making pesto, you can swap out the basil for carrot tops.
Now that we know carrots are keto-friendly, let’s look at three keto recipes.
3 Tasty Ways To Implement Carrots Into Your Keto Diet
If you’re looking to spice up your diet with low-carb carrot recipes, here are three tasty options.
Keto Carrot Cake Cookies
Making carrot cake cookies is a convenient way to satisfy your sweet tooth without eating too many carbs.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Four tablespoons of butter
- Four tablespoons of erythritol or xylitol
- One egg
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract
- ¾ cup of almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Your favorite nuts
- A handful of shredded baby carrots
First, melt your butter and add the erythritol or xylitol with one egg and maple extract. Once you’ve whisked your wet ingredients, add the almond flour, coconut flour and baking soda.
After you’ve whisked your mixture, it’s time to add your favorite nuts. My favorites are pecan nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts. Last, add your thinly sliced carrots, mix them, and spread them out on a tray.
You want to cook this mix in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots
These garlic butter roasted carrots are a tasty addition to any meat like steak, chicken or fish.
First, add four tablespoons of butter to a hot pan with a few cloves of garlic and sugar-free syrup. Next, add one cup of carrots and season with salt and pepper. Once it’s soft, pour your carrots into a baking tray and roast till it reaches a golden color.
This recipe contains 11 grams of carbs, so it won’t kick you out of ketosis, but you shouldn’t eat it regularly.
Carrot French Fries
These carrot French fries are a perfect side dish if you’re eating a low-carb burger or sandwich. It contains some carbs, so you should keep your portion size small. Fortunately, the fiber helps buffer the glycemic response.
To make these delicious keto French fries:
- Cut three large carrots into strips and put them in a bowl.
- Season with some salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika.
- Grate ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese and add it to your French fries.
- Lay them on a tray, put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400°F and enjoy!
You can even get keto mayonnaise or mustard and use it as a healthy dip. Just avoid anything that contains vegetable seed oils. Look for brands that use coconut oil or olive oil since it doesn’t trigger inflammation.
Here Are 3 Keto Carrots Substitutes
Celery is a low-carb, low-calorie food that goes well with nut butter. One cup only contains three grams of net carbs and 14 calories.
It offers unique health benefits like:
- Decreased muscle spasms
- Increased testosterone
- Lower chance of developing arthritis
- Improved weight loss
When shopping for celery, you want to check that it’s organic. Farmers spray regular celery with over 19 different chemicals that negatively affect your health.
One of my favorite snacks to eat on keto is a few sticks of organic celery with hummus spread on top. The fat in hummus ensures you’re consuming sufficient amounts of fat.
Make sure to check out this Stuffed Celery recipe!
Broccoli is a popular vegetable in the keto community.
One cup of broccoli contains 31 calories, six grams of total carbs, two grams of fiber, and almost 90% water. Studies show broccoli can help flush out excess estrogen and decrease your chance of developing bladder and breast cancer.
This makes it a valuable alternative to whole carrots on keto.
But you don’t have to eat it plain. Broccoli cheese sauce is a high-fat, low-carb side dish that’s easy to make.
Add a few tablespoons of butter to a pan and some garlic cloves with 50 grams of almond flour. Stir it for a minute or two. Next, gradually pour one liter of milk while stirring. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg once you have a smooth consistency.
Last, add half a cup of cheese with your broccoli and enjoy.
Don’t forget to take a look at this Broccoli Salad for your keto diet!
One cup of cauliflower only contains one gram of net carbohydrates and 27 calories. It also has that starchy taste of potatoes, but doesn’t have any starch.
Cauliflower offers many vitamins like B1, B3, C, E, K, riboflavin, folate and magnesium. In addition, you’ll consume hard-to-find phytonutrients like isothiocyanates, quercetin and flavonoids.
My favorite way to enjoy cauliflower is to use it as a rice replacement. If you prepare it correctly, it tastes just like rice without carbs.
To make cauliflower rice:
- Cut one head of cauliflower into small pieces.
- Next, put it in a food processor and process it until the cauliflower is fine.
- Spread your cauliflower on a tray and press it with a paper towel to get rid of the moisture.
- Put it in a pan on high heat with a teaspoon of soy sauce and fish sauce.
- Add some garlic paste and season with dried oregano sea salt and pepper.
- Once it has a golden color, remove your keto rice from the heat and enjoy.
Because you aren’t cooking it for long, you don’t destroy many nutrients.
If you’re doing keto on a budget, consider making some keto cauliflower rice with bacon because it’s an affordable, high-fat meal.
Loved this recipe? Feel free to check out this Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe!
Final Thoughts On Eating Carrots On Keto
Although carrots are quite starchy and contain some carbs, you can eat them on a low-carb diet without being kicked out of ketosis.
Carrots also offer numerous health benefits like improving eye health, bone strength and blood pressure.
To implement carrots into your diet, consider making carrot cake cookies, roasted carrots or French fry carrots since it’s tasty and easy to make. Try low-carb veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, or celery if you feel like swapping carrots out for something else.
Learn more about what foods are keto friendly, including commonly asked vegetables like beets, pumpkin, mushrooms, onions and more in our keto beginners guide.