This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Putting together your weight loss diet can be confusing with all the options. What about carrots, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Carrots are a very popular root vegetable that is available in different colors although the orange version is the most popular.
Like most vegetables, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more carrots. Find out just how good they are and how they compare to other vegetables for weight loss.
Micronutrients in carrots
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in carrots.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of carrots provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin A: 334% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin K: 16% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
- Manganese: 7% of the DV
- Niacin: 5% of the DV
- Folate: 5% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. Carrots contain a decent amount of vitamins and minerals compared to many other whole foods.
Carrots alone will likely not be enough to hit your daily nutrient goals but they can contribute well to a balanced diet.
Fiber in carrots for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Carrots contain around 2.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in carrots you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Do carrots help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in carrots.
Carrots contain 41 calories per 100 grams. 36.4 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (9.6 g per 100 grams of which 2.8 g fiber). One cup of chopped carrots (128g), which is about 2 medium carrots, contains about 52.5 calories.
You should be able to fit in some carrots in low carb diets like the keto diet.
The amount of calories in carrots is higher than many other vegetables but still very low in general. Fruits, legumes, meats, and everything in between are generally higher in calories than this.
This means that carrots will benefit your weight loss by helping you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. This can help you consume less of calorie-rich foods. In turn, this is enough for most people to lose weight.
If you are gaining weight while eating carrots, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Carrots are generally not fattening.
How many carrots a day is too much?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough micronutrients is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Carrots help you reach your daily micronutrient goals to some extent but you will need other foods as well.
That’s partly why something like a raw carrot diet, mostly eating carrots, is just plain bad for you both for short and long term weight loss and health.
If you have consumed enough micronutrients, or you are close to your daily goal, you can see how many carrots still fit within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
Do carrots help you lose belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To burn belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since carrots can help you lose weight in general this vegetable can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
Different ways to eat carrots for weight loss
Carrots make for a great snack on their own but they also combine great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with carrots:
If you are looking to lose weight you want to avoid dessert recipes with carrots like muffins and cake.
Lastly many people wonder whether carrot juice is healthy and good for weight loss too.
If you’re only looking at calories, carrot juice contains about the same amount of calories per 100 grams. Carrots contain around 41 calories per 100 grams vs the 40 calories per 100 grams of carrot juice (2).
Keep in mind that this is pure carrot juice. The carrot juice you buy at the store usually contains added sugar and sweeteners which are not great for weight loss.
Carrot juice does contain a lot less fiber. Carrots contain around 2.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams, carrot juice 0.8 grams. Lastly, carrot juice does contain slightly more vitamins and minerals.
The main problem with carrot juice for weight loss is that it is a liquid. Only a single glass of carrot juice is already 200 grams. Just imagine the difference in fulness between 100 grams of potato vs half a glass of water.
Calorie rich drinks like juices are almost never a good idea if you’re looking to lose weight. By juicing you remove the fiber from food which is arguably the most useful nutrient for weight loss.
In general, it’s a lot easier to overconsume calories with drinks than with whole foods. This also applies to carrots vs carrot juice.
Carrots vs other vegetables for weight loss
You now know how good carrots are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other vegetables? Find out how good carrots are for weight loss vs parsnips, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and celery.
Carrots vs parsnips
The first comparison is carrots vs parsnips. If you’re only looking at calories, parsnips contain more calories per 100 grams. Carrots contain around 41 calories per 100 grams vs the 71 calories per 100 grams of boiled parsnips (3).
Carrots contain around 2.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams, parsnips 3.6 grams. Lastly, the vitamins and minerals in parsnips are more distributed among different ones while carrots are mainly high in vitamin A.
Carrots will likely be slightly better than parsnips for weight loss but the difference won’t be that big.
Carrots vs sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber, 3.3 grams per 100 grams. In terms of vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes have higher amounts.
Due to their low calorie count, carrots will likely be better for weight loss than sweet potatoes.
Carrots vs broccoli
Broccoli contains 3.3 grams of fiber per 100 grams so higher than carrots. Broccoli also contains slightly bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals than carrots.
All in all, broccoli is likely better for weight loss than carrots.
Carrots vs celery
In turn celery is lower in fiber, 1.6 grams per 100 grams. Carrots have a slightly higher amount of vitamins and minerals.
Celery will likely be slightly better for weight loss than carrots due to its extremely low calorie count.
Chart of carrots vs other vegetables
The small differences in nutritional values between these foods will most likely not matter that much when it comes to weight loss. If you like all of them equally you might as well choose the ones that are the best.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for carrots (1), parsnips (3), sweet potatoes (4), broccoli (5), and celery (6) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Carrots||Parsnips||Sweet Potatoes||Broccoli||Celery|
|Calories||41 calories||71 calories||90 calories||35 calories||16 calories|
|Fiber||2.8 g||3.6 g||3.3 g||3.3 g||1.6 g|