Carrots Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food.
It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants ().
They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
What’s more, their carotene antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.
Carrots are found in many colors, including yellow, white, orange, red, and purple.
Orange carrots get their bright color from beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A.
This article tells you everything you need to know about carrots.
Carrots’ water content ranges from 86–95%, and the edible portion consists of around 10% carbs (, ).
Carrots contain very little fat and protein ().
The nutrition facts for two small-to-medium raw carrots ( grams) are:
- Calories: 41
- Water: 88%
- Protein: grams
- Carbs: grams
- Sugar: grams
- Fiber: grams
- Fat: grams
Carrots are mainly composed of water and carbs.
The carbs consist of starch and sugars, such as sucrose and glucose ().
They are also a relatively good source of fiber, with one medium-sized carrot (61 grams) providing 2 grams.
Carrots often rank low on the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar after a meal.
Their GI ranges from 16–60 — lowest for raw carrots, a little higher for cooked ones, and highest for puréed (4, ).
Eating low-glycemic foods is linked to numerous health benefits and considered particularly beneficial for people with diabetes (, ).
Pectin is the main form of soluble fiber in carrots (8).
Soluble fibers can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down your digestion of sugar and starch.
They can also feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which may lead to improved health and decreased risk of disease (, , ).
What’s more, certain soluble fibers can impair the absorption of cholesterol from your digestive tract, lowering blood cholesterol (, ).
The main insoluble fibers in carrots are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Insoluble fibers may reduce your risk of constipation and promote regular bowel movements (, 14).
Carrots are about 10% carbs, consisting of starch, fiber, and simple sugars. They are extremely low in fat and protein.
Vitamins and minerals
Carrots are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially biotin, potassium, and vitamins A (from beta carotene), K1 (phylloquinone), and B6.
- Vitamin A: Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. This nutrient promotes good vision and is important for growth, development, and immune function ().
- Biotin: A B vitamin formerly known as vitamin H, biotin plays an important role in fat and protein metabolism ().
- Vitamin K1: Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is important for blood coagulation and can promote bone health (, ).
- Potassium: An essential mineral, potassium is important for blood pressure control.
- Vitamin B6: A group of related vitamins, B6 is involved in the conversion of food into energy.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. They are also a good source of several B vitamins, as well as vitamin K and potassium.
Other plant compounds
Carrots offer many plant compounds, including carotenoids.
These are substances with powerful antioxidant activity that have been linked to improved immune function and reduced risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, various degenerative ailments, and certain types of cancer ().
Beta carotene, the main carotene in carrots, can be converted into vitamin A in your body.
However, this conversion process may vary by individual. Eating fat with carrots can help you absorb more of the beta carotene ().
The main plant compounds in carrots are:
- Beta carotene: Orange carrots are very high in beta carotene. The absorption is better (up to fold) if the carrots are cooked (, , ).
- Alpha-carotene: An antioxidant that, like beta carotene, is partly converted into vitamin A in your body.
- Lutein: One of the most common antioxidants in carrots, lutein is predominantly found in yellow and orange carrots and is important for eye health ().
- Lycopene: A bright red antioxidant found in many red fruits and vegetables, including red and purple carrots, lycopene may decrease your risk of cancer and heart disease ().
- Polyacetylenes: Recent research has identified bioactive compounds in carrots that may help protect against leukemia and other cancers (, , ).
- Anthocyanins: These are powerful antioxidants found in dark-colored carrots.
Carrots are a great source of many plant compounds, especially carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lutein.
Health benefits of carrots
Much of the research on carrots has focused on carotenoids.
Reduced risk of cancer
Diets rich in carotenoids may help protect against several types of cancer.
This includes prostate, colon, and stomach cancers (, , ).
Women with high circulating levels of carotenoids may also have a reduced risk of breast cancer ().
Dated research suggested that carotenoids could protect against lung cancer, but newer studies have not identified a correlation (, ).
Lower blood cholesterol
High blood cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease.
Intake of carrots has been linked to lower cholesterol levels (, ).
As a low-calorie food, carrots can increase fullness and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals ().
For this reason, they may be a useful addition to an effective weight loss diet.
Individuals with low vitamin A levels are more likely to experience night blindness, a condition that may diminish by eating carrots or other foods rich in vitamin A or carotenoids ().
Carotenoids may also cut your risk of age-related macular degeneration (, , ).
Eating carrots is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as improved eye health. Additionally, this vegetable may be a valuable component of an effective weight loss diet.
Organic vs. conventionally grown carrots
Organic farming uses natural methods for growing the crop.
Studies comparing organic and conventionally grown carrots did not find any difference in the amount of carotenoids or antioxidant content and quality (, , , , ).
However, conventionally grown carrots contain pesticide residues. The long-term health effects of low-grade pesticide intake are unclear, but some scientists have voiced concerns ().
While no evidence suggests that organic carrots are more nutritious than conventionally grown ones, organic varieties are less likely to harbor pesticides.
Baby carrots are an increasingly popular snack food.
Two kinds of carrots are called baby carrots, which can be misleading.
One the one hand, there are whole carrots harvested while still small.
On the other hand, there are baby-cut carrots, which are pieces from larger carrots that have been machine-cut into the preferred size, then peeled, polished, and sometimes washed in small amounts of chlorine before packing.
There’s very little difference in nutrients between regular and baby carrots, and they should have the same health effects.
Baby carrots are whole carrots harvested before they grow large, while baby-cut carrots are pieces from larger carrots that have been machine-cut, peeled, polished, and washed before packing.
Carrots are generally considered safe to eat but may have adverse effects in some people.
Additionally, eating too much carotene can cause your skin to become a little yellow or orange, but this is harmless.
According to one study, carrots can cause pollen-related allergic reactions in up to 25% of food-allergic individuals ().
Carrot allergy is an example of cross-reactivity in which the proteins in certain fruits or vegetables cause an allergic reaction because of their similarity to the proteins found in certain types of pollen.
If you are sensitive to birch pollen or mugwort pollen, you might react to carrots.
This can cause your mouth to tingle or itch. In some people, it may trigger swelling of the throat or a severe allergic shock (anaphylaxis) (, , ).
Carrots grown in contaminated soil or exposed to contaminated water may harbor larger amounts of heavy metals, which can affect their safety and quality ().
Carrots may cause reactions in people allergic to pollen. Additionally, carrots grown in contaminated soils may contain higher amounts of heavy metals, affecting their safety and quality.
The bottom line
Carrots are the perfect snack — crunchy, full of nutrients, low in calories, and sweet.
They’re associated with heart and eye health, improved digestion, and even weight loss.
This root vegetable comes in several colors, sizes, and shapes, all of which are great additions to a healthy diet.
|Serving Size||10 large (/4" to /2" long)|
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Values*
|There are calories in 10 large Carrots.|
|Calorie breakdown: 5% fat, 87% carbs, 8% protein.|
Other Common Serving Sizes:
Related Types of Carrots:
Related Types of Vegetables:
Used in these Member Recipes:
What does calories look like? - Eat well
Find out what calories looks like with this selection of everyday foods.
Calories and kilocalories
The term calorie is a commonly used shorthand for "kilocalorie". On food packets, you'll find this written as kcal.
Kilojoules (kJ) are the metric measurement of calories, and you'll see both kJ and kcal on nutrition labels: kJ is equivalent to approximately 1kcal.
Energy throughout the day
As part of a healthy, balanced diet, women need on average 8,kJ a day (2,kcal), while men need on average 10,kJ a day (2,kcal).
A rough guide to how your energy requirement can be spread throughout the day is as follows:
- breakfast: 20% (a fifth of your energy intake)
- lunch: 30% (about a third of your energy intake)
- evening meal: 30% (about a third of your energy intake)
- drinks and snacks: 20% (a fifth of your energy intake)
As you can see, any drinks or snacks you have count towards your daily energy total.
If you eat more for your breakfast, lunch or evening meal, you may need to drop a snack later in the day to stay on track.
Comparing energy values: a visual guide
This guide shows energy values for 10 different foods. This will help you visualise what kcal (kJ) looks like and manage the number of calories you consume.
This amount, kcal, represents just 5% of a woman's daily reference intake (4% for men), but this quickly adds up when adding ingredients during cooking or when we reach for a snack.
High-fat foods have more energy because fat contains more than double the calories per gram compared with protein and carbohydrates.
Foods containing mainly water, such as vegetables, have even less.
This guide shows how quickly calories can add up in certain foods.
Some of the photos have household objects, such as a pack of cards, to help illustrate the size.
Calories in oil, mayonnaise and butter
All types of fat are high in energy. A gram of fat provides 9kcal, compared with 4kcal for carbohydrate and protein.
Oil and butter are almost pure fat, which is why kJ/kcal is:
- just a little over 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 level tablespoon of mayonnaise
- just under 1 tablespoon of butter (a thick spread of butter on your bread)
Calories in cheese
Most cheese is high in fat, so kJ/kcal is just under a 30g matchbox-sized piece of cheddar cheese.
Calories in sugar
Calories in sugar can add up if not used sparingly, especially for people who drink tea or coffee with sugar throughout the day. Four heaped teaspoons of sugar is kJ/kcal.
Find out how sugar affects your health
Calories in biscuits
A lot of biscuits are high in fat and sugar and low in nutrients, so 2 ginger nut biscuits add up to kJ/kcal.
Other biscuits may be higher in energy, such as those covered in or filled with chocolate.
Calories in crisps
Crisps, which are often high in fat and salt, can quickly add up to kJ/kcal.
For example, the g tube of crisps featured in this picture contains nearly 1, calories, so just 10% of a tube (9 crisps) equals kJ/kcal.
Calories in meat and fish
The kind of meat you eat could make a big difference to the amount of energy you consume.
For example, this is what kcal of steak looks like:
On the other hand, turkey and fish are both low in fat and lower in energy, so kJ/kcal is about 3 slices of turkey or a few spoonfuls of plain large prawns.
Calories in dried fruit
For kJ/kcal, you'll get just over a 30g portion of raisins.
A 30g serving of dried fruit counts as 1 of your 5 A Day, whereas an 80g serving of fresh fruit, such as grapes or cherries, counts as 1 of your 5 A Day.
Calories in fresh fruit
For kJ/kcal, you can tuck into any of the following:
- a large apple
- a banana
These all count towards your 5 A Day, which should include a variety of fruit and vegetables.
Calories in vegetables
Vegetables are generally low in calories, while bringing the added benefits of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
To illustrate this, kJ/kcal is equal to:
- 3 whole cucumbers
- 2 heads of lettuce
- 3 carrots weighing around g each
Check the nutrition label
Remember, this page is only intended as an illustration. All foods vary in energy content and this can depend on how they're made or prepared, and how much you eat.
Most prepackaged foods have a nutrition label on the side or back of the packaging, which will give a guide to the energy content.
Get advice on counting calories in non-packaged foods, such as loose fruit and vegetables or fresh bread.
Read about understanding calories for more information about energy values in food.
Page last reviewed: 23 July
Next review due: 23 July
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Values*
|There are 35 calories in 10 medium Baby Carrots.|
|Calorie breakdown: 3% fat, 90% carbs, 7% protein.|
Other Common Serving Sizes:
Related Types of Baby Carrots:
Related Types of Carrots:
Used in these Member Recipes:
10 carrots in calories
The Calories and Nutrition in One Baby Carrot
A bowl of manufactured, cut and peeled baby carrots is a popular snack, as one baby carrot packs a lot of nutrition into few calories.
Image Credit: Grygorii Shvets/iStock/GettyImages
Baby carrots are reputed to be a healthy, nutrition-packed snack. But how many calories are in one single baby carrot, exactly? And how do baby carrots' calories and nutritional values compare to regular carrots'? Do both kinds of carrots have vitamin A and fiber? Are baby carrots really good for you?
Read on to learn more about baby carrots' calories and nutrients, and to find out how baby carrots compare with regular-sized carrots nutrition-wise.
Baby Carrot Calories
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central database gives a single baby carrot two different calorie values, based on the baby carrots' size. A large baby carrot -- defined as weighing 15 grams -- has calories, while a medium baby carrot — one that weighs 10 grams — has calories.
That means that snackers who eat 10 baby carrots in one sitting are taking in calories if the baby carrots are large, and 35 calories if the baby carrots are medium-sized.
Either way, the crunch of baby carrots is so satisfying, you just might be able to swap them for potato chips! But beware: If you dip your baby carrots into a savory sauce or dressing — or sauté them in butter or oil — you will add both fat and calories to those beautiful little babies.
Per the USDA, one tablespoon of ranch dressing has 65 calories and 7 grams of fat. For a healthier dip, mix plain low-fat yogurt with your favorite dried or fresh herbs and seasonings.
Baby Carrot Nutrition
If food prices were based on nutritional value, the humble baby carrot would be far more expensive. Check it out:
Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A
Like regular-sized carrots, baby carrots get their bright orange hue from beta-carotene, an antioxidant that defends cells from damaging molecules known as free radicals. According to research published by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, carrots in general are one of the richest dietary sources of beta-carotene available.
"In the body, beta-carotene converts into vitamin A," they explain. "We need vitamin A for good vision and eye health, for a strong immune system, and for healthy skin and mucous membranes."
Per the USDA, one medium baby carrot contains micrograms of beta-carotene and international units of vitamin A.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
The American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) recommends baby carrots as a good source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which "may decrease the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration and even cataracts."
One single medium baby carrot contains micrograms of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are usually measured together, the AMDF explains.
Like regular carrots, baby carrots are high in fiber. One single large baby carrot contains almost half a gram of dietary fiber, per the USDA.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dietary fiber is essential for a healthy diet because it not only prevents constipation but helps with "maintaining a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer."
Baby Carrots vs. Regular Carrots
Think "baby carrots," and you probably picture the bag of cute little cut and peeled carrots you see at the grocery store. Those are simply regular carrots that have been peeled and shaped into snack-sized portions — and that's what we focused on in this piece.
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