SAN ANTONIO – Crunchy and sweet, carrots are a popular snack for kids and adults. But diet plans like South Beach and Keto make some people wonder whether the sugar content is too high.
Consumer Reports gets to the root of the question: Are carrots good for you?
Jack Algiere, director of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, says carrots are packed with nutrition from the bottom up.
"Lots of beta carotene and vitamins A, B, and C — all very good for us," he said.
Plus, you can get about 15 percent of your daily need in one cup of raw carrots.
Carrots do have more sugar than, say, broccoli, but nutritionists say it’s not something you should be worried about because it’s a naturally occurring sugar.
"That’s an important distinction to make. It’s not going to have the same effect as drinking a can of soda, for instance," said Jesse Hirsch, Consumer Reports’ food editor.
Vegetables like carrots have been shown to reduce cholesterol and may help lower blood pressure and even prevent strokes. Vitamin A and beta carotene are also great for healthy eyes, protecting the cornea and reducing the risk of infection.
Another reason this root veggie is the whole package? You can eat the whole carrot, including the greens. While they’re not great to eat as a salad, they can be cooked down and made into great dips or a pesto.
And while beta carotene has been known to give skin a healthy glow, eat too many carrots and you could actually start to look a little orange.