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Glycemic index of carrots that you need to know

The glycemic index of carrots is 16. Carrot is a low GI food, which means that it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels.

1. What is the glycemic index (GI)?

The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.

Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100.

The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels. Here are the three GI ratings:

Low: 55 or less
Medium: 56–69
High: 70 or above

Foods high in refined carbs and sugar are digested more quickly and often have a high GI, while foods high in protein, fat, or fiber typically have a low GI. Foods that contain no carbs are not assigned a GI and include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and oils.

Several factors influence the glycemic index of a food, including its nutrient composition, cooking method, ripeness, and the amount of processing it has undergone.

The glycemic index can not only help increase your awareness of what you’re putting on your plate but also enhance weight loss, decrease your blood sugar levels, and reduce your cholesterol.

Keep in mind that the glycemic index is different from the glycemic load (GL).

Unlike the GI, which doesn’t take into account the amount of food eaten, the GL factors in the number of carbs in a serving of a food to determine how it may affect blood sugar levels.

For this reason, it’s important to take both the glycemic index and glycemic load into consideration when selecting foods to help support healthy blood sugar levels.

Glycemic index of carrots that you need to know

2. Glycemic index of carrots

Where a carbohydrate food falls on the glycemic index indicates how much it will raise your blood sugar. This is particularly important if you have diabetes, as your body’s ability to manage the amount of sugar in your blood is impaired. Although carbohydrate counting is a more effective way to plan meals and manage your glucose levels, the glycemic index can help you fine-tune your carb intake, reports the American Diabetes Association.

If a food has a low GI – less than 55 — it will affect your blood sugar less than a medium or high food will.

A cup (128g) of chopped raw carrots has 12.3 grams of carbohydrates, with 3.6 grams of fiber and 6.1 grams of natural sugars.

The lower the glycemic index (GI), the slower your blood sugar rises. The glycemic index of raw carrots is 16. The GI for boiled carrots ranges from 35 to 43.

The glycemic index for any food will go up if you cook or prepare them with honey or other carbohydrates. Still, carrots are high in fiber, so that helps slow down how quickly they release the sugar. They also have a lower glycemic index than other root vegetables like potatoes.

The glycemic index isn’t the only number you should watch. Another is glycemic load. It combines the glycemic index with the serving size to give you a total picture of the effect on your blood sugar. Eating low glycemic index food but a lot of it will raise the glycemic load.

Two small raw carrots have a glycemic load (GL) of about 8. That also puts carrots in the low glycemic load group:

Low glycemic load: 1-10
Medium glycemic load: 11-19
High glycemic load: 20 or higher

3. Health benefits of carrots

Help control diabetes

Carrots contain natural sugars, 10% of carrots are carbohydrates and almost half of this is sugar. Another 30% of this carbohydrate content is fiber.

Overall, carrots are a low-calorie, high-fiber, relatively low-sugar food. Thanks to a low glycemic index (GI) score, around 39 GI points for boiled carrots, carrots are unlikely to trigger blood sugar spikes and are safe for people with diabetes.

What’s more, a high-fiber diet can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes or help you control blood sugar.

Good for your eyes

This is probably the best-known carrot superpower. They’re rich in beta-carotene, a compound your body changes into vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy. And beta-carotene helps protect your eyes from the sun and lowers your chances of cataracts and other eye problems.

Yellow carrots have lutein, which is also good for your eyes. Studies have found that it can help with or prevent age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S.

Lower your risk of cancer

Antioxidants have been proven to fight off harmful free radicals in your body, and that can make you less likely to have cancer. The two main types of antioxidants in carrots are carotenoids and anthocyanins. Carotenoids give carrots their orange and yellow colors, while anthocyanins are responsible for red and purple coloring.

Read more: Carrots nutrition facts and health benefits that you should know

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