carrot diet

People do come up with some funny diets for shedding their extra pounds. And one of this diet is the carrot diet. It has several variations. What is this diet? Does it truly lead to weight loss? Is it healthy in the long run? What are its long term repercussions?

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What is a Carrot diet?

A carrot diet is one in which carrots are an integral part of the daily diet. It comes in certain variations. These include:

Add a carrot- In this, one carrot is taken at the start of every meal. It is simple and safe and not very restrictive. It has low calories but fills and keeps you satiated. You eat less food at that meal and can thus achieve weight loss. Cucumbers and zucchini can also serve a similar purpose.

carrot diet
The carrot diet (Source: Boldsky)

Carrot-only diet- In this, your meals consist of only carrots for a week. It is highly restrictive diet. It can achieve weight loss but might lead to other nutrients deficiency. It gets boring in a few days.

Carrot juice diet- In this, your solid meals disappear. And carrot juice replaces them. This is done for 7 days at a stretch. Proponents of this diet advise to take the juice every 2 to 3 hours. It is a crash diet that might be effective but has its own problems. People also use it as a detox tool.

Benefits of carrots

This colorful vegetable is tasty and nutritious. It is also highly versatile food item. It is relatively cheap and has a longer shelf life. One can cook them, eat them raw, add them to stews, salads, desserts, soups etc. One can also have them in a juice form. It adds taste and nutrients to the food dishes. It has a crunchiness that one can enjoy. Moreover, these pink or orange colored vegetables aid smooth digestion.

carrot diet
Benefits of carrots (Source: Facebook)

These vegetables are rich in the antioxidant, beta-carotene. This mops up harmful free radicals of the body and assist in prevention of chronic diseases and cancer. The beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body and this is important for proper eyesight and vision.

A Korean study has detailed the efficacy of carrot juice in prevention of lung cancer in a smoker. The nutrients of carrots can flush out toxins from the body.

Additionally, it has nutrients that can slow down the progression and growth of leukemia cells. It can prevent type 2 diabetes. These carrots have high dietary fiber in them. This aids easing of digestive woes and assists weight loss.

Problems of the diet

No doubt, carrots are healthy. But they should be part of a balanced and wholesome diet. Just a carrot only or carrot juice only diet can cause weight loss. But this comes with other problems. Hence dietitians do not recommend this diet for weight loss. The reasons are three fold.

Firstly, once the dieter stops this diet, the lost weight would return quickly. So there is no long term gain in using this diet for losing weight. Shedding weight and maintaining it needs a lifestyle change that this diet does not teach.

carrot diet
The carrot diet (Source: The healthsite)

Secondly, carrots have low calories and fiber and vitamin A. But they are lacking in other nutrients such as protein, fats, iron, calcium, etc. And these nutrients are a must for the body. This diet might lead to their deficiency and this might manifest as fatigue, dizziness, hair loss and skin problems. Losing weight at the cost of these issues is not a good deal.

Thirdly, overconsumption of carrots can cause carotenemia. This is temporary yellowish orange tinging of the skin and palms due to deposits of beta-carotene there.

Read here: Candied Carrots Recipe (Deliciously Sweet and Buttery)

If you just use the Add a carrot option for weight loss, it is okay. But caution exists in using the other two options especially with no medical supervision.