Are potatoes healthier than carrots?
In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Are potatoes healthier than carrots?” with an in-depth analysis of the nutritional composition of potatoes and carrots.
Read on to know if carrots are more healthy than potatoes or the other way around.
Are potatoes healthier than carrots?
No, potatoes are not healthier than carrots and neither are carrots healthier than potatoes. A healthy diet is a balanced diet and both items have room. You need to learn how much of them you need and how to balance their deficiencies. The World Health Organisation can be a good place to start looking for information (1).
Although both potatoes and carrots are considered healthy, carrots may offer some additional benefits because they provide a greater amount of vitamins. Potatoes provide more energy and nearly similar amounts of fiber.
What is the nutritional comparison of carrots and potatoes?
|Nutrients per 100g||Carrot (2)||Potato (3)|
|Carbohydrates||10.3 g||15.7 g|
|Fat||0.47 g||0.1 g|
|Dietary fibre||3.2 g||2.4 g|
|Protein||0.81 g||1.68 g|
|Calcium||3 mg||9 mg|
|Iron||0.43 mg||0.52 mg|
|Magnesium||10.8 mg||21 mg|
|Phosphorus||31 mg||62 mg|
|Potassium||210 mg||407 mg|
|Sodium||66 mg||16 mg|
|Zinc||0.28 mg||0.29 mg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||0.039 mg||0.071 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||0.047 mg||0.034 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.465 mg||1.07 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.196 mg||0.281 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.146 mg||0.203 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)||37 mg||18 mg|
|Vitamin C||2.2 mg||9.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||15 mg||1.6 mg|
We can easily deduce from the above table that
- Potatoes have considerably more Vitamins C and Vitamin B6 as compared to carrots.
- Carrots have significantly more vitamin K than potatoes.
- Carrots have more thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 and folate.
- Carrots are a better source of dietary fibre.
- Carrots also contain flavonoids, including flavones (luteolin) and flavanols (kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin), while these metabolites are absent in potatoes. An increased flavonoid intake in older adults is associated with reduced all-cause mortality risk (4).
Are carrots better for diabetics? Glycemic index and blood sugar
Boiled carrots are better than boiled potatoes to help control diabetes because carrots show a glycemic index (GI) of 39, while potatoes GI is 78 (5).
The free sugar in your blood is called glucose. Its concentration needs to be controlled and the body uses a system based on insulin for that. In a healthy body, The concentration of glucose elevates temporarily with meals, and the type of meal ingested affects how much it elevates.
The glycemic index (GI) is an approximate measure of how much a food can elevate the concentration of free glucose in your blood after a meal. The greater the GI, the greater the elevation. Free sugars show the greatest GI.
Complex carbohydrates, like the starch in potatoes, show a moderate GI because they need time to be digested and absorbed into your body.
Diabetics need to take care of eating low or moderate GI foods because their insulin system may not work correctly and free glucose elevation in their blood after a meal may become dangerously high.
Are there other health benefits from eating carrots and potatoes?
Both carrots and potatoes are rich in antioxidants and provide many other health benefits. Here are the highlights:
Both of them are rich in antioxidants which help to fight off harmful free radicals in the body, which can decrease the risk of cancer and are also good for the heart (6).
Both carrots and baked potatoes are rich in potassium. Inadequate potassium in the diet can cause the body to retain extra sodium, and excess sodium elevates blood pressure. A potassium-rich diet can help lower blood pressure, protect the heart and decrease the risk of stroke (7).
Both carrots and potatoes also have fibre, which can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of heart problems. Moreover, the high fibre content can help ease constipation and keep blood sugar levels in check (8,9).
When are carrots especially good?
Carrots are especially appropriate when vitamins are needed.
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, which in our body is changed into vitamin A. It helps keep the eyes healthy and protect them from the sunlight and reduces the risks of cataracts and other eye problems (10).
Carrots also have calcium and vitamin K, both of which are essential for bone health.
Carrots contain vitamin C that helps the body in taking in and using iron. Also, vitamin Cimproves the immune system and helps in the prevention of infections (11)
When are potatoes especially beneficial?
Potatoes are most beneficial when energy or fiber are important.
In addition to normal fiber, potatoes contain a special type of starch called “resistant starch,” which has the health benefits of both soluble and insoluble fibre and causes less flatulence than other types of starch.
The amount of resistant starch in potatoes can be increased by cooking them one day earlier and keeping them in the fridge overnight. You can reheat them before eating.
Similar to soluble fibre, the resistant starch in potatoes acts as a prebiotic, food for beneficial bacteria in the large intestine that promotes gut health (12).
Similar to insoluble fibre, it can prevent constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)(13).
Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Are potatoes healthier than carrots?” with an in-depth analysis of the nutritional composition of potatoes and carrots. We also have elaborated on when carrots and potatoes are especially healthy.
1. Healthy diet [Internet]. [cited 2023 Apr 14]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
2. Carrot-FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Apr 14]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746764/nutrients
3. Potatoes-FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Apr 13]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170028/nutrients
4. Ivey KL, Hodgson JM, Croft KD, Lewis JR, Prince RL. Flavonoid intake and all-cause mortality. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 May;101(5):1012–20.
12. Raatz SK, Idso L, Johnson LK, Jackson MI, Combs GF. Resistant starch analysis of commonly consumed potatoes: Content varies by cooking method and service temperature but not by variety. Food Chem. 2016 Oct 1;208:297–300.