Carrots, Misleading Info & Some Guy With Abs
Yep. Carrots, Misleading Info & Some Guy With Abs. Waaaaa??
No - that was not a typo.
Yes - this is a blog on flexible dieting and nutrition for fat loss.
As a coach, my ultimate end goal is to eventually make myself redundant to my clients. I aim to teach my clients the ins and out of flexible dieting while adjusting their macro targets regularly accordingly to the outcomes so once they reach their goals they can maintain it with little to no intervention from me, the coach.
During the education process Flex Success coaches not only set macro targets (daily protein, fats and carb targets) for each client but the coach also teaches them how to accurately track the macros of the food they WANT to eat vs eating a limited selection of foods their coaches orders them to eat. Obviously, moderation and sensibility are to be practiced but no food type is off the table (mind the pun). In the long run, handing over control and flexibility to my clients is the best outcome.
I know, I know. Get on with it. So…
… A new(ish) client of mine made a comment when returning his latest learning exercise about carrots. He was so surprised to learn the actual carb content of carrots as he had previously removed carrots off the menu after reading an article in a popular health magazine from a really fit looking guy with abs about how high in carbs carrots were. Carrots. Are they really too high in carbs? Ill answer this question a little later.
Sure. Some guy with abs who looks like your ideal ‘after’ picture must know what’s he’s talking about. After all, look at those abs!
As a nutrition and fitness professional I read things ALL the time that get me thinking, provide me with either new info or clarity things I already know OR make me laugh at how factually incorrect it is. For me, with an academic background in the field, I can easily fish through information with a solid foundation of knowledge and figure out which info is correct, incorrect or inconclusive. But for those reading fitness mags and the like who do not study or work in the field, how are you to know?
This ^^ is where it gets tricky, especially when we throw social media in the mix where literally anybody can put out literally any information, right or wrong or in between and make it sound convincing.
So if anyone can say anything, how do we know who and what to believe?
There is no solid foolproof answer but I can provide some guidelines to minimise the risk of accepting garbage as facts, and it goes like this;
- Qualifications: Is the information provider qualified in that field.
- Vested interests: Does that the person promoting a product or program have a vested interest in you purchasing it? (is it an ad or sponsored athlete)
- Track record: Is this person known for trusted information
- Validity: If its a book, is it peer-reviewed
- Timely: Is the information ‘recent’ or using outdated science to back up its claims
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
If I had a dollar for every time I read an ad for some detox pill or eating plan that guaranteed amazing results within days … usually disguised as reviews and success stories I'd be spoiled individual. I must admit, i can see how these things can seem tempting. You don’t have to learn a new system or make any serious lifestyle changes but rather, just take this pill or ‘never eat these 5 foods’ and voila!
Although the above bullet point list can help, there are some VERY qualified, experienced, trusted and all round awesome people in the field who i love to read and help me grow (in more ways than one #biceps) but this does not mean that i accept everything they say as gospel and agree with everything they say.
Back to the carrots and if the info in the health magazine article is reliable.
Are they really too high in carbs?
Depends on your total daily carb target. This varies greatly from person to person but on average i would say female flex clients are on about 150-250g carbs and males 250-450g per day. To put this in perspective:
About half a cup of cooked rice has 30g carbs
Medium apple has 16g carbs
Glass (250ml) of juice about 30g carbs
Slice of bread about 20g carbs
Teaspoon on honey about 6g carbs
Please note: These are averages as the total carbs would vary slightly based of brands, types and cooking methods.
Now for someone with a medical condition like PCOS, they would have a carb target much lower than the ‘average’ person and fats much much higher. But for the rest of us we can easily ‘fit in’ fruit, rice, bread and carbs from veggies too.
Now here are the stats on carrots:
5g carbs per 100g.
A medium sized carrot will provide about 80g of edible flesh meaning a serve of carrot would actually be less than 5g of carbs.
It is fact that carrots are ‘high in carbs’ compared to most other veggies. Per 100g:
Cherry tomato 2g
But although carrots are higher in carbs than other veggies, this is not to say that they are ‘high’ in carbs and it certainly does not mean they are ‘too high’ to consume.
The information that carrots are higher in carbs than other veggies was totally blown out of proportion and advertised as ‘too high’.
Why do people give out such shitty misleading information?
There would be a few reasons, I’m sure. But it seems this one was written because the author himself was misinformed and or trying to capture an audience and wow them with info they didn’t already know (because its actually false).
When you put 5g of carbs from 100g of carrot into perspective in someone's daily carb targets of 150g, 250g or more, carrots no longer seem ‘too high’ at all.
Next time you read something that seems shocking, too good to be true or just simply ‘brand new’ i encourage you to put that information into context, remember that having abs is not a qualification, and dig a little deeper to ensure you can accept even the basic premises of the conclusions presented to you.
Keep reading and keep growing the most important muscle of all. Your brain!
Diet Smart. Not Hard.