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Apple vs Carrot - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 21, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Apple
vs
Carrot

Summary

Carrots contain more minerals and vitamins than apples. They have 300 times more Vitamin A, nine times more Vitamin B3, and five times more zinc and calcium. On the other hand, apples are low in saturated fat and sodium.

Introduction

We will go through the differences and similarities between carrots and apples, focusing on nutrition and health impact.

Varieties

Apples belong to the Malus genus; there are more than 75.000 cultivars of apples. The tree originated in Central Asia, but nowadays, they are cultivated worldwide. Carrots are root vegetables that belong to the Daucus genus. Fast-growing carrot cultivars mature 90 days after seeding, whereas slower-maturing cultivars take 120 days.

Popular Uses

Usually, apples are eaten raw. Apple is used in various desserts, including apple pie and apple crisps, apple butter, and apple jelly. Apple juice, candy apples, and toffee apples are among the most popular products. Carrots can also be eaten raw; they can be baked, sautéed, pickled, glazed, and served with meats, meatloaf, or curries.

NUTRITION

We compared the nutritional profile of apples and carrots. To understand the difference between them, look at our nutrition infographic below.

Calories

Both carrots and apples are considered low calories foods. They have almost similar amounts of calories. Nevertheless, apples have a bit higher calories than carrots. Apple has 52 calories per 100g (65 calories per serving), and carrots have 41 calories per 100g (25 calories per serving).

Minerals

Carrot is relatively richer in minerals than an apple. The amount of calcium and zinc in carrots is five times higher than in apples.

Carrots contain more iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper than apples. On the other hand, an apple contains less sodium than carrots.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Apple
1
:
7
Carrot
Contains less Sodium -98.6%
Contains more Calcium +450%
Contains more Iron +150%
Contains more Magnesium +140%
Contains more Phosphorus +218.2%
Contains more Potassium +199.1%
Contains more Zinc +500%
Contains more Copper +66.7%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 2% 5% 4% 5% 10% 1% 2% 9%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 10% 12% 9% 15% 29% 9% 7% 15%
Contains less Sodium -98.6%
Contains more Calcium +450%
Contains more Iron +150%
Contains more Magnesium +140%
Contains more Phosphorus +218.2%
Contains more Potassium +199.1%
Contains more Zinc +500%
Contains more Copper +66.7%

Vitamins

In comparison, carrots have high vitamin content than apples.

Carrot provides 300 times higher Vitamin A than apples. Carrots fall in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of Vitamin A.

One serving of carrots will fully cover your daily need for Vitamin A. This vegetable also has nine times more Vitamin B3 and more Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, folate, and Vitamin K.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Apple
0
:
10
Carrot
Contains more Vitamin A +30837%
Contains more Vitamin E +266.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +28.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +288.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +123.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +980.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +347.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +236.6%
Contains more Folate +533.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +500%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 4% 4% 0% 16% 5% 6% 2% 4% 10% 3% 0% 6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 1003% 14% 0% 20% 17% 14% 19% 17% 32% 15% 0% 33%
Contains more Vitamin A +30837%
Contains more Vitamin E +266.7%
Contains more Vitamin C +28.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +288.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +123.1%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +980.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +347.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +236.6%
Contains more Folate +533.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +500%

Fats

Both carrots and apples have a tiny amount of fat: 0.2g.

Carbs

Apples contain more carbs than carrots. They have 13.81g per 100g, whereas carrots have 9.58g per 100g. The central part of apples' carbs is net carbs: 11.41 g. However, carrots have more fiber. They fall in the range of the top of 28% of foods as a source of fiber.

Cholesterol

Both carrots and apples have no cholesterol.

Glycemic Index

According to the International Tables of Glycemic Index, the glycemic index of fruits and vegetables differs depending on the country they were grown in. However, an apple's glycemic index is calculated at 36, while the glycemic index of a carrot is calculated at 39. Both are considered low GI food.

HEALTH IMPACT

Cardiovascular Health

Apples may help to improve vascular function, blood pressure, lipids, and inflammation. Apples' cardioprotective properties are associated with their high polyphenol content [1].

Carrots are rich in fiber and Vitamin C.

One study [2] shows that carrots' soluble fiber may help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

Several studies indicate that vegetables high in Vitamin C can help prevent heart disease. Vitamin C supplements can help lower heart disease risk factors, including high blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol [3].

Cancer

Several studies suggest that apples may help reduce cancer risk, particularly lung cancer. According to the study [4], apple consumption has been linked to a lower risk of lung cancer in both men and women. All ethnic groups have a lower risk of lung cancer.

Several meta-analysis studies [5] on carrot consumption have found that carrots play an essential role in protecting against various types of cancer. Carrots may have cancer-preventive properties due to bioactive polyacetylene oxylipins falcarinol (FaOH) and falcarindiol (FaDOH).

Diabetes

One study [6] discovered that eating an apple before a high glycemic index food, such as rice, significantly reduces the meal's glycemic response without affecting satiety levels. This effect gives apples the metabolic potential to lower glycemic excursions and the risk of type 2 diabetes and its associated complications. Apple consumption has been linked to a 17% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A weekly serving of apples is associated with a 3% reduction in diabetes risk [7].

Eye Health

Individuals with low Vitamin A levels are more likely to suffer from night blindness, which can be alleviated by eating carrots or other foods high in vitamin A or carotenoids. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for eye health. Cataracts and macular degeneration, the world's leading cause of blindness, can be prevented by Vitamin A [8] [9].

Asthma

One study [10], which included 600 people with asthma and 900 people without asthma, found that eating at least two apples per week was positively associated with asthma.

Another study found that apples are high in antioxidants, which may help protect the lungs from oxidative damage.

In general, the flavonoids found in apples help reduce the risk of asthma.

Boost Immune System

Carrots are high in Vitamin C, a natural immune system booster. Beta-carotene also aids in the production of Vitamin A in the body, which is essential for bolstering your body's immune system, particularly during cold and flu season. Vitamin A helps our bodies respond to intruders and regenerate new cells [11].

DOWNSIDES AND RISKS 

Allergy

There are no reports of any allergic reactions to apples. In rare cases, allergies to apples may have those who are also allergic to all fruits belonging to the Rosaceae family [12].

Carrot allergy is an example of cross-reactivity in which proteins in certain fruits and vegetables cause an allergic reaction due to their similarity to proteins found in certain types of pollen. You may react to carrots if you are allergic to birch pollen or mugwort pollen [13].

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224416305271
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23122127/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/474479/
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1475-2891-3-5
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071341/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950014/
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312644914
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10648274/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6085992/
  10. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/ajrccm.164.10.2104061
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29099763/
  12. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02599099
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11496252/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 21, 2022

Infographic

Apple vs Carrot infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Apple Carrot
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Apple Carrot Opinion
Net carbs 11.41g 6.78g Apple
Protein 0.26g 0.93g Carrot
Fats 0.17g 0.24g Carrot
Carbs 13.81g 9.58g Apple
Calories 52kcal 41kcal Apple
Starch 0.05g 1.43g Carrot
Fructose 5.9g 0.55g Apple
Sugar 10.39g 4.74g Carrot
Fiber 2.4g 2.8g Carrot
Calcium 6mg 33mg Carrot
Iron 0.12mg 0.3mg Carrot
Magnesium 5mg 12mg Carrot
Phosphorus 11mg 35mg Carrot
Potassium 107mg 320mg Carrot
Sodium 1mg 69mg Apple
Zinc 0.04mg 0.24mg Carrot
Copper 0.027mg 0.045mg Carrot
Vitamin A 54IU 16706IU Carrot
Vitamin E 0.18mg 0.66mg Carrot
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 4.6mg 5.9mg Carrot
Vitamin B1 0.017mg 0.066mg Carrot
Vitamin B2 0.026mg 0.058mg Carrot
Vitamin B3 0.091mg 0.983mg Carrot
Vitamin B5 0.061mg 0.273mg Carrot
Vitamin B6 0.041mg 0.138mg Carrot
Folate 3µg 19µg Carrot
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 2.2µg 13.2µg Carrot
Tryptophan 0.001mg 0.012mg Carrot
Threonine 0.006mg 0.191mg Carrot
Isoleucine 0.006mg 0.077mg Carrot
Leucine 0.013mg 0.102mg Carrot
Lysine 0.012mg 0.101mg Carrot
Methionine 0.001mg 0.02mg Carrot
Phenylalanine 0.006mg 0.061mg Carrot
Valine 0.012mg 0.069mg Carrot
Histidine 0.005mg 0.04mg Carrot
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.028g 0.037g Apple
Monounsaturated Fat 0.007g 0.014g Carrot
Polyunsaturated fat 0.051g 0.117g Carrot

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Apple Carrot
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
5
Apple
98
Carrot
Mineral Summary Score
4
Apple
13
Carrot

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
2%
Apple
6%
Carrot
Carbohydrates
14%
Apple
10%
Carrot
Fats
1%
Apple
1%
Carrot

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Carrot
Carrot is lower in Sugar (difference - 5.65g)
Which food is cheaper?
Carrot
Carrot is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Carrot
Carrot is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Carrot
Carrot is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sodium?
Apple
Apple contains less Sodium (difference - 68mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Apple
Apple is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.009g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Apple
Apple is lower in glycemic index (difference - 3)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Apple - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171688/nutrients
  2. Carrot - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170393/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.