To my Myth Buster Followers,

What is on the agenda today, let’s talk about raw verses cooked……How does it affect nutrients?

Myth:- Raw carrots are more nutritious than cooked carrots?

Here’s what you need to know

Always use credible sources of information for dietary advise for your better health :- government and professional nutrition, dietary and medical organisations. Cooking carrots by boiling or steaming increases the levels of carotenoids (beta-carotene and ferulic acid), these are antioxidants that are increased in their cooked state verses  when consumed in the raw state. Specifically the carotenoid, beta-carotene, gives the carrots there colour and when cooked beta-carotene converts to vitamin A to assist the body in important roles for vision, bone growth, reproduction, and regulation of our immune system (aids in the prevention of illness). However if carrots are fried in oil all the antioxidants are used by acting as a stabiliser in the deep frying process, when the oil is being oxidised (gaining oxygen) at the high temperatures of frying. Additionally cooking destroys many antioxidants and some of the vitamin C levels. However, vitamin C is prevalent in many other fruits and vegetables and with a balanced diet vitamin C recommendations are readily achieved in the diet. Raw carrots have polyphenols that are antioxidants which may reduce risks of heart disease and cancer. Hence it turns out raw and cooked carrots both have nutritional benefits.

     orange tickBoiling, steaming & raw carrots


Cooking carrots and many other vegetables softens the fibre and aids in food digestion with minimal energy expenditure, whilst at same time increasing nutrients. Like the carrot, boiling or steaming mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, peppers and various other vegetables verses raw consumption also supplies increases in the antioxidants carotenoids and ferulic acid.


Hot Tip:-

Eat your carrots and other vegetables cooked and raw. Find recipes that tickle your taste buds when they are cooked and raw. I will help you out with some recipe ideas. See links and my recipe ideas below.

Food supply and availability:- Carrots are mainly grown in Western Australia and Victoria and can be purchased inexpensively and readily from supermarkets and fruit/vegetables stores.

For individualised advice to meet your nutritional needs, look for an Accredited Practising Dietitian

 Links for further reading:

The role of carotenoids in human health

Carotenoids: Definition, Function & Benefits

Fact or Fiction: Raw veggies are healthier than cooked ones

Carrots Recipes

One cooked & One raw carrot recipe, so you want miss those antioxidants

Carrot Fritters (Serves 4)

1.5 cups grated carrot

1 cup grated zuchini (swap with peas or corn kernels if preferred )

¼  cup finely chopped parsley or your favourite herb

2 shallots finely chopped

I clove of garlic crushed/diced finely

1 cup self-raising flour

3 eggs whisked

2 tablespoons of virgin or standard oliver oil

½ teaspoon of cumin powder (optional)

Season salt and pepper

Combine vegetables into bowl, add flour and seasonings- combine, add whisked eggs and olive oil and mix thoroughly to mixture is even. If mixture is too stiff, add a small amount of water or milk ( ~ ¼ cup, add half first and mix thoroughly, add remainder if needed)

Heat a non-stick pan, wipe with canola oil (use paper towel prior to heating).  Bring heat to medium heat (half of maximum heat).  Use a small soup ladle and pour mixture into pan, can do 2 or 3 at a time if pan size permits (~7 cm diameter for fritter size).  When the mixture starts to make air bubbles on top (~3 minutes), flip over cook another ~2 minutes. The fritter should be golden brown, adjust heat up or down to achieve this.

Serve warm carrot fritters with a dollop of tzatziki dip or your favourite dip on top with Asian style coleslaw ( cabbage, carrot, onion sliced finely tossed in Asian dressing) or carrots cut in fine julienne slithers (match sticks) tossed in Asian dressing.

Asian dressing:- ¼ cup mirin or rice wine vinegar,  2-3 teaspoons  fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk together and toss salad.

Carrot Juice with a twist – 2 large carrots, 1 large slice of fresh pineapple, 2 oranges peeled, 6 mint leaves, 2 passion fruit and ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional) and ice. Juice carrots, fruit except passion fruit, and mint leaves.  In a blender add the juice, ice and turmeric, blend and stir in passion fruit after blending, mix well and serve. Add a small stick of celery 10 cm long to stir drink with and eat after.

Enjoy……Eat well, eat fresh

By Lyn Dunkley your Myth Buster,

NRG Dietitians Australia


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