Carrots are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can snack on. You’ll get a slew of vitamins, minerals and even fiber, all for a very small amount of calories. While baby carrots and large carrots provide the same types of nutrients, some of the amounts differ a bit between the two.
Calories are about the same between baby carrots and larger varieties. Baby carrots have slightly fewer calories -- 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces, offer 35 calories. The same serving size of large carrots has 41 calories. No matter which variety you snack on, the majority of the calories -- roughly 85 percent -- come from carbohydrates. Carrots only offer a trace amount of protein and fat.
Vitamin A isn’t actually a single vitamin, rather it’s a group that includes a bunch of smaller compounds that have similar functions in your system. These vitamin A compounds preserve your vision, lessen your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, play a role in how genes function and support your immune system. You need 2,333 international units of total vitamin A compounds daily. During pregnancy you’ll have to bump it up to 2,567 international units and then 4,333 international units daily while nursing, the Linus Pauling Institute states. One hundred grams of baby carrots give you 13,790 international units, while the same serving of large carrots contains 16,706 international units -- a difference of almost 3,000 international units. Either way, you’ll easily meet your vitamin A needs for the day.
You already know that vitamin C keeps your immune system running at its best. What you may not realize is that the vitamin also produces collagen, which is a component of skin and connective tissue that is essential for healing wounds and minimizing scarring. Carrots don’t have a lot of vitamin C, but large carrots have about double the amount of vitamin C as the baby variety. Baby carrots offer only 2.6 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams. If you have a large carrot instead, the same amount gives you nearly 6 milligrams. Even this bigger amount is just a fraction of your recommendation though. You need 75 milligrams every day, unless you’re pregnant or breast-feeding. In these cases, you have to get 85 milligrams and 120 milligrams per day, respectively, the Office of Dietary Supplements reports.
Potassium content also varies between types of carrots. You need potassium to maintain fluid levels in your body -- a function that is vital for cell processes and your heart rhythm. The recommended daily intake is 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day, even if you’re pregnant. The recommendation only goes up if you’re nursing -- then it's 5,100 milligrams a day. A 100-gram portion of baby carrots contains less than 240 milligrams. But the same serving size of whole carrots provides 320 milligrams, or roughly 25 percent more.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.