What Happens When You Eat Too Many Carrots?

We all know that it's a good idea to add more fruits and veggies to our diet, whether we reach for tomatoes, potatoes, or leafy greens. But if you eat too many carrots, what happens to you? 

Carrots are supposedly good for your eyesight, and baby carrots and hummus is one of those snacks that are impossible to stop eating. But can you eat too many carrots? It turns out there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Here's everything you need to know about why you shouldn't let yourself eat too many carrots. 

Can eating too many carrots turn your skin orange?

Carrots are full of beta-carotene, a molecule that becomes vitamin A when digested. In small amounts, beta-carotene is very healthy, but when you eat too much, it can lead to problems (via Live Science). 

The beta-carotene can build up in the blood, and in a condition called carotenemia, it can actually cause your skin to start turning yellow and orange. 

Babies are the most at-risk for carotenemia, because they're often fed pureed carrot baby food, but adults can get it too, either by taking too many beta-carotene supplements, or by eating too many carrots. Columbia University says you'd have to eat three large carrots a day for carotenemia to set it.  

Eating too much pumpkin can cause the same ailment, but there's an easy solution — just stop eating so much carrots and pumpkin and your skin discoloration will go away, though it may take a few months (via Taste of Home).

Is eating too many carrots dangerous?

Carotenemia isn't dangerous, but for some people, eating too many carrots can be. That's because carrots contain a lot of vitamin A. Most people can't eat enough carrots to ingest toxic amounts of vitamin A, but some people are at risk (via Medical News Today). 

People who are taking vitamin A supplements, and people who are taking vitamin A-derived medications like isotretinoin or acitretin, shouldn't eat large amounts of carrots. When the vitamin A contained in the carrots is combined with the medication, it could results in hypervitaminosis A, which is the fancy way of saying a vitamin A overdose. 

People who aren't taking vitamin A supplements and aren't on medications derived from vitamin A should be safe eating large quantities of carrots occasionally, but it's always a good idea to try to include a variety of veggies in your diet instead of sticking to just one.