Experts weigh in on the raw carrot salad trend

Whether it's a fast-casual lunch or a buttered charcuterie board, TikTok is where food trends thrive. Sometimes they're complicated appetizers or hard-to-find packaged snacks, but often they're super-simple recipes that revamp seemingly boring ingredients. Believe it or not, carrots are all the rage on apps right now, thanks to raw carrot salad, a trend that's apparently good for hormonal and gut health and only takes minutes to prepare.

To understand how popular this dish is, all you really need to know is that the hashtag #rawcarrotsalad has been viewed more than 22.1 million times on TikTok. Videos using the hashtag show how to make a raw carrot salad at home (often with just some apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and lemon juice added) and explain the potential benefits that may come from eating it regularly. Before you head to the store and add a giant bag of carrots to your cart, here's everything you should know about the trend, including its medical legality, according to one expert.

How to Make TikTok’s Viral Raw Carrot Salad Recipe

Of course, everyone has their own opinion on viral salad, and there are plenty of ways to make it your own. First, most of the recipes shown in the videos use whole, full-sized carrots, not baby carrots, so that you can peel them and cut them into ribbons. The resulting salad is easy to eat and dress, and the strips are thin enough to be eaten with a fork or even chopsticks.

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Once the carrots are peeled and shredded, many people use simple seasonings to improve the flavor without adding much extra (and possibly minimizing the purported benefits). On TikTok, most recipes include a splash of vinegar (apple cider vinegar is particularly popular), a splash of sea salt, and some fresh black pepper, although some add a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of coconut oil for extra flavor. .

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If you want to easily eat an entire bag of carrots in one sitting, other recipes like German Carrot Salad or Cucumber Carrot Salad are a great place to start.

What are the benefits of raw carrot salad?

According to TikTok, eating raw carrot salad can help some users clear up acne-prone skin, relieve menstrual cramps, and overall balance hormones. Despite these anecdotal successes with raw carrot salad, Dr. Laura Purdy, MD, chief medical officer at Wisp, says carrot salad may not be the quick fix for hormonal health that some online claim it to be.

"The popularity of raw carrot salad comes from the realization that the fiber in carrots can help your gut (a key part of hormone regulation) lower estrogen levels," she tells Bustle. "While it's possible, it's important to note that there's no scientific evidence conclusively linking raw carrot salad — or raw carrots more generally — to decreased estrogen levels."

Viral salad isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it hasn't been proven to actually bring about all the life changes that users share in their TikTok feeds. "While recipes like raw carrot salad may not harm your hormonal health... there is no scientific evidence proving a cause-and-effect relationship between hormone regulation and raw carrots," Purdy said.

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If you are concerned about your hormonal health, it is always important to first consult with a licensed medical professional before making any drastic lifestyle changes. If you're having problems with your hormonal health, your doctor may recommend exercise, medication, or foods rich in protein and healthy fats, such as eggs, fish, lentils, avocados and nuts, Purdy says.


Dr. Laura Purdy, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Wisp