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This Is Why You Really Do Turn Orange When You Eat Too Many Carrots

For those of you who laughed in the faces of carrot naysayers warning, “If you eat too many, you'll turn orange,” you're about to be sor(ang)ely disappointed.

It turns out, unlike that girl in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” who turned into a blueberry, carrots changing your appearance isn't just “you-are-what-you-eat” fiction.

According to the Dermatology Clinic at The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, if you eat too many carrots, your skin can, in fact, change colors because of the beta-carotene — a primary source of vitamin A — present in many orange-colored foods.

You don't exactly turn orange, but a telltale symptom of beta-carotene overconsumption is yellowish skin.

Carotenemia, its un-layman name, differs from jaundice because it doesn't turn the whites of your eyes yellow. Nope, mostly just your nose, palms and the soles of your feet!

Don't worry, though: According to numerous studies on the typically benign skin condition, a person would have to consume an excessive amount of beta-carotene rich foods (or supplements) over a prolonged period of time for it to happen.

Unfortunately, no studies I found could quantify “excessive,” but considering there are approximately infinite things more satisfying to binge-eat than carrots, we should all be fine.

If you're now psyched out about maintaining your human-colored complexion, most foods to avoid over-eating are orange, like sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Some more discrete carotenemia perpetrators (because it would be too easy if all you had to do was color-code your diet) are dark green leafy vegetables and green beans.

The disorder is most common in infants because baby food is packed with carotene-dense veggies, but if you've somehow come down with carotenemia, the remedy is pretty simple. It's very rarely associated with serious conditions, and all you have to do to treat it is swap out some of those beta-carotene-rich foods for basically anything else.

It could take several months to go away, though, so… I hope you look good in orange!


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Claudia Fisher

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Claudia graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in English. She took this "useless" major to Elite Daily, where she edits diligently all day unless there's pizza... and then she gets too distracted.
Claudia graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in English. She took this "useless" major to Elite Daily, where she edits diligently all day unless there's pizza... and then she gets too distracted.

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