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Is TikTok’s Carrot Salad a Diet Fad Failure?

This viral yet infuriatingly simple recipe is touted at gut healing and hormone balancing

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TikTok is an amazing platform to discover new recipes, but when a snack as simple as shaved carrots goes absolutely viral for it’s supposed ‘healing’ properties, it’s easy to question if people put a little too much stock in social media.

The TikTok carrot salad originates from Ray Peat, a biologist and expert in thyroid health. Peat has gained notoriety for his research on the correlations between food and health and his opinion that the Western diet directly inhibits thyroid function. 

In a self-published article, Peat says:

“Endotoxin or other material absorbed from intestinal bacteria contributes to a variety of autoimmune problems, including thyroiditis (Penhale and Young, 1988). Combining an indigestible fiber, such as raw carrot, with mild germicides, such as vinegar and coconut oil, can improve the hormonal environment, while reducing the immunological burden.”

Woah, that’s a mouthful. The general gist of what Peat is saying is that high-fiber diets (like those that include vegetables like carrots) may lower circulating estrogen concentrations. One study produced findings that suggest that a diet high in fiber is significantly associated with decreased hormone concentrations, though the researchers insist more studies should be done on the topic. 


this salad alone will NOT heal your gut and hormones. it’s simply a great addition when focusing on total body nourishment, gut, hormone, and liver support. #rawcarrotsalad #drraypeat #raypeat #hormonehealth #guthealth #detox #hormonebalance #nutritionaltherapy

♬ Mariella – Khruangbin & Leon Bridges

Is There Really Such Thing As Balancing Hormones?

While it’s possible to balance hormones through a lifestyle and dietary changes, no one food is a cure-all fix. 

Registered dietician Elizabeth Shaw says that the carrot salad TikTok craze is hyped up too much.

“While I support eating more produce like carrots daily in your diet, I cringe when I see influencers, especially healthcare professionals, using trendy marketing terms to prey on eager consumers for any solution to help with conditions they may be experiencing,” Shaw says. “Sure, carrots paired with herbs, spiced and oil is a great addition to your meals, but eating a serving of carrots daily is not going to be the magic trick to balancing  your hormones and improving your gut health.”

The feverish rush of TikTokers dashing out to the grocery store to pick up carrots for the carrot salad reminds us of the celery juice trend. Around 2019, the diet fad was Anthony William’s recommendation to drink sixteen ounces of celery juice for breakfast, preferably on an empty stomach. Celebrities like Kim Kardasian and Gwyneth endorsed the green (slightly tasteless) juice which promised to cure illnesses like fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis. 

However, while it’s a great way to start the day if you like the taste of celery, this juice is no magic elixir.

“There are no scientific studies that back up celery juice in the management of fibromyalgia,” Dr. Amanda Sammut, chief of rheumatology at Harlem Hospital Center, told USA TODAY. “It’s important for patients to not see things on social media and think it applies to them, because people with fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis have different medications and different symptoms.”

The hormone-balancing carrot salad reminds us eerily of the celery juice trend. There’s nothing wrong with eating more vegetables, but the benefits aren’t as sure-fire as people may hope.

“To truly enhance your hormone and gut health, you must commit to lifestyle changes, including stress management, a variety filled, balanced diet and regular activity,” Shaw says. “Your body is an intricate system that responds individually to various foods, so be sure you’re working with a credentialed dietician for your unique precision nutrition plan rather than taking advice from someone on social media.”

We agree there’s nothing magical about this carrot salad, but if you’re a fan of the vibrant vegetable and want to make a tasty, fibrous lunch, here’s the famous TikTok recipe. 

Dr. Ray Peat’s Carrot Salad Recipe


  • 1 large organic raw carrot 
  • 1 tsp. organic olive oil or organic coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • A pinch sea salt and black pepper


  1. Grate the carrot lengthwise.
  2. Add oil, vinegar and seasoning in a bowl and mix with a fork.

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