Raw Beets: Should I Avoid Beets on a Keto Diet?

are beets keto

Those who follow a keto diet are conscious of what they eat.

Over the net, beets are one of the low-carbohydrate veggies these dieters can consider.

But, are beets keto? In this article, we will tackle the number of carbs beet has, the benefits they offer for those who are on a keto diet, the best beets keto recipes, proper consumption of these veggies while on a keto, and the alternatives while on keto that can be considered. 

How Many Carbs Does Beet Has

To answer the question, are beets keto-friendly? We should tackle how many carbs these vegetables have.

Generally, those who follow a strict keto diet should only consume less than 25 grams of net carbs per day.

Doing this will keep their bodies under ketosis, a metabolic state where the body burns fat for energy.

The goal of a keto diet is to lose weight by consuming low-carb, high-fat foods, and too many carbs can affect ketosis.

Concerning beets, also known as beetroot, these veggies are the edible root of the beet plant. They can be consumed raw or added to your favorite keto recipes and shakes, such as beet juice. 

Per 100 grams of beetroot powder can give around 10 grams of carbs.

With this nutritional value, it is safe to say that consuming beets is not very keto-friendly.

A few grams of beets may kick you out of ketosis, so you should eat beets in moderation.

Still, those following a low-carb lifestyle can fit beets into their macros and micros. Learn more about the low-carbohydrate diet.

Nutritional Facts for Beets

It is also important to learn the other macros and micros when eating beets. Generally, these vegetables are nutritious and contain the following:

  • Dietary fiber – 2 grams per 100-gram serving
  • Calories – 43 per 100-gram serving
  • Sodium – 78 milligrams per 100-gram serving
  • Potassium – 325 milligrams per 100-gram serving
  • Sugar – 7 grams per 100-gram serving
  • Protein – 1.6 grams per 100-gram serving

Aside from these, beets also contain vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, and calcium. With regards to the glycemic index of beets, it scored 61.

The glycemic index identifies how much each food can increase blood sugar after two hours of consuming it.

With this value, beets scored medium. For those who follow a keto diet, this value may not be appreciated as very small quantities may affect glucose and insulin responses.

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Cooked Beets Vs. Pickled Beets

All the information above is based on raw beets.

Since there are other types of beets, those who are on a keto lifestyle should learn the total carbs of these varieties. In this section, we will differentiate the cooked and pickled beets.

Generally, cooked beets clock at 16.9 grams of total carbs or 6.7 grams of net carbs per one-cup serving.

On the other hand, pickled beets provide around 27 grams of total carbs or 25 grams of net carbs for a one-cup serving.

So, if you wonder, are beets keto-friendly? This would depend on the type of beets used.

Benefits of Beets on Ketogenic Diet

Although beets are kind of high-carbs, they still come with many health benefits. In this section, we will discuss some of the benefits you can get when you eat beets.

1) Prevents obesity

If you are on a keto diet because you want to lose weight, eating beets in moderation can help you achieve this.

Beets are low in calories and fat and are cholesterol-free.

According to a study from Brazil, beets can reduce body mass index and body weight.

This means that obese patients can take a beet powder dietary supplement for healthy weight management.

2) Promotes overall health

A low-carb lifestyle can already help you achieve optimal health. In addition to this, if you eat beets, you can promote a healthier life.

Beets are high in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid. Beets also contain significant amounts of beta carotene, a compound that can support eye health.

3) Lowers blood pressure

Beets are rich in nitrates. As we all know, nitrates can reduce blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart problems such as heart attacks and strokes. According to Harvard Health Publishing, beets work by relaxing and widening your blood pressure. 

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4) Supports brain function

Nitrates also support proper blood flow to the brain.

According to a study from New Zealand, a beet powder extract can improve cognitive function in both young and adult individuals. They can also improve mood and reduce the risk of dementia.

5) Boosts athletic performance

Did you know that if you eat beets, you are also increasing your energy and fitness levels? Beets improve oxygen flow in the body, especially in the lungs. According to a study in Spain, beets increase cardiorespiratory endurance. 

5) Aids in digestion

As said, beets contain dietary fiber and this can aid in proper digestion. However, if you are not used to consuming too many carbs and high-fiber foods like beets, you might experience gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating and cramps.

6) Promising anti-cancer agent

Beets are promising anti-cancer agents. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), in animal studies, these vegetables inhibit carcinogen formation. They also increase the production of immune cells.

Since beets are rich in vitamin C, they can be considered antioxidants that can fight cancer development.

How to Avoid Eating Too Many Beets While on a Keto Diet

Some keto dieters avoid beets and they still ask, are beets keto-friendly?

A typical serving of beets may be in high carbs but moderate consumption of these can fit low-carb dieters. However, to maintain ketosis, beets should be avoided at all costs.

So, if you are on a keto diet and you wish to avoid consuming too many beets, here are some tips for you:

  • Create a keto or low-carb meal plan. How much of these vegetables can fit in your diet? 
  • After creating a meal plan, only put in your bowl the exact amount of beets. If you can, do not consume all of these, even if the serving is only a few.
  • Do not snack on beets and eat them like popcorn while watching television!
  • If you know, by heart, that you still do not have the discipline to control your cravings, do not buy beets at all.

For a better keto meal plan and more nutritious keto recipes, you can seek help from a nutritionist or dietitian. These healthcare professionals can help you in limiting your carbohydrate intake.

Low-Carbohydrate Beet Recipes

If you still want to consider beets while on low-carb and keto diets, here are some considerable recipes for you.

1) Oven-roasted beet spread

This recipe is low in carbs. Per tablespoon give around 5 g of carbs and this is moderate for those who follow a dirty keto diet. If you ask, are beetroots keto diet-friendly? The answer would depend on how much of these you eat.

2) Low-carbohydrate beet smoothie

You can also make a low-carb beet smoothie, and it is better if you use raw beet greens. Some keto dieters use beet root powder when they make smoothies or baked goods. If you wish to use beet root powder, check the label of the product before you buy.

Usually, a beet root powder offers around 4 g of carbs per serving.

3) Low-carbohydrate cauliflower with beets

This is one of the best keto recipes you can consider, with or without beets. For this recipe, you will need some onion, olive oil, raw beet greens, and of course, cauliflower.

Keto-Friendly Beet Alternatives for a Low-Carb Diet

If you are following a keto diet and still wonder, are beets keto? You might want to consider alternatives.

In this section, we will discuss the other vegetables you can consider aside from beets while on a keto diet.

1) Chicory

If you are looking for beetroot keto diet-friendly alternatives, you might want to consider chicory. This vegetable can provide around 0.9 g of net carbs and zero total carbs. Like beets, chicory contains fiber that can aid proper digestion and nutrient absorption.

2) Spinach

Spinach is perfect for those who are following a keto diet. This vegetable can provide around 1.4 grams of total carbs. For those who wish to try a strict keto diet, having this vegetable would be a smart choice.

3) Green leaf lettuce

This is another alternative that you can use while on a keto diet. Green leaf lettuce provides less than 1.5 grams of total carbohydrates.

3) Celery

Celery is also one of the alternatives you can use while on a keto diet. This vegetable can provide around 1.8 grams of total carbs.

4) Red cabbage

Some people who are on a keto diet also consider red cabbage. This vegetable can provide around 1 gram of carbs per leaf.

This one is suitable as topping ingredients for your favorite keto recipes.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, you can add beets while on keto.

However, you should limit your consumption of these vegetables as they still contain moderate amounts of carbs. 

Although they provide many health benefits, too many of these can kick you out of ketosis.

Instead of beets, you can consider low-carbohydrate vegetables as an alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are keto alternatives for beets?

Instead of beets, you can try chicory, spinach, green leaf lettuce, celery, or red cabbage.

Are beets high in sugar?

Generally, beets contain moderate amounts of sugar and the glycemic index of beets is around 61. This means that this vegetable can increase blood glucose levels.

Are beets starchy or non-starchy?

Beets are non-starchy vegetables keto dieters consider. If you are on a keto, you should avoid starchy vegetables as they are high in carbs.