People on a keto diet are very conscious about what fruits and vegetables they can incorporate into their keto diet. Each food has a different composition of nutrients and that is what decides whether it is a keto friendly food or not.
Considering keto friendly food items, you might come across beets and wonder if they are good for a ketogenic diet. For starters, beets are not only delicious but also absolutely beautiful looking vegetables.
They contain a high amount of potassium, folate, magnesium, fiber, manganese, iron, Vitamin C; all of which are extremely beneficial for us. Beets can be an excellent addition to your menu, but, the real question is, are beets keto friendly?
Continue reading to find out if beets are keto, its benefits, and some alternative keto foods that you can incorporate into your diets.
Are Beets Keto?
Simply put, no. Beets are not keto friendly. Well, at least not in large amounts. It depends on the number of beets you are willing to consume and whether or not you are new to ketosis.
Considering the nutrient profile of beets, they contain up to 7.96 grams of net carbs per a one hundred gram serving. Now, taking into account the net carb requirement of a keto diet, it is restricted to 30 – 50 grams of carbs per day.
So, if you are new to keto and intending to lose weight, I would suggest you to stay away from beets due to their carbs and sugar profile.
On the contrary, if you are already in ketosis and have achieved your weight goals, you can freely add beets to your diet. Beets are rich in fiber and serve the purpose of being a buffer to the carbohydrate content.
While you’re free to eat beets, you should know that it is still important to consume only small amounts of beets. Eating too many beets frequently will kick you out of ketosis, so it is extremely important to restrict your beets intake.
When consumed in small amounts, beets are an excellent food for your body. It has a wide range of benefits and can do wonders for your body. Beets can significantly improve your liver function by detoxifying harmful chemicals and neutralizing them.
In addition to this, beets are also an excellent source of choline and contain many other essential nutrients. Choline along with other nutrients in beets help eliminate the fats in your liver and significantly reduces them.
One thing that we can deduce from this is the fact that beets primarily work on the liver part of your body. So, whether you’re suffering from a liver illness or simply need to improve your liver function, beets can be an excellent way to do that.
All you need is just a few servings of beets a week and you’ll see its results within a couple of days. But how many servings do you need to benefit from the nutritional content of beets while staying in ketosis at the same time?
Here is an insight into the carbs content, benefits, and other factors that you need to know about beets:
How Many Carbs Are In Beets?
Beets are an excellent source of nutrition and fit in the low carb profile depending on how many beets you consume. Since ketosis is directly related to carb intake, here is an insight into the carbs profile of beets.
- Raw Beets:
A cup serving of raw beets contains about 13 g of total carbs. Adding in the fiber content, the net carbs in beets approximate to a little over 9 grams. It might not seem much, but if you are just entering into ketosis, it is best to find some other alternatives.
If you’re already in ketosis, you can simply incorporate them into your ketogenic diet, as long as you are under the 30 – 50 grams of the daily carbs limit.
- Carb Content In Pickled Beets:
Pickled beets are also widely consumed by people throughout the world. However, if you are thinking of eating pickled beets, you should know that a cup serving of pickled beets contain over 27.5 grams of total carbs, and about 26 grams of net carbs (adding in the fiber content as well).
The carb content in pickled beets is way too high for a ketogenic diet and should be avoided if possible.
- Carbs In Beet Juice:
Beet juice is also rich in carbs. A single 8-ounce serving of beet juice has over 23 g of carbs, and over 21 grams of net carbs. If you consume an 8-ounce serving of beet juice, you will likely have consumed more than half of the daily allowed carbs limit (depending on what stage of keto you’re in).
- Carbs In Beet Root Powder:
Beet roots are also consumed in powdered form. But when it comes to the carb content in beet roots, it can easily be adjusted because you will likely use only a small amount of beet root powder in your feeds. So, based on this, beet root powder can be considered keto friendly.
Beet root powder contains over 4 g of total carbs, and up to 2 g of net carbs per teaspoon. Ideally, beet rood powder is only used as a food coloring.
Since you will only be using a single spoon of beet root powder for that purpose, you do not have to worry about the carb content as it qualifies for being keto-friendly.
- Carbs In Beet Greens:
A cup serving of raw beet greens contain only a minimal amount of carbs, amounting to 1.6 g of total carbs and 0.2 grams of net carbs. Based on this, beet greens are perfectly fine for a ketogenic diet since they contain very little amount of carbs.
You can either eat them raw or cook them just like you would prepare other leafy greens!
Now that you have an understanding of the carb content in beets, let’s look at the overall nutritional profile of beets.
Nutritional Content Of Beets:
A single serving (82 grams of beets) contains the following nutrients:
|Total Fat||0.1 grams|
|Saturated fat||0 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fat||0 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat||0 grams|
|Total Carbohydrate||8 grams|
|Dietary fiber||2.3 grams|
Apart from the above nutrients, bets also contain Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6, and Magnesium. As you can see from the nutritional profile of beets, beets can be an excellent addition to your keto diet as long as you’re only consuming a small amount.
Small amounts of beets will provide you with a wide number of benefits. A detailed insight into this is discussed in the next section.
8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beets:
Beets are excellent for your body as they can improve your organ function and aid boosting your overall health. Here are 5 amazing health benefits that you can receive from eating beets in a balanced amount while in your ketogenic diet.
- Serves As An Antioxidant:
Beets are filled with naturally existing antioxidants and contain powerful antioxidants like betalains. According to research, betalains is an excellent means of providing your body with antioxidants to help eliminate the free radicals from your body.
Similarly, it also serves as an anti-inflammatory agent thus helping with inflammation.
- Improves Liver Function:
Beets are widely known for their liver function boosting properties. When consumed in small amounts, beets can help eliminate the fat from your liver and help improve the overall liver function.
Liver is an important bodily organ and has over 500 functions, some of which are removing harmful elements from your blood, maintaining sugar levels in your blood, and it even creates certain required nutrients.
So, just by eating beets, you are essentially improving up to 500 functions in your body.
- Helps In Weight Control
If you’re conscious about your weight, adding beets to your diet can be a wise move. This is because beets are low in calories, fats, and absolutely free from cholesterol.
So, by adding beets, you’re not only adding nutrients and antioxidants to your body, but you’re also lowering your fat and cholesterol intake which are the primary causes of weight gain.
- Improves Your Overall Health:
Beets contain a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Collectively, these nutrients help improve your overall health by providing aid to different organs of your body.
The vitamin C in beets helps improve the immune system of your body which in turn lowers the risk of diseases. In fact, even if you’re suffering from any disease, providing a vitamin C supplement in the form of beets will help alleviate the symptoms of your illness.
- Regulates Blood Pressure And Improves Brain Function:
Beets are a rich source of nitrates. Nitrates help regulate your blood pressure levels. Now, having a regulated blood pressure directly impacts your cardiovascular health since a normal blood pressure will not put any strain on your heart; thus, lowering the risks of heart complications.
In addition to this, nitrates also ensure optimal flow of blood to your brain. Due to this, it helps improve your brain function in terms of improving cognitive function. Similarly, as a result of this regulated blood flow, the chances of suffering from dementia are also greatly decreased.
- Greatly Improves Endurance:
Whether you consume beets in raw, cooked form or simply drink beet juice prior to an exercise session, it greatly improves your endurance/athletic performance.
According to research, drinking or consuming beets prior to your workout session helps improve cardiorespiratory endurance due to the presence of nitrates in beets.
- Improves Digestion:
Beets contain dietary fibers which are known to improve digestive health. Maintaining good digestive health is crucial because it allows your digestive system to extract nutrients from your foods more efficiently.
- Helps Lower The Risks Of Cancer:
When consuming beets in small amounts, not only will you stay in ketosis, but it will also help lower the risks of certain cancers in your body. This is due to the pigments in beets that effectively lower the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Are Beet Greens Keto Friendly?
When eating beets, some people often discard the leaves. However, you should not do that because beet greens themselves are keto friendly. In fact, they are even more keto-friendlier than beets themselves.
Beet greens have a rich taste and have a taste similar to Swiss chard, Bok Choy, Or Spinach. You can simply steam or boil beet greens, add a little vinegar or any seasoning of your preference and eat away!
There are a number of essential nutrients that you can receive from eating beet greens. These include:
Surprisingly, beet greens are also low in calories, fats, and cholesterol. So, you do not have to worry about that.
When consumed in small quantities, beet greens serve as anti-inflammatory agents, and significantly improves digestion as well. So, beet greens are also as beneficial as beets themselves.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Beets?
Fortunately, beets are safe when consumed in a balanced amount either standalone or in other foods. However, if you eat too many beets, you’re not only kicking yourself out of ketosis, but there are other side effects as well.
- Beets in large amounts may make the color of your urine and stool change into a pink or red color.
- If you’re suffering from oxalate-based kidney stones, beets, beet greens, beet powder may inflict a potential health risk. In the case of kidney stones, if you consume beets in any form, it will lead to low calcium levels in your body which increases the risk of kidney damage.
What Are Some Keto Friendly Beet Alternatives?
Beets are an excellent food for keto-friendly diets if you consume them in small amounts. However, if you are looking for other keto friendly alternatives, here are some foods that you can add to your keto diet.
- Red beet root powder
- Red cabbage
- Celery roots
Conclusion – Are Beets Keto?
Beets, when consumed in large amounts, are not keto. However, if the serving size were to be made small, then beets are absolutely keto friendly. In fact, when consumed in small quantities, beets can be excellent for improving liver function, and providing a boost to your overall health.
Apart from beets, you can also add beet leaves to your diet since they are keto friendly as well. The only exception is to avoid consuming pickled beets and beet juice since they contain a high amount of carbs to stay on a keto diet. Other than that, as long as you are staying under the 30 – 50 carbs a day limit, you can safely consume beets.
Please click on one of the links below to learn more about keto friendly foods:
Is Banza Pasta Keto Friendly?
Is Frozen Custard Keto Friendly?
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pickled Beets Keto Friendly?
No, pickled beets are not keto friendly at all. Pickled beets contain a whopping 27.5 g of carbs with little to no fiber content. Considering this, pickled beets are a huge no-go for ketogenic diets.
The carb content in a single cup of pickled beets fills up the entire allowed carb limit on a keto diet. So, it is best to avoid eating pickled beets even in small amounts.
If you’re looking for a pickled alternative to beets, you should consider radishes. They are easy to pickle and all you need is some vinegar and a jar. Add radishes to a jar, hot vinegar, and season it with salt and spices of your choice. Let it sit in the fridge for up to 5 days and voila!
Can You Drink Beet Juice On A Low-Carb Diet?
No, you should not drink beet juice either. An 8-ounce serving of beet juice has over 23 g of carbs. Just like pickled beets, the carb content in beet juice is also more than enough to kick you out of ketosis.
So, you should stay away from drinking beet juice if you’re strictly following a low-carb diet.
Are Beets Safe For Diabetics?
Yes, beets are perfectly fine for diabetics. Beets have a small amount of carbs (13 carbs/cup) and contain just a little glycemic content, with a glycemic index of 61. A single beet will do no harm and will not spike your blood sugar levels.
In fact, if you’re eating just 1 – 2 beets per day as a diabetic, it will even help in recovering the nerve damage inflicted by diabetes. So, as long as you’re consuming 1 – 2 beets a day, you shouldn’t worry about any spikes in your blood sugar levels.