If you have diabetes, you may wonder if eating beets is safe. Beets are healthy vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber. They are also a good source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. However, there are some potential adverse side effects of eating beets when you have diabetes. In this blog post, we will explore the health benefits of eating beets when you have diabetes and look at this food's positive and negative sides.

Can People With Diabetes Eat Beets?

Beets are healthy food for people with diabetes. Beets are low in calories and have a high fiber content. They also contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. All of these nutrients are important for people with diabetes. Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels and can help you feel full longer. Potassium and magnesium help to sustain blood pressure lowering. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect your cells from damage.

Are Beets Good for Diabetes?

There are some potential benefits of eating beets when you have diabetes. Beets can help to regulate blood sugar levels and may also help to lower blood pressure.


While beets are generally safe for people with diabetes, eating this vegetable has some potentially negative side effects. Beets contain a type of sugar called fructose. Fructose can cause your blood sugar levels to rise if you overeat it.

Do Beets Raise Your Blood Sugar?

Beets do contain a type of sugar called fructose. However, the amount of fructose in beets is relatively small. Additionally, the fiber in beets can help to regulate blood sugar levels. For these reasons, beets are generally safe for people with diabetes.

Are Beets High in Sugar for Diabetics?

No, beets are not high in sugar for diabetics. Beets contain a type of sugar called fructose, but the amount of fructose in beets is relatively small.

For every 100 grams of beetroot;

  • 43 calories
  • 88% water
  • 1.6 grams of protein
  • 9.6 grams of sugar
  • 2.8 grams of fiber

What Is the Glycemic Index of Beets?

The glycemic index (GI) measures how food affects blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI score cause blood sugar levels to rise more than foods with a low GI score. Beets have a moderate GI score of 61. This means that they can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, but not as much as some other foods. The glycemic load of beetroots is only 5, which is on the low side.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Beets?

There are some potential benefits of eating beets. Beets can help to regulate blood sugar levels and may also help to lower high blood pressure. Additionally, the fibre in beets can help you feel full longer. Here are some potential benefits of eating beets that you never know.

Beets Are Low In Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are essential for many bodily functions. They're the body's main energy source and help regulate blood sugar levels. Carbs also play a role in digestion, metabolism, and nerve function. Beets are a low-carbohydrate food, which means they may be beneficial for people with diabetes. Beets have about the same carbohydrates as broccoli and cabbage and fewer than an apple and a cup of oatmeal. An ounce of beets contains 2.5 grams of carbohydrates. You would not even use one carb choice to manage your blood glucose if you used carb choices to manage your blood glucose! 

Beets Are High In Antioxidants

Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect your cells from damage. They're found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. Beets are a good source of antioxidants. One cup of cooked beets provides about 34% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin C and 17% of the recommended intake for manganese. Additionally, beets are a good source of other antioxidants, such as alpha-lipoic acid and betaine. These nutrients help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 

Beets Can Help You Increase Your Vegetable Intake

Beets are a good way to increase your vegetable intake. The recommended daily vegetable intake is two to three cups per day for adults. But it's not an easy job if you don't like vegetables a lot. Moreover, one cup of cooked beets counts as one cup of vegetables. Increasing your vegetable intake has many benefits, including reducing your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Additionally, eating more vegetables can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. 

Beets Can Improve Exercise Performance

Beets can improve exercise performance. That's because they're a good source of nitrates. Nitrates are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which helps to widen blood vessels and increase blood flow. This increased blood flow can help you exercise for more extended periods and may also help improve your athletic performance with nerve damage recovery. A small study showed that drinking beet juice improved running performance in a group of competitive runners. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.

What Happens if You Eat Beetroot Every Day?

Anything more than what the body needs is considered a toxin, which is true for beetroots. Eating too many beets, you may experience side effects such as low blood pressure, increased urination (because of the high nitrate content), headaches, or an upset stomach. These side effects are not serious and go away quickly.

So, if you're looking for nutrient-rich food that can have some fantastic health benefits, eat beets! But don't overdo it. As with any food, everything is good in moderation. However, if you're concerned about these effects, talk to your doctor. Also, if you have diabetes, speak to your doctor before adding beets to your diet. 

Who Should Avoid Beetroot and Why?

Beetroots are generally safe for most people. However, there are a few groups of people who should avoid them. These groups include:

People with kidney stones: The high oxalate content in beetroots may worsen kidney stones. Stones in the kidney are formed when there is an accumulation of minerals in the kidney.

People with low iron levels: Beetroots can interfere with iron absorption. This may worsen symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, such as fatigue and weakness.

Pregnant women: Beetroots are a good source of folic acid. However, pregnant women should not consume more than 600 micrograms of folic acid daily. This is because consuming too much folic acid has been linked to an increased risk of neural tube defects in the developing baby.

If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor before adding beetroots to your diet.

The 3 Best Ways to Consume Beetroot

There are multiple ways in which you can consume beets. Some people may not like the taste of raw beetroots. In that case, you can cook them or add them to smoothies or juices. Here are three ways in which you can consume beetroots:

Beet Juice: Drinking beetroot juice is the easiest way. You can extract the juice from beetroots, drink it on its own, or add it to other juices. Lemonade with beetroot is a popular combination to consumed beet juice. Lemon has anti-inflammatory properties, while beetroot is a good source of antioxidants and nitrates.

Add them to smoothies: You can also add beetroots to smoothies. This is a good way to consume them if you don't like the taste of raw beetroots. Smoothies like melon-beetroot or strawberry-beetroot are popular combinations.

Cook them: You can also cook beetroots and add them to salads or other dishes.

These are three ways in which you can consume beetroots. If you

Cook them: You can also cook beetroots. This is a good option if you want to make them more palatable. Cooking beetroots may help to reduce their oxalate content, making them easier for the body to absorb. There are multiple ways to cook beetroots, such as roasting, boiling or bake them. 

Beets: Nutritional Profile

Leafy vegetable called chard. Chard is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. Beets are a low-calorie vegetable high in fiber and nutrients. Beets contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

For every 100 grams, beetroot provides the following nutrients:

  • 43 calories
  • 88% water
  • 1.6 grams of protein
  • 9.6 grams of sugar
  • 2.8 grams of fiber

Types of Beetroot

Multiple beetroots types, such as red beets, candy cane beets, and golden beets, are available. Each type has its unique flavor and nutritional profile. 

Red beets: Red beets are the most common type of beetroot. They're earthy and have a slightly sweet taste. Red beets are a good source of antioxidants, nitrates, and fiber.

Candy cane beets: Candy cane beets are a type of red beetroot. They're sweeter than other types of beetroots and have a candy-like taste. Candy cane beets are a good source of antioxidants, nitrates, and fiber.

Golden beets: Golden beets are a type of yellow beetroot. They're slightly sweeter than red beets and have a nutty taste. Golden beets are a good source of antioxidants, nitrates, and fiber. 

Beet greens: Beet greens are the leaves of the beetroot plant. They're dark green and have a slightly bitter taste. Beet greens are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.

Conclusion

Eating beets can offer some benefits for people with diabetes, but there are also some potential risks. Beets contain a type of sugar called fructose, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Additionally, the fiber in beets can help to regulate blood sugar levels. For these reasons, speaking with a doctor or registered dietitian is important before adding beets to your diet.

When adding beets to your diet, monitoring your blood sugar levels closely and speaking with a doctor or registered dietitian if you have any concerns is important. Try incorporating other low-glycemic vegetables and fruits into your meals as well to help regulate blood sugar levels. Lastly, make sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996 I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I am currently using a Freestyle Libre CGM and a Minimed 640G insulin pump with Humalog.

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