Are pickled beets good for you?

Although raw beets have many health benefits, due to their high content of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and polyphenols, pickled beets are bad for you. They’re high in sodium which can be dangerous for health and also, they’re less nutritious.

Pickled beets have more calories & sugars

Raw beets are low in calories. They have only 43 calories per 100g. Beet greens have even fewer calories. Actually, beet greens are edible (1).

However, pickled beets aren’t as good for weight loss as fresh beets because they contain more calories. Pickled or canned beets contain about 65 calories per 100g.

Furthermore, the beetroot as well beet leaves have a low sugar content. Pickled beets have more sugars, though. They have about 11 g of sugar per 100g.

Raw beets are better for weight loss

Also, fresh beets are good for weight loss because they’re richer in fiber as compared to pickled beets. Fresh beets have 2.8 g of fiber per 100g, while beet leaves have 3.7 g of fiber per 100g. These amounts are 10% and 13% of the Daily Value (DV), respectively. On the other hand, pickled beets contain only 0.8 g of fiber per 100g.

High fiber intakes may decrease the risk of obesity, as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Also, pickled beets are bad for you because they’re particularly high in sodium. Salt (sodium chloride) is the key ingredient for preserving food. Canned beets contain approximately 200 mg of sodium per 100g. We should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, though.

A diet high in sodium has been associated with an increased risk of obesity! So, better avoid canned or pickled beets.

Other pickled vegetables, such as banana peppers, have even higher amounts of sodium per 100g!

Pickled beets have a lower nutritional value than fresh beets

Beets are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and folate (vitamin B9):

% DV
Vitamin C (mg)4.9302.3up to 40%
Thiamine (mg)
Riboflavin (mg) to 17%
Niacin (mg)0.330.40.25
Vitamin B6 (mcg)6710650up to 80%
Folate (mcg)1091527up to 27%
Vitamins in beets (per 100g).

The beetroot is packed with minerals and vitamins. Beet leaves have an even greater nutritional value. Beet leaves contain 700% more calcium, and 300% more iron than the beetroot.

On the other hand, pickled beets are less nutritious. The pickling process destroys certain micronutrients.

% DV
Potassium (mg)325762115 up to 29%
Calcium (mg)1611711up to 9%
Magnesium (mg)237015up to 22%
Phosphorus (mg)404117up to 22%
Zinc (mg)0.350.380.26
Copper (mcg)75191116up to 20%
Selenium (mcg)0.70.91
Iron (mg)0.82.570.41up to 30%
Minerals in beets (per 100g).

Moreover, raw beets have many health benefits because they contain powerful phytochemicals, called betalains. These compounds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventive activity (2).

Also, beetroot juice may have a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose response, due to its high polyphenol content. Vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices and green tea are the richest foods in polyphenols (3).

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