Are beets high in sugar?

Beets contain moderate amounts of sugar. They contain less than 7 g of sugars per 100g. Even people with diabetes and people who follow a ketogenic diet can consume reasonable amounts of beets!

Sugar effects on health

We should avoid excessive sugar consumption. Too much sugar has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Also, it may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased uric acid and high cholesterol.[1]

How much sugar can I safely consume in a day?

We shouldn’t consume more than 25 g of added sugar a day. But, as extra sugar is added to sodas, sweets, and many processed products, people who follow the standard American diet probably consume more sugar than the upper recommended intakes.[2,3]

Reducing the consumed sugar amount isn’t easy, though. It interferes with the reward system of the brain, affecting eating behavior. Therefore, too much sugar makes us fat because it leads to overeating. Also, too much sugar prevents the production of the leptin hormone, which helps regulate energy balance.[4]

Certainly, consuming foods naturally high in sugars, such as fruits and beans, isn’t bad for you. Although, they have a high sugar content, fruits and beans are beneficial for health, as they’re packed with vitamins, fiber, antioxidant compounds, and other health-promoting phytochemicals.

What’s the sugar content of beets?

Actually, beets are high in sugar. Raw beets contain 6.8 g of sugar, while cooked beets contain almost 8 g of sugars per 100g.[5]

A raw beetroot contains about 7.8 g of carbs, of which 5.5 g are sugars. The rest are fiber. Moreover, a cup of raw beets contains 9.2 g of sugars!

Pickled or canned beets have a much higher sugar content. They contain 16.3 g of sugars per 100g!

You should avoid the regular consumption of pickled beets, as well as other pickled products. Overconsumption of pickled products can be bad for health. For instance, they may lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and even certain cancers, such as esophageal cancer.[6,7]

On the other hand, beet greens are pretty low in sugar. They have negligible amounts. Beet greens contain only 0.5 g of sugars per 100g!

Not only beets greens are edible, but also, they have a great nutritional value. For instance, they contain 3 times more iron than beetroots!

How much sugar is in a glass of beet juice?

The beet juice is high in sugars as well. It contains 4.8 g of sugars per 100 mL. An 8 fl oz glass of beet juice contains 12 g of sugars! Hence, you better drink it in moderation.[8]

What types of sugars are in beet root?

The main sugar type in beetroots is fructose.[9]

Can people with diabetes eat beets?

According to studies in both healthy people and people with diabetes, fructose doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as much as other sugar types.[10]

In fact, beet roots have a moderate Glycemic Index of 64.[11]

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should eat lots of non-starchy vegetables, such as beets. People with diabetes could eat 1/2 cup of cooked beetroots a day![12]

But, you should avoid canned or frozen beets with extra added sugar or sodium.

Certainly, people with diabetes can safely consume beet greens. They’re pretty low in sugars, carbs, and calories.

In contrast, avoid consuming beet juice. It’s high in sugars, while it lacks of fiber. Fiber in plants improves blood glucose control in people with diabetes.[13]

Above all, you should consult your physician before changing your diet.

Are beets keto-friendly?

People who follow a ketogenic diet should limit carbohydrate consumption between 20 and 50 g of carbs a day.[14]

Beetroots have 9.6 g of carbs per 100g. A large raw beetroot has 7.84 g of carbs. 70% are sugars and 30% are fiber.

Therefore, people who follow a ketogenic diet could eat only small amounts of beetroots.

Certainly, they shouldn’t drink beet juice. It contains too many carbs.

On the other hand, beet greens are keto-friendly. People who follow a ketogenic diet could eat them regularly. They have only 4.3 g of carbs per 100g, 85% of which are fiber! Actually, beet leaves are poor in sugars.

Can the sugar content of beets make us gain weight?

You can eat beets as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet for weight loss.

Actually, beets are pretty low in calories. We lose weight when we consume fewer calories than we burn. Beetroots and, certainly, beet greens, can help us lose weight.

After all, beets are excellent dietary sources of fiber. Fiber keeps us full for a long time. It has a huge satiating effect. A diet high in fiber helps us stick to a diet for weight loss.

Should we eat beets regularly?

The regular consumption of beet roots and beet leaves is beneficial for our health.

Beets are among the richest foods in nitrates. Also, they’re packed with antioxidant compounds.

Thus, beets may help lower total cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.

In addition, beets may play a role in controlling diabetes, as they help regulate blood glucose and insulin secretion.[15,16]

Furthermore, beets are high in betalains. These powerful antioxidants may prevent DNA damage, and reduce LDL-cholesterol. Also, they have potent antitumor properties, as they inhibit cell proliferation, angiogenesis, while inducing cell apoptosis, and autophagy![17]

Moreover, the high nitrate content of beetroot may enhance athletic performance and help relieve from muscle soreness in certain types of exercise. 

Also, due to its antioxidant properties, beetroot may have protective effects on liver and kidney. It may improve cognitive function as well.

In addition, beets protect the heart. They may improve endothelial and vascular function. Nitrates in beets may reduce arterial stiffness and stimulate smooth muscle relaxation, decreasing systolic and diastolic blood pressures![18]

Last, but not least, beets have wound healing properties.

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