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Is Beetroot Good For Diabetes?

January 9, 2023
11 min read
Is Beetroot Good For Diabetes?

TLDR

  • Beetroot helps in regulating blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
  • It is a good source of antioxidants and nitrates that improves heart health.
  • Beetroot also lowers your blood pressure levels.
  • Take care to include beetroot in moderate quantities and enjoy its benefits without worrying about blood sugar spikes.

Today, the modern consumer is interested in exploring all-natural ways to promote health and well-being and has a strong preference for “functional foods”. Beetroots have become more popular as a functional food in recent years.

Beetroots: Health benefits

Beetroot is known for its high nitrate content. Intake of dietary nitrates has been linked to improved cognitive function, increased athletic performance, and lower blood pressure levels. 

In addition, it also contains a good amount of betalain pigments and other antioxidants, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and phenolic acids, which also play a role in improving risk factors for various chronic diseases.1

It has antitumor properties and helps in lowering blood lipid, and blood glucose levels. Also, it helps digestion, improves skin health, helps treat anemia, and osteoporosis, and has protective effects on the liver and kidneys.2

High in antioxidants, regulates blood sugars, lowers blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity, exercise performance and skin health.

Beetroot Glycemic Index

Beetroot is considered a “medium glycemic index” food with a glycemic index value of 61 to 64 11,12.

In a 100-gram serving of beetroot, there are about 34 calories. Beetroot provides 3 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving. It is a rich storehouse of dietary fiber, manganese, and biotin

Beetroot for Diabetes

Does Beetroot Increase Blood Sugar?

Although beetroots have natural sugars, they don’t get converted into glucose quickly meaning they will not likely have a dramatic impact on blood glucose so long as it isn’t combined with many other carbs.

If you pair it with proteins, fats, and leafy greens – such as in a salad or with nuts, it will keep your overall carb intake quite low per meal.

However, as beetroot is a sugar-containing root vegetable with a medium glycemic index it should be consumed less frequently or in smaller amounts than other vegetables.

Remember to avoid canned beetroot as they contain added sugar and salt. Always opt for fresh beetroot and use them to add its unique sweetness and color to your meals.

Download the Hint app if you would like to track your sugar or carb intake.

Research Suggests Beetroot Is Good For Diabetes

A dozen research studies conclude that beetroot in its raw form or as juice is useful for regulating blood sugar levels and is effective for diabetes.

In 2021 study, with type 2 diabetes patients, concluded that raw red beetroot consumption for 8 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and a substantial increase in total antioxidant capacity and cognitive function.3

A recent study has indicated that betalains, polyphenols, and dietary nitrate found in beetroot juice revealed a significant lowering of the postprandial insulin response and resulted in substantial suppression of post-meal glucose levels.4

According to a study, consuming beetroot with carbohydrates lowered insulin resistance in people who were obese.5

 Beetroot juice tends to reduce post-prandial glucose and lipid levels. 6

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that adding beetroots to the diet can help manage blood pressure which is common among people with type 2 diabetes. 

A recent study, published in the journal of Hypertension, found that drinking a cup of beet juice each day seemed to cause a significant drop in blood pressure among people with hypertension. 

They suggest that dietary nitrates in beetroot juice increase nitric oxide in blood vessels. 

As nitric oxide is a vasodilator, it helps widen and relax blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure.7,8

Improves exercise performance

Studies have shown that drinking beetroot juice increases blood nitric oxide which improves muscle performance in high-intensity workouts and also improves muscle strength.9

If you work out regularly to strengthen your muscles, we recommend you follow a high-protein diet while including beetroot in your meals. 

Ways To Include Beetroot In Your Diet

The best way to eat and benefit from this vegetable is by eating it fresh and raw. 

Incorporating beetroot into your diet is pretty simple by using the Hint app. Hint provides you with a variety of recipes with beetroot that can be included in your daily diet.

Here is a list of healthy beetroot recipes and their calorie information that can be included in your diet.

Beetroot RecipesCalories (kcal) in 1 Small Cup (100 grams)
Beetroot salad34
Mixed sprouts beetroot salad40
Beetroot cucumber tomato raita44
Beetroot cabbage raita46
Beetroot and green apple soup56
Beetroot rasam69
Beetroot curry107
Beetroot leaves dal110
Beetroot coconut curry123
Beetroot aloo curry137
Beetroot halwa183
Beetroot khichdi253
Beetroot pickle280
Beetroot RecipesCalories (kcal) in one small piece (30g)
Beetroot idli54
Beetroot and cheese chilla56
Oats beetroot idli58
Beetroot sesame roti80
Beetroot poori85
Beetroot RecipesCalories (kcal) in 1 glass (240 ml)
Beetroot juice27
Beetroot palak pear juice36
Beetroot coriander juice38
Beetroot carrot tomato juice41
Beetroot carrot cucumber juice41
Beetroot carrot juice43
Beetroot buttermilk44
Beetroot smoothie124
Beetroot fig smoothie143
Beetroot lassi178

Download the HINT app for more information on beetroot recipes, calories, and nutrition facts.

Listed below are the popular beetroot recipes with related calorie and nutrition information and whether they can be included in the diet by diabetic patients.

One small cup (100 grams) of beetroot halwa has 183 kcal. 37% of these calories are from carbohydrates, 9% from protein, and 54% from fat. Use the hint app to track your calories.

Beetroot Halwa

One small cup (100 grams) of beetroot halwa has 183 kcal. 37% of these calories are from carbohydrates, 9% from protein, and 54% from fat.

Though beetroot halwa is a good source of biotin, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and manganese it contains high sugar and saturated fat. Hence, is not recommended for people with diabetes. 

One tablespoon (15 grams) of beetroot pachadi has 42 kcal and more than 75% of these calories are from fat. Use the hint app to track your calories.

Beetroot Pachadi

One tablespoon (15 grams) of beetroot pachadi has 42 kcal and more than 75% of these calories are from fat. 

Pachadi or pickles or chutneys are high in calories, contain high amounts of sodium and saturated fats, and therefore should be avoided by diabetic patients. 

One small cup (100 grams) of beetroot curry has 107 kcal. 44% of these calories are from carbohydrates, 17% from protein, and 39% from fat. Use the hint app to track your calories.

Beetroot Curry

One small cup (100 grams) of beetroot curry has 107 kcal. 44% of these calories are from carbohydrates, 17% from protein, and 39% from fat.

Beetroot curry is a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, copper, selenium, manganese, vitamin B5, vitamin E, and carotenoids and therefore can be included in the diabetic diet. But remember moderation is the key.

One glass (240 mL) of carrot and beetroot juice has 43 kcal. 73% of these calories are from carbohydrates, 19% from protein, and 9% from fat. Use the hint app to track your calories.

Carrot and beetroot juice

One glass (240 mL) of carrot and beetroot juice has 43 kcal. 73% of these calories are from carbohydrates, 19% from protein, and 9% from fat. 

It is a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, biotin, and an excellent source of alpha-carotene, beta carotene.

Research suggests that carrot and beetroot juice contains a high amount of essential nutrients and bioactive compounds.10 It helps relieve constipation and balance blood sugar levels.

Are there any side effects of eating beetroot?

Beetroot is beneficial for diabetes for a variety of reasons but there is one condition you should be aware of, it is called “beeturia”. 

Beeturia is a condition in which urine or stools appear pink or red after one eats beetroot. But this is not a harmful condition and it will clear up after some time. 

Who should not eat beetroot?

Anyone who is allergic to roots should avoid beetroot. 

People with low blood pressure should avoid it because of nitrates, which dilate the blood vessels, and further lowers the blood pressure. 

In addition, people prone to kidney stones containing oxalate should also avoid it.

Conclusion

Including beetroot and other vegetables in your diet not only help your health, but they also make your plate more appetizing to look at and more flavorful. 

Beetroots are a great addition to any diet and can add variety to your daily meals. They can enhance the flavor of salads, and boost the nutritional value of meals.

If you want to learn more about which food fits into a diabetic diet and how to make dietary adjustments to keep your blood glucose within range, download the Hint app and subscribe to the diabetic diet plan within minutes.

By changing your lifestyle according to the Hint diabetic diet plan plan, you can control daily blood sugar levels and reduce your HbA1c within a few months.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Are beetroots good for weight loss?

Yes. Because beetroot is high in fiber and low in calories, they help increase weight loss when added to a healthy diet.

2. Are beetroots high in iron?

No, they aren’t. 100 g of beetroot contains less than 1 mg of iron. For beetroot to be a high source of iron it must provide 20% or more of the daily value.

3. Do you poop red after eating beetroot?

Yes, eating beetroot or drinking beet juice can give your urine and/or your stool a slightly reddish or pink tinge. This phenomenon, called beeturia, is not harmful and it will clear up after a bit. 

4. Is beetroot good for gestational diabetes?

Yes. Beetroot is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, biotin, and phytonutrients such as betalains, lutein, and zeaxanthin. All of these are essential for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. But remember moderation is the key as it has a medium glycemic index.

REFERENCES:

1. Haswell C, Ali A, Page R, Hurst R, Rutherfurd-Markwick K. Potential of Beetroot and Blackcurrant Compounds to Improve Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors. Metabolites. 2021 May 25;11(6):338.

2. Chen, L., Zhu, Y., Hu, Z., Wu, S., & Jin, C. (2021). Beetroot as a functional food with huge health benefits: Antioxidant, antitumor, physical function, and chronic metabolomics activity. Food Science & Nutrition, 9, 6406– 6420. 

3. Aliahmadi, M., Amiri, F., Bahrami, L.S., et al. Effects of raw red beetroot consumption on metabolic markers and cognitive function in type 2 diabetes patients. J Diabetes Metab Disord 20, 673–682 (2021)

4. Wootton-Beard, P., Brandt, K., Fell, D., Warner, S., & Ryan, L. (2014). Effects of a beetroot juice with high neobetanin content on the early-phase insulin response in healthy volunteers. Journal of Nutritional Science, 3, E9. doi:10.1017/jns.2014.7

5. Beals JW, Binns SE, Davis JL, Giordano GR, Klochak AL, Paris HL, Schweder MM, Peltonen GL, Scalzo RL, Bell C. Concurrent Beet Juice and Carbohydrate Ingestion: Influence on Glucose Tolerance in Obese and Nonobese Adults. J Nutr Metab. 2017;2017:6436783. 

6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326776623

7. Mario Siervo, Jose Lara, Ikponmwonsa Ogbonmwan, John C. Mathers, Inorganic Nitrate and Beetroot Juice Supplementation Reduces Blood Pressure in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 143, Issue 6, June 2013, Pages 818–826

8. Vikas Kapil, Rayomand S. Khambata, Amy Robertson, Mark J. Caulfield, and Amrita Ahluwalia; Dietary Nitrate Provides Sustained Blood Pressure Lowering in Hypertensive Patients; Volume 65, Issue 2, February 2015; Pages 320-327 

9. Domínguez R, Maté-Muñoz JL, Cuenca E, García-Fernández P, Mata-Ordoñez F, Lozano-Estevan MC, Veiga-Herreros P, da Silva SF, Garnacho-Castaño MV. Effects of beetroot juice supplementation on intermittent high-intensity exercise efforts. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Jan 5;15:2. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0204-9.

10. Arora, Simran & Siddiqui, Saleem & Gehlot, Rakesh. (2019). Physicochemical and Bioactive Compounds in Carrot and Beetroot Juice. Asian Journal of Dairy and Food.

11. https://redcliffelabs.com/myhealth/food-and-nutrition/food-for-diabetes/glycemic-index-food-chart/

12. https://guidelines.diabetes.ca/docs/patient-resources/glycemic-index-food-guide.pdf

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