- Beets contain an average of 6.8 g of net carbs per 100 g.
- While beets are not considered keto, you can still include them in small amounts or powdered form.
- Other low-carb foods include leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and berries.
Beets are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are high in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C.
On top of that, its high antioxidant content makes it a great choice if you want to reduce inflammation.
But while you can include it in a regular diet, what about keto? Are beets keto?
In this article, we’ll find an answer to that question.
What Is The Keto Diet?
Before we dig into the nutritional value of beets, first, we need to understand the concept of a keto diet.
In the beginning, the keto diet was created as a way to reduce epilepsy episodes. But, people started to notice other health benefits. (Source)
A keto diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet.
The body typically relies on glucose as an energy source. You get it from carbs like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
But, when you drastically reduce the carb intake to only 5 to 10% of your total calories, the body needs to metabolically adapt to find a new energy source.
As a result, ketones (from fat stores) are the new energy source in the body.
There are several benefits to following a keto diet. It can promote weight loss, improve bloodwork, and boost energy levels. (Source)
However, there are also some drawbacks. In the early stages of a keto diet, you might experience the keto flu. There is also an increased risk of constipation, nutrient deficiency, and social limitations.
Knowing which foods you are allowed to eat and which ones are better to stay away from is essential on a keto diet to prevent getting out of ketosis.
Why Beets Are A Great Addition To A Healthy Diet?
Beets, or beetroot, is a powerhouse of nutrients. (Source)
Since it is nutrient-dense, it means you get a lot of nutrients without adding too many calories.
On top of that, it is high in antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of chronic illnesses.
Thanks to its high nitrate content makes beetroot great both for heart health and sports. Nitrates can increase nitric oxide, a molecule that widens blood vessels.
Consequently, you get a reduction in blood pressure and an increase in endurance.
Nutritional Breakdown Of Beetroots
According to the USDA website, 100 g of raw and cooked beets contain the following nutritional composition:
|Nutritional Information||Beets Raw (Source)||Beets Cooked (Source)|
|Net carbs (g)||6.8||8.0|
|Total fats (g)||0.2||0.2|
Beets are also a source of the following micronutrients:
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Manganese: 14% of the DV
- Coppers: 8% of the DV
- Potassium: 7% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 4% of the DV
Are Beets Keto Friendly?
The short answer would be no. Beets are not keto-friendly since they are high in carbs.
However, if you are careful with the portion size and keep track of the carb intake for the rest of the day, you could include a small portion of beets into a keto diet.
But, if you are not keeping track of your daily carb intake or don’t know how. It’s best to avoid beets since they can affect your ketosis levels.
Still, if you are a fan of beets and want to include them on keto, there are ways for you to add them without affecting your results.
How To Consume Beets On A Keto Diet?
Before discussing how to consume beets on a keto diet, let’s talk about how NOT to consume beets on keto.
Avoid having pickled or beetroot juice to prevent adding too many carbs to your keto diet. They make staying within the recommended carb intake more challenging.
So, how can you eat beets on keto?
You can have a small portion of cooked or raw beets on keto. As seen before, the difference between them is only 1.2 g of net carbs.
I recommend having no more than ½ a cup of beets per day. This would represent only 4.6 g of net carbs, which won’t cause a severe impact on your carb intake.
Another way to consume beets is by having beetroot powder.
Consuming beetroot powder can give you all the health benefits of beets (like increasing performance and reducing the risk of heart disease) without affecting your ketosis levels.
You can find beetroot powder in red powder supplements.
Red Tonik is one of the top red powder supplements available. The company also offers a bundle of green and red powders.
Green powders can increase your nutrient intake, which, as we previously saw, a keto diet might increase the risk of nutrient deficiency.
Alternatives To Beets For A Ketogenic Diet
If you are unsure if you want to include beets in your keto diet or you don’t like them, there are other keto-friendly alternatives.
- Leafy greens: Foods like spinach, kale, and collard greens are sources of nutrients like vitamin K, magnesium, and iron. They provide 1-2 g of net carbs per 100 g.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are high in vitamins K, C, and folate. They help reduce inflammation. In 100 g, they provide 4-6 g of net carbs.
- Berries: Adding raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries can be part of a keto diet. They are high in antioxidants, helping reduce inflammation. You must still be careful since they provide 5-7 g of net carbs per 100 g.
A keto diet can be a good way to lose weight. However, you need to be careful about the types of food you add since adding many carbs can affect ketosis.
To prevent it from happening, keep track of the foods you are eating to understand your total carb intake.
Also, to prevent nutrient deficiency, include as many different foods as possible to get different nutrients. Or, when in doubt, add a green powder supplement like Supergreen Tonik.
Brenda Peralta is an experienced Registered Dietitian (RDN) and Certified Diabetes Education (CDE). She is a freelance health and nutrition writer based in San Jose, Costa Rica. She has several certifications in sports nutrition, women’s health hormones, and gut health.