When starting a keto diet many people assume that all vegetables are ok on the keto diet. However, this is certainly not the case. This is especially true of rooted vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and many others. Though not all rooted veggies are off-limits, most of them are not good for the keto diet. One of the most popular rooted vegetables is beets. So what about them? Are beets allowed on the keto diet?
The simple answer is that beets are not a good fit for the keto diet. In fact, over 80% of the calories in beets are in the form of carbs. Though some of that is fiber, the majority of the calories in beets are in the form of sugar. Beets are often even used to make table sugar due to there high sugar content. So I would recommend avoiding beets if you want to stay in ketosis.
That said, as long as you keep your carbs in check I guess you could fit a tiny bit of beets into your diet. However, it would have to be such a small amount that it is not worth the time or effort. After all, when following a keto diet you are trying to keep your total carbs to 50 or your net carbs to 25 and under. Net carbs being the total carbs minus the carbs that do not affect blood sugar such as fiber. So just how many carbs are in beets anyway?
How Many Carbs Do Beets Contain?
Just one cup of beets contains just under 60 calories. However, of those calories, beets have a whopping 13 grams of carbs. Of those carbs, about 3.8 of them are in the form of dietary fiber. After subtracting the fiber, one cup of beets yields 9.2 net carbs. That is a pretty large amount for amount of food you would be eating.
In fact, it is nearly half a day’s worth of net carbs and only supplies a minimal amount of calories. With that in mind, you can see why beets are a poor choice for the keto diet. After all, if I was going to get 9 plus net carbs out of a meal I would at least expect to be full afterward. However, one cup of beets is not likely to be very satiating.
Compare that to one cup of zucchini that contains only about 3 net carbs. That’s about a third the number of carbs and would be just as filling if not more filling. Of course, there are worse foods than beets for the keto diet. However, of all the better choices out there, I really do not see a need to add beets to your keto diet.
If you do decide to include a small amount just make sure you measure your food out and keep your net carbs in check. The max I could reasonable see someone eating is about a half cup or fewer beets a day to stay in ketosis. But again, do you really like beets enough to waste a good portion of your daily carbs on?
But Arent Beets Good For You?
Yes, in fact, beets are highly nutritious and can provide many health benefits. Beets contain many vitamins and nutrients for the body. They even contain inorganic nitrites that might even help with athletic performance and can even be beneficial for lowering blood pressure. There are many more potential health benefits to beets but I don’t want us to get lost in the potential upsides to beets.
This is if your goal is to stick to a ketogenic diet. If you are not worried about staying in ketosis, then, by all means, have your fair share of beets. However, if you are trying to stay in ketosis, don’t worry because there are plenty of other foods to get your nutrition from.
People often assume that foods that are not on there diet plan are unhealthy. But there are plenty of foods not allowed on keto that are highly nutritious. Meaning they contain a good amount of nutrition from vitamins and minerals. One the other hand, there are plenty of foods that will not kick you out of ketosis that can cause a negative effect on your health.
However, what you do need to understand is that you can get the nutrients you need from keto-friendly food choices. Plenty of foods that contain a lot of vitamins and minerals also contain a good amount of carbs. The main goal of the keto diet is to stay in ketosis, which can still be achieved by eating poor food choices.
That said, the best thing you can do is to get a wide variety of healthy foods that are full of nutrition and low in net carbs. This way you can get your nutrition and stay in ketosis all at the same time. Foods like leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, healthy meats, avocados, and certain nuts should be the foundation of your keto diet. Check out my guide to the keto diet for the full keto diet plan.
Are Any Rooted Vegetables Keto-Approved
Almost all rooted veggies are poor choices for the keto diet. However, I can think of one exception. That is radishes. In fact, radishes are a very excellent choice on the keto diet. Just one cup contains less than 4 grams of carbs. Almost half of those carbs are also in the form of fiber. So all in all, one cup contains right around 2 net carbs. This is pretty low even for keto-friendly vegetables.
Another popular rooted vegetable you might be thinking of is turnips. Turnips fall right in between beets and radishes when it comes to carb counts. One cup contains about 8 total carbs and 2.3 grams of fiber. This equates to roughly 5.7 net carbs per cup.
Not terrible but also not great. Obviously you can get away with eating a little bit. That said, I would only recommend doing so if you really like turnips. However, if I was betting on it, I would guess that there are other foods you will miss more than beets or turnips when following the keto diet.
Potatoes are about the worst choice of veggies for the keto diet and should be completely avoided. Others such as carrots and onions can be eaten in very small amounts. I have written a whole article called are carrots keto as well as are onions keto. To find out how much carrot or onion you can have on a keto diet, I would highly recommend you check those articles out.
That said, it is only a small amount you can get away with. So, unfortunately, with the exception of radishes, it is best to avoid or keep small limits on your consumption of rooted veggies. If I am forgetting another rooted veggie that is keto-friendly I do apologize.
Beets are not a good choice for the keto diet. In fact, most rooted veggies should be avoided or consumed in very small amounts. Though beets might be healthy and full of nutrition, they are also high in sugars and carbs. You do not need to eat beets to get the necessary nutrition in your diet. Simply stick to healthy food choices that are low in carbs and high in healthy fats.