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July 24, 2024
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Beetroot, often celebrated for its vibrant color and earthy flavor, goes beyond its culinary appeal to offer potential health benefits. 

Not only is beetroot rich in essential nutrients, but understanding its impact on glycemic index provides valuable insights for those managing conditions like diabetes. The article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of beetroot's glycemic index and its significance in promoting overall health.

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Glycemic Index Table

The glycemic index (GI) of beetroot, based on a serving size of 100g, is approximately 64.¹ This value categorizes beetroot as a medium-GI food. In terms of carbohydrates per serving, beetroot contains around 8.9 grams (g) of carbohydrates. The Glycemic Load (GL) per serving can be calculated by multiplying the GI by the carbohydrate content and dividing by 100, resulting in a GL of approximately 5.66.

Understanding the glycemic index is crucial for individuals managing blood sugar levels, as it measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar. Foods with a low GI are absorbed more slowly, leading to gradual increases in blood sugar levels. Beetroot's medium GI suggests a moderate impact on blood sugar, making it a reasonable choice for individuals seeking balanced carbohydrate intake.

Additionally, it's worth noting that cooking methods may influence the glycemic index, with boiled or roasted beetroot potentially having different effects on blood sugar compared to raw beetroot.

Glycemic Index

64

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

8.9 g

GL per Serving

5.66

Nutritional Facts

Beetroot is a nutrient-dense vegetable, rich in essential vitamins and minerals. A 100g serving of beetroot contains approximately 43 calories, 1.6g of protein, 0.2g of fat, and 8.9g of carbohydrates, including 1.6g of dietary fiber.² Additionally, beetroot is a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin C, contributing to its overall nutritional value.²

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of beetroot.²

Calories

43 kcal

Carbs

8.9 g

Protein

1.6 g

Fiber

1.6 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

-

Sodium

357 mg

Total Fat

0.2 g

Is Beetroot Good for Weight Loss?

Beetroot can be a valuable addition to a weight loss-oriented diet due to its low-calorie content, high fiber levels, and various nutrients. The fiber in beetroot promotes satiety, helping individuals feel fuller for longer periods potentially reducing overall calorie intake. Moreover, beetroot is a good source of vitamins and minerals, contributing to a well-rounded and nutritious diet essential for sustainable weight loss.³

Is Beetroot Good for People Living with Diabetes?

Beetroot can be a safe and beneficial addition to the diet for individuals with diabetes, thanks to its moderate glycemic index and rich nutritional profile. Its moderate carbohydrate content and high fiber levels contribute to better blood sugar control. Studies suggest that beetroot consumption may even have potential anti-diabetic effects, such as improving insulin sensitivity.³

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Allergies

While beetroot is generally considered safe for consumption, individuals may experience allergic reactions, albeit rare. Allergic responses to beetroot can manifest as itching, swelling, or hives, and severe cases may lead to anaphylaxis. It's important to note that cross-reactivity with other allergens, such as pollen or certain foods, may contribute to beetroot allergies.

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FAQs

What is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.

Does Beetroot Spike Insulin?

No, beetroot does not spike insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels, and foods that are high in carbohydrates typically cause a spike in insulin. However, beetroot is relatively low in carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index, which means it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels and insulin production. Therefore, incorporating beetroot into your diet is unlikely to cause a significant spike in insulin.

Is Beetroot Low Glycemic?

Yes, beetroot is considered to be low glycemic. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI value (55 or less) are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Beetroot has a GI value of around 64, which is relatively low compared to other carbohydrate-rich foods. This means that consuming beetroot is less likely to cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, making it a suitable choice for individuals who are concerned about managing their blood sugar levels.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Beetroot?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat beetroot. Beetroot is a nutritious vegetable that can be included in a balanced diet for individuals with diabetes. It is low in calories and high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, beetroot contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that support overall health. However, it is important to consume beetroot in moderation and monitor blood sugar levels to ensure it fits within individual dietary needs and preferences. As always, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.

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References

  1. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI Newshttps://glycemicindex.com/
  2. USDA FoodData Central. (2022, October 28). Food Details - Oats, whole grain, steel cut. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2346397/nutrients
  3. Clifford, T., Howatson, G., West, D. J., & Stevenson, E. J. (2015). The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients, 7(4), 2801–2822. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7042801

About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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