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Turnips, often overshadowed by their sweeter counterparts, are a remarkably nutritious root vegetable with a remarkable impact on blood sugar levels. While commonly recognized for their high fiber content and potential benefits for individuals managing diabetes, turnips possess a remarkably low glycemic index, which plays a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels. Turnips contain a modest amount of carbohydrates, making them a favorable option for those monitoring their glycemic response.¹ 

This article aims to uncover the unique attributes of turnips, emphasizing their potential to serve as a vital component in a balanced diet for individuals seeking to manage their blood sugar levels effectively.

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Glycemic Index Table

The glycemic index of turnips is an essential measure of how a specific food impacts blood sugar levels. For a serving size of 100g, turnips have a glycemic index estimated to be around 18, classifying them as a low-GI food.² Turnips contain approximately 6 grams of carbohydrates per 100g serving.¹ Consequently, the Glycemic Load (GL) per serving is calculated to be 1.08, considering the GI of 18. 

It's important to note that the glycemic index of turnips can be influenced by various factors such as cooking methods; however, studies suggest that their GI remains relatively stable when boiled or steamed, making them a consistently low-GI option for individuals managing their blood sugar levels.

Glycemic Index


Serving Size


Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

6 g

GL per Serving


Nutritional Facts

Turnips are a nutrient-dense vegetable, rich in essential vitamins and minerals. A 100g serving of turnips typically contains approximately 28 calories, 6g of carbohydrates, 1.8g of fiber, and 0.27g of protein.¹ Moreover, turnips are a notable source of vitamin C, providing about 21 mg per 100g, which is approximately 35% of the daily recommended intake.¹ These nutritional components make turnips a valuable addition to a well-balanced diet, contributing to overall health and wellness.

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of turnips.¹


28 kcal


6 g


1.8 g


0.27 g


0 mg


B6 (0.09 mg), C (21 mg).


67 mg

Total Fat

0.11 g

Is Turnip Good for Weight Loss?

Turnips can be a valuable addition to a weight loss diet due to their low calorie and high fiber content. With approximately 28 calories per 100g serving and substantial fiber content, turnips can promote satiety and help individuals feel fuller for longer periods, potentially reducing overall calorie intake. Additionally, the fiber in turnips can aid digestion and promote a healthy digestive system, which is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Incorporating turnips into a well-balanced, calorie-controlled diet and regular physical activity can support weight loss efforts and contribute to a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Is Turnip Safe for People Living with Diabetes?

Turnips can be a beneficial addition to the diet of individuals with diabetes due to their low glycemic index and potential blood sugar-regulating properties. With a low carbohydrate content and significant fiber content, turnips have the potential to contribute to better blood glucose control. 

Additionally, turnips are a rich source of nutrients such as vitamin C and various minerals, which can support overall health and well-being in individuals with diabetes. It is crucial, however, for individuals with diabetes to monitor their portion sizes and overall carbohydrate intake, even when consuming low-GI foods like turnips, to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

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Allergies to turnips, while relatively uncommon, can trigger symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions such as oral allergy syndrome, which can cause itching and swelling of the mouth, throat, and lips.³ In more severe cases, turnip allergies can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Although less documented compared to other food allergies, individuals with existing sensitivities to other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts may be at a higher risk of developing an allergic response to turnips.

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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 Turnip Spike Insulin?

Turnips have a low glycemic index and do not typically cause a significant spike in insulin levels. They are a root vegetable that is relatively low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. However, individual responses may vary, and portion control is still important when managing blood sugar levels.

Is Turnip Low Glycemic?

Yes, turnip is considered a low glycemic vegetable with a glycemic index of 18.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Turnip?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat turnip as it is a low glycemic index vegetable that can help regulate blood sugar levels. However, it is important to monitor portion sizes and overall carbohydrate intake. Consultation with a registered dietitian is recommended.

Topics discussed in this article:


  1. USDA FoodData Central. (2019, April 1). Food Details - Turnips, raw. 
  2. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI News
  3. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. (2020, September 28). Oral allergy syndrome. 

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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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