Is beetroot fattening or good for weight loss? What about beetroot juice?
Beetroot (also known as beet) is different from most other vegetables because of its distinct rich maroon colour.
It is an excellent source of many different vitamins & minerals and brings with it a plethora of health benefits. Additionally, beetroot juice has been studied for its ability to help exercise performance.
It is fine to eat most foods when you are not trying to lose weight. But what about when you are? Can you still eat beets or will they make you fat?
1 beet (82 g) contains:
Like most vegetables, beets are very low in calories. The reason for this is because they contain a lot of water, which has zero calories.
You can use our healthy food finder tool to see this for yourself. Simple select “Water” and “Descending” in the “Sort foods by” section.
You will quickly notice that most of the foods at the top of the list are fruits & vegetables, and they are all low in calories.
Nuts and seeds on the other hand are much higher in calories, when compared to fruits & vegetables weight for weight. This is because they contain a lot of fat, which is high in calories – 9 calories per gram to be precise.
When you are trying to lose weight, it is important to keep an eye on the number of calories you are consuming.
Eating fewer calories than what your body uses on a daily basis will lead to weight loss. Doing the opposite however will lead to weight gain.
Your diet is the most important factor to consider when it comes to weight management.
Everybody is unique, and the number of calories you need to eat might be very different to what a friend needs to eat.
Your weight, height, age, gender and the amount you exercise will determine how many calories you should be consuming.
You can use the calculator below to get an estimate of how many calories you need.
This calculator will never show a number below 1000 calories per day. Please speak to a qualified health professional before attempting to eat less than that.
For example, a 45 year old man who weighs 90 kg, is 160 cm tall and exercises twice a week will need to consume approximately 2300 calories to maintain his current weight, 1850 calories to lose weight and 1400 calories to lose weight fast. A calorie deficit forces your body to use its stored fat as a source of energy.
Vegetables are often recommended by nutritionists to people who are trying to lose weight. Having a cup of beets, which has 58 calories, will contribute to only 4% of total calories on a 1400 calorie diet. This makes them a great food to add to a weight loss diet.
How else can beets help with weight management?
Dietary fiber content
Fiber is important and should be a big part of your diet. It helps keep you regular, has been shown to reduce levels of bad cholesterol and also fills you up. There are many excellent sources of fiber including lima beans, chickpeas, lentils and prunes.
Studies have shown that by making a simple change to your diet and trying to get at least 30 g of fiber per day, you can drastically improve your weight loss efforts.
Beets contain 4 g of dietary fiber per one cup serving, which means eating them will help you to increase your dietary fiber intake.
Like many other fruits and vegetables, beets are mostly made up of water, containing more than 85% of it. Staying well hydrated is important when trying to lose weight, because dehydration is often mistaken for hunger. This causes people to end up overeating and start putting on weight.
Whilst it is important to drink plenty of pure water throughout the day, you can also increase your intake by eating more water rich foods. Some other foods that have a lot of water include celery, radishes, cucumber and watercress.
What about beetroot juice and beetroot smoothies?
It is generally not recommended for people who are trying to lose weight to drink fruit juices. The main reason for this is because they are high in sugar, whilst being low in dietary fiber. But what about beetroot? Even though it is a vegetable, it is one of the richest in sugar, containing 9 g per 1 cup serving.
More than one cup of beetroot will be required to prepare a cup of beetroot juice, and whilst a lot of the fiber will be stripped away, most of the sugar will be retained. This is why I would not recommend beetroot juice if you are trying to lose weight. Sugar consumption, especially from juices, causes insulin levels to rise and fall quickly in your body and this can leave you feeling hungry, causing you to overeat. When it comes to weight loss, excess sugar is the enemy.
A better option would be to have a beetroot smoothie. For example you could use half a frozen banana, one beetroot, a cup of spinach, a cup of water & some chia seeds and blend it all up. Smoothies retain all of the fiber and also tend to use a liquid other than fruit juice as the base. Additionally, you can add ingredients such as spirulina and yogurt to increase their protein content. You can find more weight loss smoothie recipes here.
Vegetables play an extremely important role in weight loss diets. They are low in calories and high in fiber, whilst containing a lot of vitamins and minerals. Beetroot is not a miracle weight loss food, but adding it to your diet will help fill you up for very few calories. The best way to consume it would be to eat it raw or slightly steamed.