Are Beets Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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To stay in ketosis you need to keep an eye on your carb intake. Find out how many carbs there are in beets and whether they are keto.

Beets, also known as beetroots, are the edible root of the beet plant. This red-colored vegetable can be eaten on its own, as beet juice, or as an ingredient of other dishes like salads.

100 grams of boiled beets contains around 8 grams of net carbohydrates which is the total number of carbs minus fiber.

Depending on the rest of your keto diet, your body, and other details, you could fit in small amounts of beets.

That being said, it is fair to say that beets are not that keto-friendly for most people.

While they will not have the exact same tastes and textures, there are still a few substitutes for beets that are better for staying in ketosis.

Carbs in beetroot

It is true that the number of carbohydrates in beetroot is not the only detail that matters. However, this category of nutrients is still one of the key things to keep in mind on keto.

100 grams of boiled beets contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 10 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2 grams
  • Net carbs: 8 grams

In combination with the other foods you eat, the 8 grams of net carbohydrates in 100 grams of boiled beets can definitely be too much for a ketogenic diet.

One ounce of boiled beets is about 28 grams and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 2.8 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.2 grams

By choosing smaller portions of beets you also reduce how many carbohydrates you eat. In turn, one ounce of boiled beets will be easier to fit into a ketogenic diet.

That being said, even if it is possible, consuming so many of your daily carbohydrates in such a small amount of food may not be recommended.

Other nutrients in beets

It is easy to forget about other nutrients like fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in beets and other foods when following a ketogenic diet.

This is unfortunate because these nutrients also influence whether you stay in ketosis and how good your general health is.

100 grams of boiled beets contain the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 44
  • Protein: 1.7 grams
  • Carbs: 10 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Folate: 20% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 16% of the DV
  • Potassium: 9% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 6% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 6% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

The nutrients in beets are definitely welcome but at the same time not that impressive either.

You should be able to find more keto-friendly foods that offer many of these nutrients in larger amounts.

Carbs in beet juice

There are a variety of ways you can implement beets into your diet.

Beet juice is a popular option but you have to remember that its nutrient composition is different from the boiled version.

In the table below, you can find the comparison between the amounts of carbohydrates in boiled beets and beet juice (1, 2).

Something you do want to keep in mind is that the example beet juice does not contain added sugar. Some store-bought brands will add these extra carbs which are not helpful for ketogenic diets.

Values Per 100gBoiled BeetsBeet Juice
Total Carbohydrates10 g5.9 g
Of Which Fiber2 g1.1 g
Net Carbs8 g4.8 g
Chart of carbs in boiled beets vs beet juice

Interestingly enough, the example beet juice is lower in carbohydrates than the boiled version.

Something to note is that it is generally easier to drink half a glass of beet juice than to eat 100 grams of boiled beets.

You can try out for yourself which preparation method makes it easier to stay in ketosis (if you want to consume beets anyway).

Carbs in pickled beets

Beets are a popular vegetable for pickling. 100 grams of pickled beets contain the following amounts of carbs (3):

  • Total carbs: 16.3 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0.8 grams
  • Net carbs: 15.5 grams

As you can see, pickled beets are a lot higher in carbs than boiled beets. This makes them even less keto-friendly.

Carbs in beet greens

Beet greens are the leaves attached to the beets. These do not only look different. The nutrients in them are very different too.

100 grams of beet greens contain the following amounts of carbohydrates (4):

  • Total carbs: 5.5 grams
  • Of which fiber: 2.9 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.6 grams

Beet greens are a lot lower in carbs than boiled beets. Even to the point where you can consider them to be relatively keto-friendly.

Why beets are sometimes OK on keto

As mentioned, whether beets are keto-friendly or not is not just a yes or no answer. Quickly going over the keto fundamentals can help you understand why and help you stay in ketosis.

The main goal of ketogenic diets is getting and staying in ketosis. This is a state where your body mainly uses fat as fuel (5).

To do this, you have to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. Exactly how low depends on details like your body weight, muscle mass, activity levels, etc.

For example, people who exercise more tend to be able to eat more beets without getting kicked out of ketosis.

That being said, there are some rough general guidelines that are not perfect but do give you an idea of what it takes to follow a ketogenic diet.

These guidelines are that you want to get more or less 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

This will typically mean eating around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day. Keep in mind that this does not include the amount of fiber in foods like beets.

Are pickled beets keto?

100 grams of pickled beets contain around 15.5 grams of net carbohydrates (3).

With the guidelines above, it should become clear that pickled beets are typically not keto. At least not in combination with reasonable amounts of other foods.

Are roasted beets keto-friendly?

You can also prepare beets by roasting them. Unfortunately, I did not find any good nutrition info on this type of beet.

However, roasting vegetables typically removes a decent amount of the water in them. At least compared to boiling the same vegetables.

In turn, the number of net carbohydrates per 100 grams of roasted beets is likely a bit higher than boiled beets. That means roasted beets are generally not keto-friendly either.

Substitutes for beets on keto

Beets are not the only vegetable that can add a bit of crunch, fiber, and nutrients to your diet. They are actually relatively high in carbs so there are many vegetables that are more keto-friendly.

You may like some of the substitutes below just as much or more than beets. Additionally, they make it easier to stay in ketosis.

The values next to the names are the amounts of net carbs per 100 grams (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11):

  • Chicory: 0.9 grams of net carbs
  • Spinach: 1.4 grams of net carbs
  • Green leaf lettuce: 1.5 grams of net carbs
  • Celery: 1.8 grams of net carbs
  • Radishes: 1.9 grams of net carbs
  • Asparagus: 2.1 grams of net carbs

Keep in mind that these substitutes still contain a few carbs. Depending on the other foods in your keto diet, you may still have to pay some attention to your portion sizes.

How to avoid eating too much beet on keto

If you absolutely want to eat beets on keto, you will have to implement some portion control.

Preparing a big pot of your favorite beet recipes and just hoping you will feel full before you eat too much will generally not be a good idea.

You can keep your portions of beets small enough with some of the following tips:

  • Estimate in advance how many grams of beets you can eat while staying in ketosis
  • Weigh out the planned amount and leave the other beets somewhere else
  • Don’t eat unlimited amounts while doing other things

Keep in mind that your initial estimations about how many beets you can have on keto can be suboptimal.

If you notice you get kicked out of ketosis, you may need to reconsider your portion sizes of beets or other foods.

What is your goal with keto?

By now, it should be clear that beets are not that keto-friendly. Even relatively small amounts could raise your carb intake too much to stay in ketosis.

How bad this is depends on why you are following or considering a ketogenic diet.

Some people have to or want to stay in ketosis every minute of the day. These individuals want to be careful with their carb intake and likely want to stay away from beets.

On the flip side, beet can still be good for weight loss and general health even if your diet stops being ketogenic. Keto is typically not the only way to make progress toward these goals.

Something similar applies to beet juice although liquid calories tend to be less optimal for weight loss and health.

Related posts:


Are beets low-carb?

100 grams of boiled beets contain around 10 grams of carbohydrates (including 2 grams of fiber). There are definitely foods that contain more of these but it is fair to say that beets are not that low-carb.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.