Are Turnips Good For Weight Loss Or Fattening?

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This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT

Vegetables are typically good for getting in shape but there are suboptimal options. Find out whether turnips are good for weight loss or fattening.

Turnips are low in calories, contain a nice amount of fiber, and provide you with small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

When you eat more turnips, you will likely feel a lot fuller without adding that much energy to your diet.

In turn, you will likely consume smaller amounts of other foods that are less helpful for losing weight.

If this happens, you can say that turnips will be good for weight loss.

On the flip side, you still need to consume less of these other foods to see weight loss results from eating turnips. Just adding them on top of the things you already eat will likely not offer that much progress.

Something else to keep in mind is that there are a variety of nutrients that are important for weight loss and health.

Turnips do not contain these in sufficient amounts so you still need to choose other good foods too.

This article will also go over the exact nutrition information of turnips and how they compare to popular alternatives when it comes to weight loss effects.

Calories in turnips

The number of calories in foods like turnips is basically how much energy they contain. An excess of energy in your diet would lead to weight gain so this number is a valuable piece of information.

At the same time, you also need to know that the total number of calories is not the only thing that matters. Their sources matter too.

That aside, 100 grams of boiled turnips contain around 22 calories (1).

Even compared to many low-calorie vegetables, turnips contain a very low number of calories. This definitely applies when you compare turnips to most other foods too.

19.4 of the calories above come from carbohydrates (5.1 g per 100 grams of which 2.0 g fiber).

That means turnips can be good for keto and other low-carb weight loss diets.

In short, turnips are very low in calories which is typically helpful when losing weight. Even so, what sources these calories come from will impact your results too.

Micronutrients in turnips

The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in turnips.

Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.

100 grams of boiled turnips provides you with approximately (1):

  • Vitamin C: 19% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Potassium: 5% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of vitamins and minerals in turnips is very underwhelming compared to most other whole foods.

Fiber in turnips for weight loss

Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.

Turnips contain around 2.0 grams of fiber per 100 grams (1).

That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.

Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.

Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.

With the amount of fiber in turnips you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.

Fiber in turnips for weight loss

Do turnips help you lose weight?

Turnips are very low in calories, contain a nice amount of fiber, and offer a few vitamins and minerals in small amounts. You can basically see this vegetable as a packet of water with some extra taste and nutrients.

Drinking water is usually beneficial for weight loss (up to a point of course). Consuming more water can help you feel fuller and actually increases the number of calories you burn (2, 3, 4).

Similar principles apply to turnips. By eating more of them, you will likely feel a lot fuller. In turn, you will likely consume smaller portions of foods that are less helpful for weight loss.

In a situation like that, turnips will typically help you lose weight.

That being said, you do still need to make the changes above. If you just eat more turnips without doing anything else, they will likely still not be fattening but your weight loss results will be far from impressive.

Additionally, there are a variety of nutrients that are important for losing weight and being healthy.

Since turnips are not that impressive in terms of nutrients besides fiber, you need to pay enough attention to the other things you eat too. If not, your weight loss results may not last for long.

Turnips vs other vegetables for weight loss

You now know how good turnips are for weight loss but how do they compare to certain other vegetables? Find out how good turnips are for weight loss vs radishes, parsnips, potatoes, and beets.

Turnips vs radishes

The first comparison is turnips vs radishes. Radishes are even lower in calories than turnips, 16 calories per 100 grams vs the 22 calories per 100 grams of boiled turnips (5).

Radishes contain around 1.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams. A bit lower than the 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams in turnips. These two foods are very similar in the amount of vitamins and minerals.

All in all, turnips and radishes will have a very similar effect on weight loss.

Turnips vs parsnips

If you’re only looking at calories, turnips contain fewer calories per 100 grams. Turnips contain around 22 calories per 100 grams vs the 71 calories per 100 grams of boiled parsnips (6).

Turnips contain around 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, parsnips 3.6 grams. Lastly, parsnips contain a slightly higher amount of vitamins and minerals.

Turnips will likely be a bit better than parsnips for weight loss. Again, the difference won’t be that big.

Turnips vs potatoes

Next is the comparison between turnips and potatoes. Potatoes are clearly higher in calories, 87 calories per 100 grams (7).

Potatoes contain 1.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams so a tiny amount lower than turnips. Potatoes do contain slightly more vitamins and minerals than turnips.

All in all, turnips are most likely better for weight loss than potatoes.

Turnips vs beets

Lastly the comparison between turnips and beets. Beets contain about 44 calories per 100 grams vs the 22 calories per 100 grams of turnips (8).

They have the same amount of fiber, 2 grams per 100 grams. Beets have a slightly higher amount of vitamins and minerals.

Turnips will likely be slightly better for weight loss than beets.

Chart of turnips vs other vegetables

The small differences in nutritional values between these foods will most likely not matter that much when it comes to weight loss. If you like all of them equally you might as well choose the ones that are the best.

The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for turnips (1), radishes (5), parsnips (6), potatoes (7), and beets (8) to compare.

Values Per 100gTurnipsRadishesParsnipsPotatoesBeets
Calories22 calories16 calories71 calories87 calories44 calories
Fiber2 g1.6 g3.6 g1.8 g2 g
Chart comparing turnips vs other vegetables for weight loss
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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.