The glycemic index of beetroot is 64, making it a high glycemic food. However, the glycemic load is only 4; a GL under 4 is considered low.
1. What is the glycemic index (GI)?
The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.
Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100.
The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels. Here are the three GI ratings:
Low: 55 or less
High: 70 or above
Foods high in refined carbs and sugar are digested more quickly and often have a high GI, while foods high in protein, fat, or fiber typically have a low GI. Foods that contain no carbs are not assigned a GI and include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and oils.
Several factors influence the glycemic index of a food, including its nutrient composition, cooking method, ripeness, and the amount of processing it has undergone.
The glycemic index can not only help increase your awareness of what you’re putting on your plate but also enhance weight loss, decrease your blood sugar levels, and reduce your cholesterol.
Keep in mind that the glycemic index is different from the glycemic load (GL).
Unlike the GI, which doesn’t take into account the amount of food eaten, the GL factors in the number of carbs in a serving of a food to determine how it may affect blood sugar levels.
For this reason, it’s important to take both the glycemic index and glycemic load into consideration when selecting foods to help support healthy blood sugar levels.
2. Glycemic index of beetroot
Where a carbohydrate food falls on the glycemic index indicates how much it will raise your blood sugar. This is particularly important if you have diabetes, as your body’s ability to manage the amount of sugar in your blood is impaired. Although carbohydrate counting is a more effective way to plan meals and manage your glucose levels, the glycemic index can help you fine-tune your carb intake, reports the American Diabetes Association.
If a food has a low GI – less than 55 — it will affect your blood sugar less than a medium or high food will.
One cup of raw beets contains about the same amount of calories and carbohydrate as one serving of fruit. The carbohydrates in beets come from both naturally occurring sugar (9.2 grams per 1 cup serving) and dietary fiber (just under 4 grams per serving). Fiber helps to regulate blood sugars, increases feelings of fullness, and can help lower blood cholesterol.
The estimated glycemic index of beets is 64, making it a high glycemic food. However, the glycemic load (which factors in serving size) is only 4; a GL under 4 is considered low.
3. Health benefits of beetroot
Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke
Beets are rich in folate (vitamin B9) which helps cells grow and function. Folate plays a key role in controlling damage to blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Boost Your Immune System
Beets are high in fiber and promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Having plenty of healthy bacteria in your digestive system helps fight disease and boost your immune system. Fiber also improves digestion and reduces the risk of constipation.
May Lower Blood Pressure
Beets are abundant in dietary nitrates, which get converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to relax and dilate the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure and preventing hypertension. Dr. Shannon Amoils, senior research advisor at the British Heart Foundation, in his study said, “A daily glass of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension – even those whose high blood pressure was not controlled by drug treatment.”
Promote Bone Health
The minerals in beets such as boron, copper, and magnesium help bones develop normally and boost bone metabolism. These root vegetables also contain potassium, which conserves calcium within the body and reduces the loss of calcium through the urine.
Read more: Beets nutrition facts and health benefits that you should know