“Is beetroot low FODMAP”? If you are asking yourself this question, this is the place you will find the answer.
There is a wide variety of vegetables and knowing which ones are FODMAP safe can get overwhelming. This article will explain the beetroot FODMAP content, and consider its suitability for IBS patients.
This post will also answer questions on the FODMAP content of different versions of beetroot (such as pickles, canned beetroot, beetroot chips, or leaves). It will also include some delicious low FODMAP beetroot recipes.
If you want to explore other vegetables’ FODMAP content, read our article on low FODMAP vegetables.
Beetroot FODMAP content
According to Monash University, a leading organisation in FODMAP testing, beetroots are low FODMAP in the portion size of 32 grams (1).
Realistically, it can be difficult to have only 32g of beetroot so you may not bother.
The good news is that there are alternative beetroot options that are low FODMAP in a bigger portion size, so keep reading!
Are cooked beets low FODMAP?
You may also wonder: Are cooked beets low FODMAP? The answer is that the cooked beetroots have the same FODMAP content as the raw ones. (1)
Why is beetroot high FODMAP?
Any portion bigger than 2 thin slices (32 grams) is high in GOS (fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides) which stand for “O” for “Oligos-” in the FODMAP term.
Fructans are chains of fructose (sugar molecules) variable in size and structure, while GOS form a family of different short-chain carbohydrates (2).
Fructans and GOS are classed as one group of Oligos because both are commonly found in vegetables and legumes (3).
Are pickled beets low FODMAP?
We have good news for beetroot lovers on a low FODMAP diet: beetroot pickled in vinegar is FODMAP free and can be eaten freely (1).
You may be surprised but pickling reduces vegetables’ FODMAP content.
This is thanks to leaching out of water-soluble fructans into the solution (9). This process is especially efficient in the acidic environment.
Eating pickled beetroot may be the most practical way to incorporate this vegetable into your diet while eating low FODMAP.
Are canned beets low FODMAP?
The process of canning lowers the FODMAP content similarly to pickling (but not as efficiently).
Canned beetroots are low FODMAP in 60 grams which is nearly 2 times more than for raw or cooked beetroots. (1)
This is also a handy option when you do not have time to prepare beetroots or simply want to enjoy a bigger portion than 2 slices of raw or cooked beetroot that are FODMAP friendly.
Are beetroot leaves low FODMAP?
You may be unsure about beetroot leaves FODMAP content. Unfortunately, their content was not tested by Monash University (1).
To be on the safe side, we would not recommend consuming them when you are on a low FODMAP diet.
Beetroot leaves can be served as appetisers, used in soups, or stir-fries so remember to watch out for this ingredient in ready-made meals.
Is beet root extract low FODMAP?
You may be questioning yourself when planning to have a delicious red smoothie with beetroot and beetroot juice or when considering beetroot extract supplements.
Beetroot extract FODMAP content, the same as for beetroot leaves, is not known. But as raw beetroots are high in FODMAPs, it is likely that beetroot juice or extract will not be FODMAP free.
That is why we would recommend avoiding those products while on a low FODMAP diet and eating those beetroot options that were FODMAP tested.
Can you eat beetroot if you have IBS?
You may wonder: Can you eat beetroot if you have IBS? or Are beets hard to digest?
As mentioned earlier, beetroot has a high content of fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides which are fermentable carbohydrates.
Humans lack enzymes to break down the sugar bonds found in GOS which means they move through our digestive tract unabsorbed (4).
When they get to the large intestine, they are fermented by gut bacteria. This is often reflected in flatulence and abdominal discomfort in some people.
However, if you suffer from IBS, the symptoms you experience can be exaggerated and include persistent gas, bloating, and diarrhoea (5).
The symptoms and their intensity will depend on your individual tolerance of GOS.
So if having IBS it is best to test your tolerance by starting from a low FODMAP beetroot portion (32 grams) and steadily increasing it while observing your symptoms.
Health benefits of eating beetroot
Red beetroot is in the top 10 vegetables highest in betalains, water-soluble pigments which have antioxidant properties. This can decrease oxidative stress and prevent cell damage (6)
Beetroots are also a rich source of fibre. 1 beetroot (around 110 grams) provides 8% of the daily fibre intake recommendation (8).
Beetroot meal ideas
Here are some delicious recipes which you can try:
- 4 ways with 2 slices of beetroot by Monash
- Beetroot Pasta Sauce (low fodmap)
- Beet Yogurt Dip with Walnuts
- Low FODMAP Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
- Low FODMAP Root Vegetable Tian
Raw and cooked beetroot is high in FODMAPs with only a very small portion being allowed on the low FODMAP diet.
Luckily, you can enjoy pickled or canned beetroot in larger portions and the food processing techniques reduce the FODMAP content.
Beetroot in general provides an abundance of health benefits so it is useful to include it in any diet.
Written by Anna Kowalczuk, Student Dietitian, reviewed by Kirsten Jackson, Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Serena is UK HCPC Registered Dietitian. She graduated from Coventry University in 2021 with an upper second class in Dietetics and Human Nutrition.
Serena has previously worked as an Acute Dietitian supporting inpatients with both oral nutrition support and enteral tube feeding. She is now currently working as a Specialist Weight Management Dietitian. Alongside this, Serena has worked for The Food Treatment Clinic since 2022 and has created our low FODMAP, histamine intolerance and SIBO ebooks.
Serena has a keen interest in IBS and gut health, most specifically the low FODMAP diet. She is dedicated to helping those with gut conditions to improve their overall quality of life.
Last updated on August 28th, 2023 at 05:08 pm