beets

Are Beets Low FODMAP?

Beetroot can either taste like nature’s candy or like bitter dirt. This vibrant root vegetable is one to love or loathe, but it’s highly likely that you are a beet-fanatic reading this article with fingers crossed that beetroot gets the green light as a low FODMAP food.

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A single serving of fresh beetroot (four slices) is classified as high FODMAP, as it contains oligo-fructans. A half serving of two fresh or cooked beetroot slices, however, is considered low FODMAP. Better yet, a 1/2 cup pickled or canned beets is approved as low FODMAP.

If you are following a low FODMAP diet, you might be wondering if beetroot is strictly off-limits? Fortunately, beetroot is not entirely off the menu! Follow the recommended portion sizes and cooking methods listed so that you can still eat the magnificent beet!

Does Beetroot Contain FODMAPS?

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Any ingredient that contains the following short-chain carbohydrates: fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols will be classified as a FODMAP food.

Beetroot is considered a FODMAP food, because it contains two fermentable short-chain carbohydrates: oligosaccharide and monosaccharides,in the form offructose, a naturally occurring simple sugar that some people battle to digest.

A person with an intolerance to FODMAPs may have difficulty digesting fructose found in beetroot, which leads to the fermentation of this sugar in the gut. The fermented sugar causes gas and water to accumulate in the large intestine, resulting in digestive discomfort, constipation, bloating, or diarrhea.

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What Is The FODMAP Value For Beets?

From high to low, beetroot can be a tricky vegetable to place on the FODMAP scale:

Plain, fresh beetroot typically gets the red light as high in FODMAPs. However, variations in the portion size and preparation process can shift beetroot on the scale to either a medium or low FODMAP food.

Fresh Beetroot

A whole serving of fresh beetroot, which amounts to four slices, is classified as high FODMAP since the vegetable contains a high amount of oligo-fructans, short-chain carbohydrates that feed the gut bacteria which may cause gastrointestinal upset.

A half serving of fresh beetroot (¾ oz. or two slices) is low FODMAP, since this minute portion will not contain a high concentration of oligo-fructans (FODMAPs).

Beetroot Juice

The FODMAP level of pure beetroot juice is yet to be tested but resources presume that it is likely to be high FODMAP and should be avoided during Step 1 and Step 2 of the diet. You can drink a small amount of beetroot juice during Step 3 to test your tolerance level.

Beetroot Powder

Beetroot powder is high in FODMAPs because it is highly concentrated. A tiny pinch of beetroot powder is allowed when used as a natural dye for food.

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According to the Monash University FODMAP — portal, cooked, canned, or pickled beetroot is approved as low FODMAP – in moderate amounts:

Cooked Beetroot

Half a serving of cooked beetroot, which is a total of two slices (¾ oz.), is low FODMAP. While extensive research is needed to determine why cooked beetroot is okay, Monash University suspects that the high temperature may help break down the FODMAPs.

Canned Beetroot

Better yet, ½ cup canned beetroot is low FODMAP, and 1 cup is considered as medium FODMAP, although you should consume this amount of beetroot in moderation.

Studies show that canning and preserving food under acidic conditions significantly impact its FODMAP content. As a result, the beetroot’s water-soluble FODMAPs leach into the brine mixture, so always make sure to discard the brine before use.

Pickled Beetroot

½ cup pickled beetroot also receives the green light as low FODMAP. A similar process to canned beets, the acidic environment and lengthy pickling process lowers the FODMAP content because the beetroot will leach out its fructans into the vinegar solution.

Fresh Beetroot

A whole serving of fresh beetroot, which amounts to four slices, is classified as high FODMAP since the vegetable contains a high amount of oligo-fructans, short-chain carbohydrates that feed the gut bacteria which may cause gastrointestinal upset.

A half serving of fresh beetroot (¾ oz. or two slices) is low FODMAP, since this minute portion will not contain a high concentration of oligo-fructans (FODMAPs).

Beetroot Juice

The FODMAP level of pure beetroot juice is yet to be tested but resources presume that it is likely to be high FODMAP and should be avoided during Step 1 and Step 2 of the diet. You can drink a small amount of beetroot juice during Step 3 to test your tolerance level.

Beetroot Powder

Beetroot powder is high in FODMAPs because it is highly concentrated. A tiny pinch of beetroot powder is allowed when used as a natural dye for food.

According to the Monash University FODMAP portal, cooked, canned, or pickled beetroot is approved as low FODMAP – in moderate amounts:

Cooked Beetroot

Half a serving of cooked beetroot, which is a total of two slices (¾ oz.), is low FODMAP. While extensive research is needed to determine why cooked beetroot is okay, Monash University suspects that the high temperature may help break down the FODMAPs.

Canned Beetroot

Better yet, ½ cup canned beetroot is low FODMAP, and 1 cup is considered as medium FODMAP, although you should consume this amount of beetroot in moderation.

Studies show that canning and preserving food under acidic conditions significantly impact its FODMAP content. As a result, the beetroot’s water-soluble FODMAPs leach into the brine mixture, so always make sure to discard the brine before use.

Pickled Beetroot

½ cup pickled beetroot also receives the green light as low FODMAP. A similar process to canned beets, the acidic environment and lengthy pickling process lowers the FODMAP content because the beetroot will leach out its fructans into the vinegar solution.

How To Enjoy Beetroot on A Low FODMAP Diet

Diet sandwiches with beet root hummus, capers and egg. Top view

Now that you know the appropriate portion sizes and preparation methods that make beetroot low FODMAP and easier to digest, you can try out these simple and delicious ideas to get the most out of this wholesome and vibrant vegetable:

The recommended serving size of beetroot may not be substantial on its own, so it will be best to mix it with other low FODMAP ingredients to create a tasty and heartier meal.

Tip: Keep in mind that garlic and onion are high FODMAP, but there are many healthy, FODMAP-friendly herbs and spices that will give your beetroot dishes incredible flavor.

Roast beetroot, broccoli, and carrots with a sprinkle of curry powder and serve as a side dish or as a nourish bowl, along with some buckwheat and sliced chicken, meat, or tofu.

Pasta is a speedy weeknight favorite. Whip up a gorgeous and creamy pasta sauce in minutes by blending canned or pickled beets with goat’s/feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices.

Fuel your workout with a refreshing smoothie made with cooked or raw beetroot, pineapple, ginger, spinach, and almond milk.

Create a vibrant and creamy dip by blending canned beetroot with coconut or lactose-free yogurt, fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and your favorite low FODMAP spices. Serve it with carrot and cucumber sticks or spread on a slice of gluten-free or spelt sourdough bread.

Finely chop some pickled beets and sprinkle over your meal as a tangy garnish, or add them to a salad for a burst of color and flavor. Pickled beets taste amazing in coleslaw, sandwiches, or served with roast meat and vegetables.

Do not be alarmed if you happen to notice a red or pink tinge in your urine or stool after consuming beets. It is known as beeturia, a harmless side effect of undigested beetroot.

Final Thoughts About Beetroot Having Low FODMAP

Beetroot may contain FODMAPs, but it is not entirely off-limits. The appropriate serving size and preparation method scores it a green light as a low FODMAP food. Every individual is unique – experiment and consume small amounts of beetroot to see if it triggers any symptoms.

A FODMAP-friendly portion of beetroot may seem insufficient and rather disappointing, but you can remain up-beet: a little can go a long way when it is combined with other nutritious and tasty low/FODMAP-free foods.