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Ask the experts: Canned beetroot

Q: "I notice that all canned beetroot seems to have sugar in it. I drain the liquid off and replace it with my own sugar-free variety. Will the canned beetroot have absorbed a significant amount of the sugar used in its processing or is it likely that my 'system' will make it safe for a diabetic to use regularly?"

Jessie

A: Nutritionist Claire Turnbull replies:

"A serving of beetroot (say two slices or around 60g) contains the same amount of carbohydrate as half a slice of bread. Beetroot is perfectly okay for people with diabetes, provided the carbohydrate is included as part of your normal daily allowance.

With diabetes, although it is helpful to limit the amount of sugar in your diet to help manage your blood sugars, it is equally important to look at the total amount of carbohydrate (starches and sugars) that you are eating every day. Beetroot is a root vegetable which is about 10g carbohydrate/100g, of which most is naturally occurring sugar. Canned varieties may contain added sugar in the liquid, but when they are drained, are only slightly higher in sugar at around 11g/100g so it’s not a huge concern.”

First published: Feb 2010



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