Q+A: Beet Basics

Posted on: June 01, 2016

 

Learn the ins and outs of this versatilve root vegetable

I ate a huge helping of beets and now my urine is red. Yikes! Why does this happen?

This temporary condition, called beeturia, is caused by unmetabolized pigments found in beets that can turn both urine and stool red or pink. Its occurrence depends on factors such as the type of beet consumed and what else you’ve eaten, which will affect your stomach’s acidity level.

How should I choose beets?

Look for vegetables that are firm (not soft) and free of dents and bruises. If the greens are attached, they should be crisp, sturdy and brightly colored.

Are frozen beets as healthy as fresh ones?

Most frozen vegetables are preserved at the peak of ripeness, so they have almost the same nutritional profile as their fresh counterparts. Packaged beets can be especially helpful if you’re making something in a large quantity, like borscht (beet soup).

I’ve heard beets have a lot of sugar. Does that mean I shouldn’t eat them?

Although beets score 64 of 100 on the glycemic index (a measure of how fast a food causes blood sugar to rise), you’d have to eat four cups of them on an empty stomach to see a significant spike. Mixing them with protein- and fiber-rich foods, such as salmon and broccoli, will help lower the glycemic effect.

Filed under: 2016

 

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