Beets are usually roasted or boiled and eaten cooked, although you can shave them raw and add them to salads. Raw beets can also be made into a fresh juice using a juicer, extracting the nutrients from the root vegetable. This makes for an easy way to consume the health benefits of beets. A 1-cup serving of raw beets makes 1/2 cup of fresh beet juice. While you're better off eating beets than drinking beet juice, the juice can fit into a healthful weight-loss diet.
As it is naturally sweet-tasting, substituting fresh beet juice for a sugary drink, such as soda, can help reduce your added sugar intake intake, which can help with weight loss over the long term. One-half cup of beet juice has just over 9 grams of sugar per serving, while a 12-ounce serving of cola has almost 40 grams of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends having no more than 100 to 150 of your daily calories coming from added sugar. A diet high in added sugar can increase your risk of weight gain. Added sugars are considered empty calories, as they have no other nutritional benefit, whereas the natural sugars found in beet juice go hand in hand with essential minerals and vitamins.
Dietary Fiber Content
Juicers extract all the insoluble fiber from beets during the juicing process, but they preserve the soluble fiber, roughly half the the total dietary fiber content. This means that a 1/2-cup serving of beet juice has 1.9 grams of dietary fiber per serving. You can also mix in the extracted fiber with your fresh juice to get the full 3.8 grams of dietary fiber. If you do so, add 1/2 cup of water to thin out the texture. Dietary fiber increases bulk in your diet, helping you feel fuller with less food, leading to a lower calorie intake that helps with weight loss. A regular serving of beet juice will give you 5 percent to 7.6 percent of the recommended intake of dietary fiber, while beet juice with the added fiber will provide 10 percent to 15 percent.
Potential Benefits of Leucine
Leucine is an amino acid that is naturally present in beets. It may potentially help reduce body fat levels by increasing protein availability and lean muscle mass. In a study published in a 2006 issue of "Nutrition," scientists found that leucine supplementation in adult rats led to lower body fat percentages, although it did not lead to lower overall body weight. The researchers concluded that while long-term human study was still needed, leucine was possibly helpful in reducing overall body fat percentages, even at low supplementation levels. But it's not yet known if just consuming leucine through your diet has the same effects.
Higher Vegetable Intake
Vegetables are important for a healthy, balanced diet, which is needed for healthy weight loss. A 1/2-cup serving of regular beet juice counts as 1/2 cup of veggies, so it can help you meet the 2 to 3 cups of vegetables recommended per day by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Having a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in vegetables can help you reach your weight-loss goals, as the quantity and quality of food in your diet greatly affects your weight, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. A diet that includes your full vegetable recommendation is also key for maintaining lost weight so that your hard work is not wasted.
- The Juicing Bible; Pat Crocker
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Beets, Raw
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Carbonated Beverage, Cola
- Harvard School of Public Health: Healthy Weight
- Colorado State University: Dietary Fiber
- ChooseMyPlate.gove: How Many Vegetables Are Needed Daily or Weekly?
- American Heart Association: Sugar 101
- Nutrition: Effects of Leucine Supplementation on the Body Composition and Protein Status of Rats Submitted to Food Restriction
- Healthy Juicing Magazine: How Juicing Can Improve Your Eyesight Naturally
- Linda Wagner: Do Beets Help With Weight Loss?