Diabetes Friendly Beetroot Side Dish

Beetroot with parsley

These photos look a bit like a déjà vu, or perhaps somewhat like a game of spot the differences with regards to the photos in this beetroot salad. In theory, if it were the game, I think now I’m supposed to write upside down on the bottom of the page – fortunately for you guys I haven’t mastered how to program that – the fact that this salad has parsley instead of mint.

On a more serious note, I’m making this post in participation of Priya’s Diabetic Friendly Food Week. By the way, one of the things I’ve learnt from Priya is that the Blue Circle is the symbol for diabetes.


I would recommend this beetroot, parsley and shallot salad as a side dish for diabetes. Beetroot can sometimes be a questioned food with regards to diabetes. Priya recommends it as one of the ingredients you can add to desserts to help use less amounts of other sweeteners.

Beetroot does have carbs, some of which are sugars. Beetroot does, however, have a low glycemic count, and plenty of vitamins, so some beetroot once in a while is fine for diabetics.

Before continuing with the recipe, I would like to very briefly explain about sugars and carbohydrates. We do need sugars, and therefore carbohydrates in our diet, but in a balanced and proper way. I’m sure diabetics – and their nurses – are the people that understand this balance best.

What is commonly known as sugar is actually units – or double units – of glucose or other naturally occurring sugar types such as frutose (from fruits) or lactose (from milk). These are the “bad sugars”. These are what we call readily used sugars. When we eat them, our bodies can use them as energy immediately. If we don’t use them up, they transform into fat and get stored into our fatty cells. If a diabetic has too much sugar in their blood stream and not enough insulin at that moment, the sugar will build up in their blood and cannot go into the cells to be used as energy. This is what is known as high blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates are long chains of sugars, literally meaning they are lots of units of sugar linked together as if in a long chain. The good thing about them is that our bodies need to break up the links one by one in order to use up the sugars. This means that the energy giving effect will be slow and long-lasting throughout the day. We can use up the sugars as they are slowly broken up and released. This is why long chain carbohydrates are better for us.

Carbohydrates and sugars blackboard

Beetroot has a little bit of sugars and more carbohydrates. But the “good ones”. So some beetroot in moderation is OK.


3 beetroots

1 shallot

1 handful parsley

1 tiny pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Cut the first three ingredients into pieces and put into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and some olive oil. Mix. Store in the fridge for at least half an hour to let the flavours mix together more.

Note: I buy ready boiled beetroot as it’s rather hard to find fresh beetroot around where I live.

Beetroot with parsley diabetic friendly recipe

Thank you for reading!

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  1. That other cook... 2013-11-26 at 00:13

    love them beets! 🙂 ill be honest, i don’t think i understood much of all that sugar carbohydrate technical stuff but your photos are beautiful. have you tried this salad with mint? I haven’t but now I’m curious!

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 19:48

      Haha no problems re the technical stuff 🙂 The important thing is that this salad is easy, tastes great and healthy! Yeah I’ve made it with mint, and its really good!

      1. That other cook... 2013-11-26 at 23:12

        good to know about the mint, i should use it more often. I really like it but sometimes I second guess myself, and leave the mint alone.

  2. Bunny Eats Design 2013-11-26 at 01:37

    Beetroot is one of the things I grew last summer but they didn’t turn out as I hoped. I’m still trying to decide if I will plant more this year or to concentrate on things that are a bit less risky to grow.

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 20:03

      Huge thumbs up to you for trying last year! We’ll be on the lookout to know what you planted this year. xx

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 20:04

      Hi Christina! Thanks for visiting 🙂 You’re welcome, beetroot is so tasty and colourful.

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 19:47

      Yeah, beetroot always brings on beautiful colour!

  3. www.nothing-found.com 2013-11-26 at 04:40

    I make something similar to this, except I use cilantro and a simple dijon, olive oil, salt, pepper dressing. I kind of stole the idea from something I ate at Whole Foods and I looove how beets are filling. I can eat a massive bowl of this.

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 20:05

      Oh your recipe sounds great! You’re right, they are filling,.. hadn’t consiously thought of that. xx

  4. Priya Kedlaya 2013-11-26 at 04:58

    That looks so inviting, I’d love to dig in! Thanks for this recipe Sofia! And for the explanation of the structures for sugar and carbs too! 🙂 Oh, and I used to love spot the differences as a kid.. ha ha.. they used to put it in the newspaper!

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 20:07

      You’re welcome Priya, love to help with issues like this 🙂 I used to like the spot the differences too as a kid, haha.

  5. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2013-11-26 at 06:05

    This salad looks simply gorgeous, like rubies! Beets are also high in iron, so I’ve been told. And since I WAS a diabetic for over 20 years, I understand about counting carbohydrates. I had an excellent diabetic diet educator who taught me well. And while we’re on the subject of diabetes, there are so many complex carbohydrates that diabetics think are “bad” for them. Actually, there is no “BAD” food for diabetics, it’s all about portion control. But of course sweets with empty calories are BAD for everyone. But a food like beets or sweet potatoes that are NATURALLY sweet are low glycemic and actually EXCELLENT for diabetics.
    Oh, and the reason I say that I WAS a diabetic is because 9 months ago I had the gastric bypass…and my diabetes is now in remission…hurray!

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 20:27

      Thanks Guillermina. Yeah you had said that you have had diabetes, so congrats that the gastric bypass went well (very happy for you) and I’m also very happy that the diabetes is in remission 🙂 A lot of people I encounter in my everyday do not understand anything about carbohydrates, and really, they can be a complex matter. Thats why I think the people that most understand are diabetics and their nurses, doctors and nutritionists. besos

  6. Sunny 2013-11-26 at 07:28

    Hey Sofia, thanks for the recipe! I might make this soon! The fiance is Russian and you might know how much they love beetroot (I’ve been to a Russian NYE party where EVERY dish on the table looked red LOL)! Parsley is a no-fail ingredient for us, too!

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 20:08

      Actually I didn’t know Russians love beetroot, thanks for something new I’ve learnt today Sunny 🙂

  7. pianolearner 2013-11-26 at 11:24

    We grow lots of different types of beets, there’s some really colourful stripy ones out there.

    1. Sofia 2013-11-26 at 20:14

      That sounds like a delight – maybe you can show us on your blog 😉

  8. celestedimilla 2013-11-27 at 00:42

    What a lovely, colorful dish Sofia! I love that it’s diabetic-friendly too, as I have two family members who suffer from diabetes. 🙂

    1. Sofia 2013-11-28 at 00:03

      I suppose you know a bit about what how they should eat and take care of themselves then! xx

  9. cruzccc 2013-11-27 at 12:20

    Me encanta la remolacha y ahora que sé que contiene del azúcar “bueno” lo comeré con más alegría, jeje!
    Genial post 🙂
    Un beso!

    1. Sofia 2013-11-28 at 00:04

      Sí que está bueno y es bueno 🙂 Gracias y besitos

  10. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2013-11-27 at 17:29

    Hi, Sofia – Delicious and Tasty – plus healthy! I just boiled and peeled some delicious, organic beets yesterday. I have parsley and shallot, as well – I am looking forward to eating some beets. Thank your sharing! Oh, this would also be delicious on some greens with a bit of tomato (and still be low-glucose). Have a great day! – Shanna

    1. Sofia 2013-11-28 at 00:22

      Oh that sounds delicious! Again, wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving alongside your loved ones. xx

  11. Pingback: Recipes from Diabetic-Friendly Food Week | Sugarfree Sweetheart

  12. Food to Fitness 2013-12-11 at 06:41

    Looks so bright and amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  13. Good Food Everyday 2014-03-16 at 21:45

    I tired this today Priya and it was really good, thank you for sharing, simple and delicious !


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