Q. Why can't canned beets be used to reduce cholesterol? I had a significant reduction after only two weeks on the fresh beets but they are expensive and time consuming to prepare.

A. Until we received your question we had no idea that beets might lower cholesterol. Research has shown that 2 cups of beet juice daily can help lower blood pressure significantly, by as much as 10 points (Hypertension, March 2008).

When we checked the medical literature, however, we found some animal research suggesting that beets may indeed lower cholesterol and triglycerides. We don’t see why canned beets wouldn’t work as well as fresh.

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  1. Louise Rodriguez

    Do they grow beets in Florida? How come they are so expensive? Went to the fresh market today and a bunch containing 3 beets were $2.00 per bunch.

  2. liz

    thank you very helpful and truthful :) canned beets it is !

  3. Jeff

    Fresh raw beets are great, and you can simply get out your grater and grate them as fine as possible and then add them to your salads. I personally think this is better than beet juice because you get not just the juice, but the entire root in your salad.
    The downside is that fresh raw beets are very hard and so they are rather tricky to grate by hand. You can use a food processor to grate them, but either way, they are very messy. You will get bright red beet juice on your hands, counter top, and on your cutting board, and it is difficult to get it out or wash it away. It stains.
    Of course, that stain is from the antioxidants you want in your body.
    If you have the time and don’t mind the mess, fresh raw beets are the way to go.
    If you want something quick and easy, canned beets are the way to go. Eat the beets and drink the juice in the can.
    The way I look at is this, by eating canned beets, you are more likely to do it, because it is so easy, and you are bound to get more of the good stuff in you than if you didn’t eat beets at all.

  4. Tracy

    I can beets every year. They are delicious and very easy to can. Very forgiving. I wonder if home canned beets offer the same benefits as fresh juiced beets.

  5. Laura O.

    Whole beets versus beet juice???
    In regards to the study on beet juice lowering blood pressure….
    Why not whole beets? Why arent whole cooked beets just as good as the juice for lowering BP?
    What makes the juice “work” and not the whole beet? If the whole beet works how many would I have to eat a day to equal 16oz juice?
    If I have to juice them…what ratio?

  6. AM

    Beets are expensive, especially to juice. Have you tried making Beet Kvass? Basically 3 beets make a liquid that lasts about a week and has the added benefit of the whey (or vinegar) for digestive help.

  7. clc

    In regards to drinking beet juice, I have to be very careful doing this. I used to juice fresh vegetables and loved the fresh beet juice. If I took more than a few sips at a time, though, it would irritate my esophagus and be quite painful. This was my experience but may not bother other people the same way.

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