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The Paleo Diet With Turnips & Rutabagas

By Aglaee Jacob ; Updated July 18, 2017

The Paleo diet is a way of eating emphasizing foods available during the Paleolithic period, before the agricultural revolution and the introduction of Neolithic foods. Advocates of the Paleo diet claim that, by eating the foods humans were designed to eat, weight loss is easier, health is improved and chronic diseases can be prevented. The Paleo diet is based on seasonal fruits and vegetables, wild-caught fish and seafood, free-range fowl and their eggs, grass-fed meat and healthy fats from avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and occasional nuts and seeds. Dairy products, grains, legumes, processed foods and sugar are eliminated on the Paleo eating plan.

Root Vegetables

Turnip and rutabaga are root vegetables. Unlike grains, which are eliminated on the Paleo diet, root vegetables provide carbohydrates without containing gluten or other gut-irritating protein. Root vegetables contain little to no lectins, phytic actid and other anti-nutrients that interfere with the proper absorption of different nutrients, especially minerals. The Paleo diet allows the consumption of seasonal vegetables, including starchy or root vegetables. Regular potatoes, but not sweet potatoes, are the only exception because they fall in the nightshade category and may cause some problem for people dealing with autoimmune conditions.

Nutrition Facts

A cup of cubed turnip contains 34 calories, 7.9 g of carbohydrates, 3.1 g of fiber, 1.1 g of protein and 0.1 g of fat, while a cup of mashed turnip contains 51 calories, 11.6 g of carbohydrates, 4.6 g of fiber, 1.6 g of protein and 0.2 g of fat. Rutabaga contains slightly more calories and carbohydrates per serving, with about 66 calories, 14.9 g of carbohydrates, 3.1 g of fiber, 2.2 g of protein and 0.4 g of fat per cup of cubed rutabaga, while a cup of mashed rutabaga provides 94 calories, 21 g of carbohydrates, 4.3 g of fiber, 3.1 g of protein and 0.5 g of fat.

Not Necessarily Low-carb

Although the Paleo diet tends to be lower in carbohydrates compared to the standard American diet, because of the elimination of grains, sugar and processed foods, the Paleo diet is not necessarily a low-carb diet. The recommended macronutrient ratio, or the recommended amount of carbs, protein and fat, varies from one person to another. If you wish to lower your body fat percentage or if you have metabolic derangements making it more difficult for you to manage your blood sugar levels, it is best to keep your carb intake as low as possible. In that case, avoid or strictly limit your consumption of fruit and root vegetables. However, if you have reached your desired level of leanness and are physically active, you may benefit from including more carbs, especially from fruits and root vegetables, into your diet to fuel your daily activities.

Eating Turnips and Rutabagas on the Paleo Diet

Turnips and rutabagas are great vegetable options on a Paleo diet, depending on the degree of carbohydrate restriction you choose. You can roast these root vegetables or add them to a stew. Rutabagas and turnips can also be mashed and served instead of mashed potatoes. You can also prepare fries with rutabaga and turnips. Cut the root vegetables into fries, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings to taste and bake in the oven until cooked.

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