Pasta: safe for people with diabetes to eat?
Consuming carbohydrates while also attempting to control diabetes may seem to be difficult. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person who has diabetes, whether it be prediabetes or type 2, must regulate their carb intake to avoid blood sugar spikes in order to delay or prevent any long-term health problems such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. This is required in order to prevent any long-term health problems from occurring at all.
Despite this, it is not necessary for diabetics to completely abstain from eating carbs in order to control their condition. When it comes to consuming high-carb meals like pasta and still maintaining control over one’s blood sugar levels, diabetics have access to a number of strategies that may help them do so.
According to Samantha MacLeod, M.S., RDN, who works with Fresh Communications, the first step is to have a plan and measure your progress.
“Counting carbohydrates and monitoring blood sugar levels may undoubtedly be intimidating at first,” says MacLeod. “But if you break it down into manageable chunks…” “Just like with everything else, practice is the key to success, and the more you do something, the simpler it becomes.”
According to MacLeod, it is essential to consume meals and snacks at regular intervals in order to keep the levels of glucose in the blood constant. Counting carbohydrates and developing a meal plan with the help of a certified dietitian may benefit from using an app.
“Your registered dietitian can assist you in developing a meal plan and a carbohydrate target that takes into account all of the requirements of your unique lifestyle,” she explains.
If pasta is one of your favorite foods and you still want to make it a priority in your new meal plan for diabetes, here are a few things that MacLeod recommends keeping in mind.
Investigate Options That Involve High-Fiber
Maintaining control of diabetes requires paying greater attention to one’s blood sugar levels; certain foods have varying effects on one’s blood sugar levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carbohydrates with higher fiber content, such as whole grains, can actually benefit blood sugar by slowing down the spike caused by carbohydrates.
This is due to the fact that the body is unable to absorb or break down fiber. Carbohydrates are known for increasing blood sugar due to the way they digest into sugars in the body for quick energy.
MacLeod suggests that selecting a high-fiber pasta choice may be the answer to regulating blood glucose levels while still having the ability to enjoy pasta. This is due to the fact that meals rich in fiber are beneficial to those who have diabetes.
“People who have diabetes should choose to enjoy whole-grain pasta alternatives (owing to greater fiber content than ordinary pasta) and be mindful of their portion sizes,” she advises. “Whole-grain pasta has a higher fiber level than standard pasta.”
Randomized research published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases in 2022 found that eating low-starch high-fiber pasta lowered postprandial glucose increase compared to eating regular pasta for healthy individuals as well as those with type 2 diabetes.
Include Some Vegetables and Protein in Your Dish
When it comes to controlling your blood sugar levels, the foods that you put on your plate are just as essential as the foods that you put in your mouth, particularly if you choose to eat white spaghetti.
MacLeod recommends using lean protein and vegetables in your pasta meal in order to offer an additional boost of fiber in addition to the satiating effects of the protein. According to the findings of the Joslin Diabetes Center, the digestion of protein-containing meals like chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and even cheese has a little effect on blood glucose levels.
These meals are digested slowly in the body, which not only helps maintain stable blood sugar levels but also keeps you feeling fuller for extended periods of time.
“Protein hack: there are so many various kinds of alternative pasta that naturally have a greater protein content,” says MacLeod. “Protein hack: there are so many different varieties of alternative pasta.” Chickpeas, which provide 23 grams of protein per serving, are one of my personal faves.
Avoid Eating Pasta Alone
While it is feasible to enjoy a dish of pasta while you have diabetes, MacLeod highlights the necessity of not eating pasta alone, considering how it impacts your blood sugar levels. Instead, add vegetables and lean protein to your pasta dish to increase the amount of fiber and slow-digesting protein in your meal. This will make you feel fuller for longer.
MacLeod recommends that you stick to the standard Diabetes Plate Method developed by the American Diabetes Association if you aren’t going to be serving pasta as the first course. Using this strategy, you can guarantee that you are not consuming an excessive amount of carbs by correctly portioning out your intake of them.
If you want to eat pasta, it is essential that you do not overindulge in the food. She recommends that you “stick to the portion size” by just eating the quantity of pasta that corresponds to the number of carbs that you had originally intended for that meal.
The Diabetes Plate Method may be summarized as follows: fill one-fourth of your plate with meals that are high in carbohydrates, one-half of your plate with vegetables that are low in starch, and the other quarter with lean protein.
According to MacLeod, if you eat your pasta with nonstarchy veggies and lean protein as the technique proposes, you may help avoid a sudden jump in your blood sugar level.
The Crux of the Matter
You don’t have to give up pasta just because you have diabetes. Even though pasta is heavy in carbohydrates, it is possible to eat it in moderation as long as it is combined with foods that are also high in fiber and proteins that are low in fat.
According to MacLeod, “it is crucial to consume everything in moderation and not overindulge in any one specific meal or food category.” This applies to everything in life, not just food.
Are you looking for some tasty ways to include more protein and fiber into your bowl of pasta? Try out our Chicken and Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon and Parmesan, this Spicy Sardine Linguine, or any one of these other delicious High Protein Pasta Recipes!