Last Updated on by San San
Living with diabetes: Can diabetics eat chips?
Can diabetics eat chips? This is a common question by many. It’s no surprise why anyone would ask because chips are just crispy strips of potatoes, right? Well, I know you have stopped and wondered about them, too. Are diabetics allowed to eat these chips? Spare a moment of your time and get to learn the answer!
Upon a diabetes diagnosis, you are told to have restrictions on the kind of food you eat. You are told to limit carbs and sugar intake to watch your blood sugar levels and weight. Are chips carbohydrates? Do they contain sugar? Well, one thing’s for sure – they’re very high on calories. Need I say more? Of course, let me explain.
Most chips have a high calorie and starch content. Depending on what variation, chips can also be packed with sugar you never knew about. Therefore it would be wise to be very careful when consuming this snack especially when you are diagnosed with diabetes. If you are having trouble controlling your blood sugar levels, it might be smart to completely keep off chips.
Chips are also known to cause additional problems such as heart disease and obesity – that’s right! Because of its high-calorie content, chips can be the main factor next to soda when it comes to bloating and weight gain. The good news is… Some chips aren’t going to be bad for your health even if you are a diabetic.
You can enjoy chips even with your diabetes; the trick is portion control and finding the healthiest chips for your condition. So, can diabetics eat chips? The healthy kind! A diabetes diagnosis does not mean you stop eating all the meals you enjoy. I know it feels like cheating and you may end up feeling guilty after eating chips, but you don’t have to anymore!
How to include chips in a diabetic-friendly diet?
I won’t lie, chips generally have a very low nutrient content, but that does not mean they cannot be part of a diabetic-friendly diet.
As with all carb-containing foods, portion control is very important. And if you consider your health, do not eat chips regularly. Have them only when you need to tame your cravings. According to diabetes experts, one ounce of chips per serving is enough for a diabetic. One ounce is equivalent to 15 chips. You can choose to buy one-serve packets to make accurate decisions when it comes to the portions.
You can add the nutrient content in chips by adding guacamole and healthy sauce or salsa. When eating with salsa, consider the following portions; ¼ cup salsa and 15 potato chips. Salsa is a perfect condiment for chips since it adds fibre, has minimal calories, is carb-free, non-starchy, and fat-free. Salsa contains about 4g of carbs. Opt for baked potato chips.
The Best Chips For Diabetics
People who have type 2 diabetes are advised to keep tabs on their carb intake. So let’s compare different types of chips and recommend the best chips for diabetics.
Baked Chips: baked chips are generally low in fat and saturated fats
Popped Chips: regular chips are deep-fried, however, popped chips are cooked without oil therefore they contain lesser fats. Popped crisps are cooked like popcorns, they are put in a pressurized pot and cooked till they “pop” popped chips are lighter than regular chips therefore, you get more chips in a packet. They have lesser calories compared to regular chips therefore you can take in larger servings.
Rice Cakes and Crackers: rice cakes are low in calories and fats, but be careful when consuming them because they have a high glycemic index, meaning they affect blood sugar levels very quickly. As always, be keen with your portion, do not overindulge. Be careful to avoid rice cakes with very high salt content. Also, don’t go for chocolate or yoghurt-coated ones, as they likely have higher levels of fat, sugar, and calories. Rice Cakes can be used as a meal substitute if you don’t have time for a full meal.
Vegetable Crisps: these are new to the market. They are perfect for diabetics due to their nutrient content. However, be keen to avoid ones with high fat and salt content. It is better to make your homemade veggie crisps so that you can control the fat, salt content. Homemade veggie crisps are also cheaper than those from the market! Depending on the vegetable you use, veggie crisps are high in fiber and add vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Which chips are best for diabetics?
Chips generally have a high glycemic index, meaning they cause blood sugar spikes when eaten in large portions. When eaten, chips are broken down into simple sugars which enter the bloodstream. They are then absorbed into body cells. When there are high levels of sugar in the bloodstream with low absorption into the body cells, this is when a diabetic person starts experiencing a blood sugar spike.
You may be wondering which chips are best for diabetics. Here is a complete guide on which chips to select the next time you visit the store.
- Choose the chips with the least ingredients. You’re less likely to go wrong with the chips with the least ingredients. Keep it simple and especially avoid artificial flavours and preservatives. Count the sodium and carb content in your packet of chips. Use salsa and other homemade condiments to accompany your chips.
- Select chips made from healthy vegetable oil. Choosing heart-healthy chips is good for your weight and diabetic journey. Look for chips cooked with expeller-pressed oil, which means no chemicals were used in the extraction process.
- Choose popped, baked, and kettle-cooked chips. Popped chips and baked chips are the best because of their low-fat content. Kettle-cooked chips also have low-fat content compared to fried chips.
- Select whole-grain chips. choose “whole kernel” or “stone-ground” chips. They tend to have higher levels of fibre and lower glycemic index.
No one likes to be told no, especially when it comes to their stress-relieving snacks. Chips happen to be one of the most common comfort food! You can still enjoy this snack even while living with diabetes. Keep tabs on your carb intake. Do not let chips upset your medical goals by messing with your blood sugar. If you struggle with portion control, it might be wise to completely keep off chips.
Here are the key takeaways to answer the question, “can diabetes eat chips?”
- Choose baked, popped, or kettle-cooked chips
- Opt for the chips with the least ingredients
- Keep your portions at one ounce per serving or 15 potato chips
- Accompany chips with homemade condiments such as salsa to increase nutrients to your meal
- Don’t take chips regularly. Don’t use chips as a meal substitute because you will deprive your body of nutrients
- You can substitute potato chips with veggie chips and whole-grain chips.