Everybody loves potato chips, in fact one is never enough! I know you don’t want to hear me say no to this question, nobody deserves to be denied potato chips. Contrary to what you may have heard, a diabetic can indeed enjoy potato chips as a snack. Can diabetics eat potato chips?
People living with diabetes live an especially hard life trying to meet their dietary needs while avoiding meals that will mess with their blood sugar levels. When it comes to potato chips, many people will probably tell you to stop consuming them. We all know that these snacks are loaded with fats, sugar, high salt content and a whole lot of carbs.
However, there never lack alternatives! In this modern world, I think we have exhausted all things that a human can probably eat and within these lists, there is healthy ingredients to make potato chips fit for a diabetic.
Neglecting your diet when living with diabetes is likely to result in grave consequences such as nerve damage, vision problems, heart disease, and stroke. Besides, embracing a healthy lifestyle is recommended for everybody.
So, can diabetics eat potato chips? Let us find out!
How do potatoes affect blood sugar levels?
Potatoes affect blood sugar levels due to their carb-content levels. When eaten, the system breaks them down into simple sugars which are infused into the blood sugar. The simple sugars result in spiked blood sugar levels.
Insulin is produced by the body to help move the simple sugars into cells. People with diabetes cannot effectively transport the sugars out of the blood and into the cells, hence the sugars remain in the blood stream. This can be dangerous for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Therefore, people with diabetes should avoid eating foods rich in carbohydrates, especially in large quantities.
In extreme cases, lack of proper diabetes management may lead to amputation.
Therefore, people living with diabetes are advised to reduce their digestible carbohydrate intake. Depending on your medical goals, the average carb intake should be 100-150 grams per day. When on diabetes watch, also regulate your potato chips intake, depending on the ingredients. If the chips have a lot of added sugar and fat avoid eating in large quantities.
What kind of chips can diabetics eat?
When looking for the kind of chips diabetics eat, have a pick at the healthiest choice possible. The trick is looking through the labels. Here is what to watch out for when shopping for potato chips:
- When making a selection, favor the ones that have short ingredients list; the shorter the better. Also, avoid ones with artificial preservatives and flavors. Be keen to avoid chips with added sugars and excess sodium. Keep it simple; avoid flavored chips which tend to have high sugar and salt content.
- Choose heart-friendly chips: when I say heart-friendly, I mean potato chips that have been cooked with heart-friendly vegetable oil like sunflower oil. Go for potato chips cooked with expeller-pressed oil, which means that the oil was extracted through natural means and not chemicals. Using heart-friendly chips may reduce the risk of developing stroke and becoming obese.
- Choose baked or kettle-cooked potato chips: it goes without saying that baked potato chips contain less oil compared to fried ones. Kettle-cooked potato chips are still fried chips only that they use lesser amounts of oil in order to give them that Krispy taste.
- Go for whole-grain: whole grain chips give you additional fiber that keeps you satisfied for longer periods. Whole grain corn may appear as whole kernel or stone-ground corn on the packaging.
Basically, when looking for potato chips, choose one that is high in fiber, low sugar, and low saturated fats.
What are the Alternatives to potato chips for diabetics?
Well, if all these instructions are too much to follow and you decide to fully avoid potato chips, I have some amazing ideas on healthy alternatives to potato chips for diabetics. This selection only contains foods that give the body high levels of fiber, low carbohydrate content, and boasts of low glycemic index (GI).
- Sweet potatoes: doctors have proven that sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They typically have high levels of carbohydrates, but a low glycemic index, which means the rate at which they produce sugars into the bloodstream is low. They can be baked, fried, or mashed. Sweet potatoes form the best alternatives to potato chips for diabetics.
- Carrots and parsnips: these vegetables boast of low carb content of about less than 10 grams. Their low glycemic index makes them good alternatives to potato chips for diabetics. They can be boiled or baked.
- Taro: taro is a root that is well known for its low content in carbohydrates and has a low glycemic index. They are best taken when baked: you can cut them into small pieces and add some oil for the perfect taste.
- Cauliflower: this a delicious alternative to potato chips due to its low-carb content. Can be boiled, roasted, or steamed.
- Pumpkin and squash: these two have a medium glycemic index and low carb content, making them worthy alternatives to potato chips.
- Legumes and lentils: when it comes to legumes and lentils, choose high carb foods and non-starchy vegetables sun as cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli.
People around the world agree on several things, one of them being potato chips are the best! They even have a national holiday just for them which is March 1st, crazy right? And yes! Diabetics eat potato chips too.
However, as a diabetic, a high-carb diet is life-threatening. Before making potato chips a regular snack, you may have to reconsider which brands you pick. Be careful to avoid highly flavored chips such as barbeque chips.
Again, go for the options that use the cooking method that suits your medical goal, for instance, go for baked chips rather than fried ones. Before making any purchase, have a short study session with the package to avoid harmful ingredients. Lastly, too much of anything is poisonous, therefore eat potato chips in the right proportions; don’t overindulge.