A diabetes diagnosis can make you give up many foods, but not spaghetti! That’s right, you can still enjoy a bowl of spaghetti and other pasta. Well, eating spaghetti can be problematic for diabetic people, but this can be controlled by eating meals in the right proportions. So can diabetics eat spaghetti?
For many years, health professionals were against eating spaghetti with diabetes. Spaghetti was associated with weight gain, rise in sugar levels, high carb content, and stimulating overproduction of insulin.
Living with diabetes comes with a long list of instructions, centering on reducing carb, calories, and fat intake. However, you can still enjoy an occasional meal of spaghetti. Make sure that your meal schedule in line with your medical goals. You may have to make a few changes to make your pasta healthier and reduce its impact on your blood sugar.
Spaghetti can be hard to include in your diabetes eating schedule but not because it causes blood sugar levels to spike. You see, many people overindulge when it comes to eating. Spaghetti is often served as the main dish, accompanied by the sauce and maybe bread. If you have a full plate of pasta accompanied by bread and sauce you will have taken approximately 189g of carbs and 1,018 calories. Yikes!
Well, diabetics can eat spaghetti following the guidelines provided in this article.
Spaghetti for diabetics
Here are some tips on how to include spaghetti in your diabetic meal plan.
- Eat pasta in the right proportions: you can measure the amount of pasta you prepare. The recommended measure is about ¾ cup for females and 1 cup for males; this way you can keep tabs on the number of carbs you take.
We cannot exhaust the pasta topic without talking about the sauce. Well, if you cant take your pasta without sauce, consider using one that is low in sugar and sodium content. To be safe, just pick the sauce with the least ingredients. You can also opt to make homemade tomato sauce.
- Use wholegrain spaghetti: wholegrain spaghetti is harder to digest, therefore it does not cause a spike in blood sugar. It is released slowly into the bloodstream as sugars. Nowadays supermarkets have many types of pasta to choose from. The best spaghetti for diabetics is one that contains some fiber. Another alternative is spaghetti made of brown rice or soy germ. These tend to have high protein content and low carb content.
- Include protein in your spaghetti dish: eating large quantities of pasta will lead to a spike in blood sugars. Pairing the dish with some other form of protein such as chicken or fish will help reduce its glycemic index and prevent blood sugar spikes.
- Eat salad as an appetizer: Starting off with a salad is a great way to eat pasta. The salad gives you a feeling of fullness and prevents you from overindulging. Doctors have also proven that starting off with a salad followed by a carbohydrate such as spaghetti is a great way of regulating blood sugars.
- Do not overcook spaghetti: doctors say that overcooked spaghetti is easy on the stomach, is easily digestible therefore likely to cause blood sugar spikes. Diabetics should enjoy pasta al dente, which means it feels firm to the mouth. Slightly cooked pasta helps slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream.
These tips are useful for people who also want to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to meet with your doctor to come up with a meal plan and the number of carbs your body needs per day. Also remember the best spaghetti for diabetics is whole-grain pasta that has vitamins and fiber.
Diabetic pasta substitutes
There are many substitutes for white pasta on the market today. Some taste quite close to the original white pasta!
Here is a list of diabetic pasta substitutes that will open your mind to the wide world of pasta!
- Whole wheat pasta: It has a similar taste to white pasta cooked al dente. It has also been proven to have three times the fiber nutritional value of white pasta.
- Gluten-free pasta: these are made up of chickpeas, brown rice, or quinoa. They are widely available in stores near you.
- Fortified pasta: fortified pasta contains added proteins in the form of egg whites and legumes. They also contain fiber from barley and oats and flaxseed for natural fats. Protein and fiber are great in regulating blood sugar levels.
- Ancient whole grains: the grains used in this pasta include quinoa, farro, sorghum, and freekeh. This diabetic pasta substitute is packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. You can add flavor to these grains by cooking them with lean meat or vegetables.
- Spaghetti squash: When cooked it becomes a bit stringy like white pasta. It is often used as a pasta substitute. It has a mild taste that is absorbed in tomato-based sauces. It is low in carb content hence you can eat larger servings!
- Veggie spirals and ribbons: Some vegetables that can be used to achieve veggie spirals include eggplant, peppers, zucchini, or cabbage. You can make these at home using a vegetable peeler. This pasta is a perfect non-starchy substitute for white pasta.
Can Diabetics Eat Spaghetti Summary
If you are struggling with diabetes, you may constantly ask yourself, “Can diabetics eat spaghetti?” In controlled meal portions, yes spaghetti can be enjoyed! The trick to proper meal management when struggling with diabetes is balancing meals.
You can decide to get rid of pasta in your diet plan altogether, but if you don’t I hope you find this useful. The tips will give you ideas on how to enjoy pasta in different varieties.
I think the best move is to switch white pasta to wholewheat. This way you can enjoy pasta that is nearly similar to what you are used to. As always, diabetics should watch their meal portions and their intake of carbs. Be keen to include minerals, vitamins, fiber, and fats in your recipe. Diabetics can eat spaghetti if it contains the right amount of carbs to avoid a spike in blood sugar levels.