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Food for diabetics: Can type 2 diabetics eat pizza?

A diabetes diagnosis will mandate you to start making healthy diet choices so that you can manage your weight and blood sugar level. Managing your diet may also help you reduce your reliance on insulin medication.

A diabetic can eat nearly everything that they are used to; the only thing is making a few adjustments here and there while controlling the food rations.

Diabetics should be more reliant on whole foods, however, when one is in a hurry, an occasional snack doe no hurt. Snacks are discouraged for diabetics because they tend to contain refined carbs that make them rank high on the glycemic index. The refining process makes many snacks contain a lot of sugar and fat. Such foods are not safe for a diabetic, they make blood sugars skyrocket in a short amount of time.

So back to the question, “can type 2 diabetics eat pizza? Yes! You can certainly include pizza in your meal plan; only need to make some adjustments to ensure that it does not affect your blood sugar.

Can pizza raise blood sugar

can pizza raise blood sugar

Pizza has the same effect as white rice, Chinese food, cakes, and cupcakes, or lasagna, they all affect your blood sugar levels. Pizza contains a lot of fats and carbs.  Doctors have discovered that high-fat foods make your blood levels rise and stay spiked for longer hours. Therefore, you may want to avoid traditional pizza at all costs.

So can pizza raise blood sugar? Yes!

When it comes to pizza, it has a different way of affecting blood sugar. It is called the “pizza effect” when you eat other foods, for instance, cereal, you expect a blood sugar spike in about 30 minutes, therefore you are advised to take your insulin medication either before the meal or after the meal. However, pizza has a surprisingly different effect on the body.

One slice of pizza that is the size of a human hand is approximately 30g carbs. However, it depends on the type of crust used, whether deep-dish, had tossed or thin-crust. Some people experience a sugar drop after eating followed by a sugar surge after several hours. Others experience spiked blood sugar levels many hours after eating.

How to include pizza in a diabetic diet

how to include pizza in a diabetic diet

As a diabetic, the first step towards enjoying any meal is measuring the amount of carb in each meal. If you taking, for instance, 1 slice of pizza, the size of a human hand, count that as say 30g of carb. Thin-crust pizza will make 20g carbs while deep-dish will be about 45g. you can get the nutritional information from the pizza box.

Pizza contains a lot of fats, therefore takes a lot of time for digestion to occur. Fat slows down the absorption of food into the bloodstream. Also, large amounts of food take longer to go through the digestion process when compared to lighter foods. Pizza that is full of fats, therefore, takes hours before it can cause an effect on blood sugar.

When you take a bolus of rapid-acting insulin, it usually starts working in about 15 minutes, peaks after an hour to an hour and a half, and is finished after 3-4 hours. Therefore, this bolus works perfectly for meals that have a fairly fast digestion rate. Taking the insulin shot shortly after taking a slow-digesting food will result in a blood sugar drop followed by a spike a few hours later when the food enters the bloodstream. In a few hours, the effect of the insulin will be too weak to act, therefore making your blood sugar rise.

Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes are advised to delay the insulin shot till after the meal. It can also be divided into two parts; the first taken before the meal and the other half taken after say, two hours.

The fat in pizza tends to act many hours after eating. This raise in blood sugar is not caused by carbs, rather by fats. This spike occurs when pizza is digested to produce triglycerides. When these triglycerides reach the liver in large amounts, it becomes resistant to insulin. This results in large amounts of glucose being released by the liver without insulin needed to get absorbed into body cells. This way, you start experiencing a blood sugar spike. The remedy to this could be taking extra basal or long-lasting insulin after taking meals landed with fats.

As you can see, eating pizza can be a challenge for type 2 diabetics, however, I have given you the information needed to include pizza in a diabetic diet.

Healthy pizza for diabetics

As a diabetic, you have to make numerous changes to make your pizza healthy for a diabetic. Here are tips that will guide you on either purchasing or making your homemade pizza.

  • Go for whole wheat pizza accompanied by a lot of vegetables. Be keen to exercise portion control and balance out your meal by adding fiber in form of veggies and salads.
  • While making homemade pizza be sure to use a whole wheat base or multigrain pizza with lots of vegetables and little cheese. Cheese is rich in calories, even with the healthy variety of cheese therefore likely to affect your blood sugar if taken in plenty.
  • Doctors recognize pizza as a meat substitute and can form part of your diet. However, if taking it in between meals, have one or two pieces.
  • When making homemade pizza, use fresh ingredients rather than frozen or processed ones. Use fresh cheese and use it in little amounts.

So going back to the question, “can type 2 diabetics eat pizza?” here are the key takeaways

  1. Type 2 diabetics can enjoy pizza slices once in a while. Consult with your doctor before eliminating or adding anything to your diabetic meal plan
  2. Make a few adjustments to your traditional pizza. Reduce the crust size or use whole wheat flour for the crust. Also, use a little amount of cheese
  3. Practice portion control


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