You’ve probably heard that if you have diabetes, you should avoid or consume less of certain foods and beverages, such as sugary drinks, refined grains, and candies. Pizza is one food that some people think diabetics should not eat. Pizza contains carbohydrates that can cause your blood sugar to rise.
So, is pizza actually healthy for those who have diabetes? Let’s find out.
Can diabetics eat pizza?
With the exception of a few slices, people with diabetes can eat any type of pizza. Although pizza contains carbs that can cause your blood sugar to rise, it also has other nutritional components. Remember that the rate at which carbohydrates boost blood sugar levels depends on how much you eat and can be slowed down by eating them combined with fat, fiber, and protein.
Hence, because most pizza contains a lot of fat, we occasionally also observe a delayed increase in blood sugar with pizza consumption. Pizza’s high-fat content makes it take your gastrointestinal system longer to digest it, which also explains why you could feel dizzy after eating it.
As a result, blood sugar levels may initially appear normal or even drop low. But a few hours later, you notice a significant blood sugar increase.
To minimize pizza consumption, though, is a good suggestion for everyone, not just those who have diabetes. Here’s why
High sodium content
Pizza can contain a lot of sodium, which may be detrimental to some people, particularly those who have diabetes or hypertension. For instance, two slices (200 grams) of the cheese pizza from Pizza Hut contain 1,248 mg of sodium, which is more than half of the 2,300 mg daily sodium recommendation.
Because those who have type 2 diabetes are more likely to have high blood pressure, which can be impacted by a high salt intake, this is a problem.
Rich in saturated fat
The same two slices of Pizza Hut cheese pizza (200 grams) have 10 grams of saturated fat, or half of the current Daily Value (DV). By causing insulin resistance, which has a detrimental effect on blood sugar control, a diet high in saturated fat may also exacerbate diabetes.
Pizza is not, however, completely off limits for those who have diabetes.
It simply means you should think about limiting your intake of pizza and other foods high in refined carbohydrates, and that the majority of your diet should consist of whole, nutrient-dense foods.
High in total and refined carbohydrates
Healthcare professionals generally advise minimizing your intake of refined carbohydrates, including the white flour needed to produce pizza crust, whether or not you have diabetes.
However, those who have trouble controlling their blood sugar, such as those who have diabetes, need to pay close attention to how much total and refined carbohydrate they’re taking in.
Refined grains have a higher impact on blood sugar levels because they are depleted of nutrients like protein and fiber. Conversely, nutrient-dense food sources like fiber-rich fruits and starchy vegetables tend to have a less impact on blood sugar levels than whole, unprocessed grains.
Overall, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your overall carb intake, including the kinds of carbs you’re ingesting, if you have diabetes. This is because the macronutrient that has the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels is carbs.
What varieties of pizza are ideal for diabetics?
Most entire, nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruits, protein sources like fish and chicken, as well as legumes, nuts, and seeds, are optimal for persons with diabetes (and everyone else).
Most of the time, it is advisable to choose sources of carbs that are high in nutrients. Fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and whole grains like oats, brown rice, and buckwheat are some of them.
There are several methods to make your pizza slice a little bit more nutrient- and blood-sugar-friendly if you order one.
Choose toppings like these when choosing a slice:
- Grilled vegetables such as zucchini, peppers, olives, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes are high in fiber.
- Roasted chicken and fresh mozzarella for protein
- Olives, pine nuts, and other unsaturated fats
- Increase your intake of fiber by selecting a crust made of whole grains, almond flour, or cauliflower.
Additionally, a pizza crust prepared with almond flour or a vegetable like cauliflower tends to have much fewer carbohydrates than traditional pizza and will have a less significant impact on your blood sugar levels than crusts made with white or whole wheat flour. Diabetics can therefore eat such kinds of pizza.
Just bear in mind that some low-carb pizzas, like those promoted to persons following the ketogenic diet, can include a lot of calories because their fat content is often considerably higher than that of conventional pizza.
It’s best to keep some components to a minimum if you want to make your slice healthy.
The following ingredients should be avoided:
- processed meats such as sausage, ham, and bacon
- fried chicken, fried vegetables such as fried eggplant, pizza crusts loaded with cheese, and fried chicken.
- barbeque sauce and pineapple slices that have been sweetened as garnishes
- pizzas with thicker crusts and deep-dish styles
- creamy, calorie-dense sauces like ranch dressing and Alfredo sauce
These ingredients are frequently used on specialty pizzas, which can significantly raise the amount of carbs and calories in each slice.
For instance, two big slices of Papa John’s Super Hawaiian Pizza have 680 calories and 80 grams of carbohydrates each. Additionally, this meal has 1,840 mg of salt, or 80% of the daily recommended amount.
If you have gestational diabetes, can you eat pizza?
However, many appear to avoid their favorite foods out of pure worry about gestational diabetes. Normal pizza can still be enjoyed while you are pregnant with diabetes!
For optimum health and blood sugar control if you have diabetes, eating a diet high in nutrients is crucial. This does not, however, require you to give up pizza. Hence diabetics can eat pizza in moderation and with the right ingredients.
As part of a balanced diet, you can occasionally indulge in a slice or two of your favorite pizza.
Additionally, you can try making your own pizza at home using lower-carb components like vegetables and almond flour to create a pie that is both tasty and healthy for people with diabetes.