Pasta for diabetics
Everybody loves pasta, right? Whether it be angel hair, bow tie, bucatini, fettuccine, or linguine, nothing beats the satisfaction of this easy-to-prepare comfort food. It can be served with any ingredient of your choice. This popular dish, however, is a little controversial when you have varying blood sugar levels.
Is pasta safe for people with diabetes? There is no definite answer to this question. However, a lot will depend on how to prepare them and what kind of pasta you choose. To elaborate, pasta is low on GI (about 50-55), which makes it safe. However, it is also rich in carbohydrates, and we all know that too much carbohydrate is not safe for diabetes.
However, there are a few ways you can minimize the adverse effects of the carbs present in your pasta. The goal is to keep the quantity of pasta as less as possible and maximize the quantity of other healthy ingredients such as meat and vegetables.
Fortunately, there are several ways of enjoying pasta for diabetics without affecting your healthy meal plan.
Mix pasta with vegetables – Adding vegetables can reduce the impact of pasta’s carbohydrates on your blood glucose levels. However, the portion of vegetables should be larger than the amount of pasta you put on your plate. Opt for fiber and protein-rich vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and lentils.
Cook pasta al dente – When you cook pasta al dente, it means you need to cook it moderately. Do not overcook pasta, as it can affect your blood sugar. Additionally, an al dente prepared pasta slows down the absorption rate, which has less impact on the blood sugar.
Opt for whole-grain pasta – A whole grain pasta is the best food for diabetics. Fortunately, whole-grain pasta is available in any market today in different varieties. Additionally, whole grain pasta is rich in fiber, which helps control blood sugar. You can also choose semolina pasta.
Consume pasta as a side – If you are absolutely in love with pasta and cannot live without it, then eat it as a side with a protein or fiber-rich main. For example, a grilled chicken, fish, or sautéed vegetables. Keep the quantity of pasta as less as possible. In that way, you can strike a healthy balance between your health and preference.
Use red sauce pasta: Tomatoes, garlic, and basil are good for diabetes. Keep the sauce simple and traditional.
Use less cheese: Try to go easy with cheese. However, you can use cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, or mozzarella cheese if you absolutely need to use them.
The following is the nutritional content of pasta:
- Saturated fat
- Low GI (glycemic index)
Note: Since pasta has a low GI score, it makes the dish safe to consume. However, only eat in small proportions because of the presence of carbohydrates.
What are some alternatives to traditional pasta? The following substitutes contain fiber and other nutritional contents like proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
- Whole wheat pasta or semolina pasta
- Whole grains
- Spaghetti squash
- Veggie curls
- Semolina pasta
Since there are already a lot of pasta varieties today, choosing the healthiest one is more accessible. However, make sure you inquire with your dietitian before adding this dish to your meal plan. Furthermore, continue with your medications to ensure your condition is well-managed.