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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: Aleksandra Żyłowska-Mharrab, dietitian, food technologist, educator

Pizza is definitely not associated with he althy eating. And pizza in a diabetic's diet? Stereotypically - forbidden. Loaded with carbohydrates and fat, it disrupts glycaemia. So, can a diabetic eat pizza? Does pizza raise blood sugar? How to give insulin with pizza? And how not to go crazy, reconciling a he althy diabetic diet with your favorite pleasures?

When you hear the questionwhether diabetic can eat pizza , you probably automatically get a negative answer. After all, pizza contains a lot of carbohydrates, a lot of fatty cheese, it is difficult to digest and unhe althy. This is the stereotypical way of thinking about pizza. How is it in reality? Can't a diabetic really eat pizza?

Can a diabetic eat pizza?

As in any case, be it a he althy or a sick person, an ideal diet does not exist. Or at least no one can stick to an ideal diet for more than a few weeks. Diabetics are the same. People with diabetes often live with it for several dozen years. It is impossible for them to deny themselves any food that is not recommended in this disease during this time.

Food has many other functions apart from providing nutrients, and refusing your favorite dishes for months or years causes frustration, sometimes exclusion from the group and intensifies the stigmatization of people on special diets. Variations are allowed from any he althy diet to maintain emotional balance.

A diabetic can eat pizza as long as it does not become his daily dish. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Pizza for diabetics is a somewhat tricky meal, so eating it requires awareness of how the diabetic's body reacts to large amounts of carbohydrates combined with fat.

The amount of pizza eaten or the time of a meal should depend on this. People with type 1 diabetes must also test the best insulin dosage for them to help them maintain a stable blood sugar level.

Does pizza raise blood sugar?

Pizza contains a huge dose of carbohydrates. One palm-sized piece of pizza provides approximately 16-20 g of carbohydrate. For comparison, this is a similar amount to a large slice of white wheat-ryebread.

While one slice of bread for breakfast seems normal, for most people to stop eating pizza one slice at a time is problematic.

Pizza raises blood sugar due to its high carbohydrate content. At the same time, it contains a lot of fat and sometimes also a little protein. These nutrients affect the rate of digestion, the absorption of glucose from the gastrointestinal tract, and the rate at which it is released into the blood.

Due to the fat and protein content, the glycemic index of cheese pizza decreases and it is digested much slower than the pizza dough itself. Blood sugar does not rise quickly after eating pizza. On the one hand, this is good news for diabetics. On the other hand, due to the combination of the amount of carbohydrate and fat in a pizza, many diabetics will not experience a gradual, mild increase in blood glucose levels, only a delayed spike approximately 2-5 hours after eating pizza.

Delayed spike in blood glucose is a much bigger problem for insulin injectors than metformin. However, this does not mean that a diabetic who is taking insulin cannot eat pizza.

A diabetic, whether he has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, can eat pizza, but in insulin-dependent diabetes, this pleasure requires planning his insulin doses.

How do I take insulin with my pizza?

In the case of dishes such as pizza, the mere counting of carbohydrates and carbohydrate exchangers does not work. The high fat content of the meal means that carbohydrates are digested and absorbed more slowly.

In pizzas, the so-called fast carbohydrates that will release glucose into the blood, but with a delay. In order to mitigate this effect as much as possible and flatten the glucose curve, it is necessary to properly administer insulin.

Before the pizza is on the table, it would be a good idea to assume how many pieces you will eat as diabetic and how many carbohydrates it contains, and then determine the amount of insulin needed to take your insulin.

The dose of insulin needed to digest the pizza should be divided into 2 or 3 servings. The timing of their intake is closely dependent on you and your body's response. There isn't one single good insulin regimen for eating pizza, but some examples could be:

  • 1. one dose 15 minutes before a meal, another one immediately after finishing eating, the last one within an hour after eating;
  • 1. dose 30 minutes before a meal, 2. while eating, the last 2 hours after finishing eating;
  • 1. a serving when you start eating, another 2 hours after you finish eating.

What about gestational diabetes and diabetestype 2? In these types of diabetes, glycemic control is not as difficult as in type 1 diabetes.

The key is to eat a smaller portion of carbohydrates (according to the "eat but don't overeat" principle, which means that you will finish eating before you feel a full stomach), and if the person adheres to the carbohydrate exchanges in their meals, calculate and adjust them pizza portions up to the allowed amount of WW.

Exercise is very beneficial to balance your postprandial glucose levels, so a 30-minute walk or walk is recommended after eating a pizza.

What is the best pizza for a diabetic?

The less carbohydrates in a meal, the better for a diabetic. If the so-called slow carbohydrates also help with glycemic control. Therefore, when choosing a pizza, it is worth following a few tips.

  • Thin crust pizza is better than thick crust. Contains less carbohydrates.
  • Pizza on wholemeal dough is better than white flour dough. It is digested more slowly.
  • A low carbohydrate pizza dough, such as a cauliflower base or with nut flour, can be a good alternative if the flavor of the toppings is more important to you than the taste of the dough. However, let's not get your eyes washed up - a low-carbohydrate pizza crust does not taste like a regular pizza crust.
  • Sausage or chicken breast? The amount of meat in a pizza is usually very small, so choosing a sausage or lean chicken will not significantly affect the fat content of your pizza. Its main source is cheese.

How to include pizza in a he althy diet in diabetes?

If you like pizza, there's no reason to skip it completely, even if you have diabetes.

As long as you eat pizza occasionally and add to a he althy, balanced diet, eating it shouldn't make you feel guilty. The complete abandonment of your favorite products causes an even greater desire to eat them, and sometimes even obsessive thinking about a specific meal, which has nothing to do with hunger, but only with the satisfaction of an emotional need. This phenomenon is confirmed by science.

For a milder glycemic effect, combine it with a raw vegetable salad, such as chicken or tuna. Eating a salad as an accompaniment to your pizza will make you feel full faster, eat less pizza than if you only eat it, and you'll be satisfied with your meal all the time.

If you have time and you like cooking, make a pizza at home. This way you can best control the thickness of the dough, avoid sugar in tomato sauce and choose filling additives -mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, red beans, meat. When ordering a pizza, ask for a thin crust option.

When eating he althy and rationally, you should not focus on one specific meal, but on the quality of everything you eat. If your diet is based on low-processed foods, vegetables and protein sources, pizza will not make you worse from time to time.

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