Can a Diabetic Eat Spaghetti?

After a diabetes diagnosis, your may fear you have to give up your favorite carbohydrate-rich meals like spaghetti and other pastas. Although it's true that you need to keep careful watch over how many carbs, calories and fat you take in, you can accommodate an occasional serving of spaghetti. Make sure your eating is always within the context of a healthy, carb-balanced meal plan and that you are following the advice of your doctor or dietitian. You can also make small changes to your traditional spaghetti dish that make it just as palatable but reduce the impact on your blood sugar.

Is Spaghetti OK?

"The short answer to the pasta question is yes, you can eat pasta," writes registered dietitian Cindy Moore on People with diabetes do not need to give up their favorite spaghetti meals. In fact, it's important to have carbohydrates such as pasta at each meal. The "but" is you must ensure you are adhering the eating plan created by your doctor or dietitian. Spaghetti is "carbalicious," and eating too much can spike your blood sugar. To keep it balanced, be sure to always eat the appropriate amount of carbohydrate servings when you have spaghetti.

Read the Label

The nutrition facts on the spaghetti package will tell you how many carbohydrates are in a serving. A cup of cooked plain spaghetti without sauce has roughly 43 g of carbohydrates. If that's more than your allowance of carbohydrates per meal, you can reduce your portion size, to 1/3 or 2/3 of a cup. Remember that the sauce will add more carbohydrates — close to 18 g for a typical 1/2 cup of tomato-based sauce. In addition, if you make meatballs with carbohydrate-containing items like breadcrumbs, that's an additional carbohydrate source you need to account for.

Choose the Right Pasta

Choosing a healthier pasta may help the effect spaghetti has on your blood sugar. For example, whole-wheat and some fortified pastas contain more fiber than regular white pasta. Fiber can help normalize blood sugar and insulin response to eating. You can also buy brands of pasta designed for diabetics and low-carb dieters.

Make the Dish Carb-Healthier

You might enjoy some modifications to your spaghetti dinner that could make it lower in carbs but just as satisfying. For example, reduce the amount of pasta, and add more of your favorite vegetables to the sauce. Try pouring on extra onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and others to lighten the carb load.

references & resources
Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.