Pasta: To Eat, Or Not To Eat?
One of my favorite foods is pasta. I think I could eat pasta every day and never tire of it. And when I’ve had a rough day, nothing comforts me as much as a plate of pasta with butter (or trans-fat-free margarine), Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. Yet pasta is much maligned in the diabetes world. I’ve noticed that people who have diabetes become very passionate when discussing this food. There’s the camp that is indignant at the idea that pasta even exists — it spikes up blood glucose, causes weight gain, and may just be responsible for global warming (OK, that’s an exaggeration). There’s another camp who still eats pasta, but feels horribly guilty for doing so, and will swear with their right hand in the air that, “I really only ate a half a cup” (and 99% of the time, it’s just not the case). I don’t mean to trivialize the subject. Pasta can be tricky to fit into one’s diabetes eating plan. But not because it sends blood glucose levels to the moon. My belief (and you’re welcome to disagree with me) is that most of us struggle with portion control. It’s been engrained in us that pasta is a main dish: that it should be piled high on the plate and smothered in red sauce, with a crusty, buttery slice of garlic bread resting on the side. This is where the problems come in. Here’s what I mean. Take a look at the calories and carbs in the pasta meal that I just mentioned: 3 cups of pasta: 135 grams of carbohydrate, 663 calories 1 cup of sauce: 30 grams of carbohydrate, 185 calories 1 slice of garlic bread: 24 grams of carbohydrate, 170 calories Total: 189 grams of carbohydrate, 1,018 calories If you dine in an Italian restaurant and manage to clean your plate, you’ll consume even more carbohydrate and calories. When you look at p Continue reading >>
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. Video of the Day Is Spaghetti OK? “The short answer to the pasta question is yes, you can eat pasta,” writes registered dietitian Cindy Moore on EatBetterAmerica.com. 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. 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. Choosing Continue reading >>
Can Diabetics Eat Whole-grain Pasta?
With medicines, insulin and diet, you, the diabetic, can control your disease and often sidestep its complications. The most worrisome food group in the diabetic’s diet, the carbohydrate group, also goes by the name “carbs.” Understanding carbs helps you make confident food choices. Good carbs, like whole-grain pasta, do play a role in a healthy diabetic diet. Video of the Day The body uses sugar as energy for its cells. Everything you eat eventually turns into sugar and nourishes the cells. Some foods, like simple carbs, become sugar quickly. Eating these demands an immediate supply of insulin from the pancreas. Complex carbs, which take longer to break down to sugar, puts less stress on the pancreas and easily find insulin escorts to take them safely to a body cell. Whole-grain pasta, bread and cereal make the best carb choices for a diabetic because of their complex structure. Carbs consist of strands of starch. Simple carbs have fewer strands while complex carbs have a network. Refined white flour uses only one of the three grain parts. This makes it a simple carb which becomes sugar rapidly in the body. By contrast, whole wheat or other whole grains such as oats, rice, barley, rye and corn, contain all three parts of the grain, making them more complex in nature. Complex carbs, such as whole-grain pasta, take much longer to break down into sugar. Whole-grain pasta, considered a complex carb, makes an excellent choice for a diabetic. Multigrain combines wheat and other grains, but you should read the ingredients list to ensure they included the "whole" grain. Most brands of pasta now offer a variety of whole-wheat and multigrain products. The shapes and sizes make them suitable for dishes such as, casseroles, soups, salads and side dishes. Proteins take even l Continue reading >>
The Dreamfields Pasta Fraud
Dreamfields pasta is promoted as a low carb product. But it’s made from durum wheat and it tastes great. Actually, it looks, feels and tastes just like… regular pasta. Now, regular pasta is anything but low carb. It’s mostly starch, which turns into glucose in the gut and is absorbed as blood sugar. Exactly what low carbers try to avoid. Dreamfields pasta has 41 grams of carbs per serving. How can that be low carb? Well, Dreamfields claim that their “patent-pending” (since 2004) recipe and manufacturing process protects the carb from being digested. It sounds fantastic. But is it true? I decided to find out and the results were shocking. A beautiful tale Can you be a low carber and eat all the pasta you want? Can you have your (low carb) cake and eat it too? It sounds too good to be true, and two questions pop up: If their “patent-pending” manufacturing really made the starch indigestible, would that not affect the taste? (It’s great). If the starch really became indigestible, should it not end up being digested by bacteria in the large intestine, causing massive flatulence? (It does not). Now it’s time for answers. The package Here’s my package of Dreamfields pasta, bought in a “low carb” store. Let’s take a closer look. Big promises Basically the idea is that the carbs will pass straight through your body: Side There you have it: 36 grams of non-fiber carbs per 56 gram serving. It adds up to about 80 percent energy from carbs. That’s about as high carb a food as you could find. Of course – most of it is supposedly indigestible. I tested the pasta myself, eating it and testing my blood sugar 21 times. We’ll get to the test shortly. A good idea? It may sound too good to be true. But even if it was true, consider if it really is a good ide Continue reading >>
Diabetics & Pasta
Most individuals with diabetes are fearful of the great Italian meal simply because of pasta's infamously high carbohydrate content. Nonetheless, with proper meal planning, pasta can be safely incorporated into a diabetic diet. The key is to limit the portion size and to select pastas made from high-fiber whole grains. Diabetes and Carbohydrates Individuals living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes must monitor their carbohydrate intake in order to control their blood sugar. Excessive intake of carbohydrates can lead to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. When an individual's blood sugar runs high for an extended period of time, it can lead to other medical complications such as compromised eyesight and kidney disease. To avoid hyperglycemia and associated diseases, diabetics should moderate, but not eliminate, their intake of carbohydrate-containing foods, such as pasta. Carbohydrate Content of Pasta As a member of the grains food group, pasta contains a significant amount of starch, a complex form of carbohydrate. One diabetic serving of pasta is 1/3 cup of cooked pasta, or the equivalent of 15 grams of carbohydrate. One serving of pasta also contains fiber, another complex carbohydrate which helps to control blood sugar. Whole-wheat pasta contains the most fiber: roughly 3 to 5 grams of fiber per serving. Incorporating Pasta into a Healthy Diabetic Diet According to the American Diabetes Association, most diabetics may consume 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. As a carbohydate-containing food, pasta is safe to consume when following a diabetic diet; however, because 1/3 cup equals 15 grams of carbohydrate, the amount of pasta in one meal should not exceed 1 cup, or 45 grams of carbohydrate. Additional sauces such as marinara and Alfredo contain minimal amounts of Continue reading >>
Best Pasta For Diabetics
We ALL love pasta, right?! It's just one of those foods that is such a comfort food. I know for me it's always been like that BUT I also know that because it is such a comfort food it is VERY easy to over eat it! Seriously…I know there have been times when I've eaten an enormous bowl and still gone back for more. SOund familiar? But when you're a diabetic it's not really possible to eat an enormous bowl of pasta because you will soon see your blood sugar sky rocketing. And even if you're not diabetic, you will soon see those pounds stacking on if you over consume the carbs! So let's go over some facts and talk about the best pasta options for diabetics. Pasta Nutrition Facts Let's compare the nutrition facts for 1 serving of pasta. One serving is equivalent to half a cup. As you can see from these comparisons there is between 18-22 g total carbs and between 15-20 net carbs. If you're confused about carb counting, check out our easy tutorial over here. Realistic Serving Sizes These images show the reality of pasta servings. The first one is only half a cup and as you can see it doesn't really amount to much when put on a normal sized dinner plate. Then we have what might be someones typical serving of pasta (if not more). In the second image we see about 3 times as much, so 3 serves of white spaghetti like this amounts to 64.8 g total carbohydrates. Too Many Carbs I love using visual comparisons because it really lets you see the difference. While you could try to justify that eating whole wheat spaghetti would be okay with 2 serves being around 30 g net carbs, over the long term this is just too many carbs and you will find you can't control your blood sugar properly. So What's The Best Pasta For Diabetics? Sure, the traditional pasta might not be the best pasta for d Continue reading >>
Diabetes Diet Success
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 4 years ago when I was 36. I noticed I'd get up to go to the bathroom a couple of times a night, something I'd never done before, and that was the trigger that something was wrong. My doctor ordered lab work, and then I knew. My grandmother had type 2 diabetes, my uncle has it, and now I do. I'm Italian, and I grew up eating rich Italian foods such as ravioli and other homemade pastas. For someone who loves to eat, finding out I had diabetes felt like a cruel trick. But after I was diagnosed, I completely changed my diet and lifestyle. I went to the American Diabetes Association web site, looked up what foods I could eat, and started eating only low-carb foods. I counted carbs: 15 carbs for every snack and 45 for meals. I gave up bread, pasta, even most cheeses. And though I'm not a big exerciser, I got on the treadmill for 30 minutes every night. I lost 50 pounds in about 4 months. The weight just fell off of me. My A1c [a test that shows blood sugar control] went down, and I felt great. But then after 6 months, I got burned out. I missed the big homemade Italian meals my mother and grandmother used to make. So I started cheating on the weekends. Monday morning I'd be back to counting carbs and eating lots of vegetables and protein. But I'd gain a few pounds over the weekend, and lose them during the week. This yo-yoing wasn't healthy. Eventually I just went back to eating whatever food I wanted, like pizza, cheeseburgers, and fries. My A1c shot up to 10. I started getting neuropathy in my feet -- it feels like you have a blister on the inside rather than the outside of your foot. I even had pains in the upper part of my stomach, and I knew I needed to do something. Now I'm trying to eat healthier and lose the weight I gained back. Continue reading >>
Is Dreamfields Pasta Good For People With Diabetes?
Years ago when I followed a low-glycemic diet I discovered what I thought was something new and wonderful. It was Dreamfields Pasta, advertised as having just "5 net carbs" per serving and being "65% lower glycemic index" than other pastas. old.jpg What the Dreamfields Label Used to Claim In an article I wrote 10 years ago and published on my website as "A Totally New Low-Carb Process" I reported that my personal tests showed that eating Dreamfields Pasta had little, if any, effect on my blood sugar level. So I wrote several articles extolling it between 2004 and 2007. Now I know that most other people don’t get the same benefit as I did. I didn’t start writing for HealthCentral.com until 2005 and didn’t write another article about Dreamfields Pasta until 2007, when I wrote three: 1. "Dreamfields Pasta for Diabetics" 2. "Pasta For Diabetics: FiberPasta Verses Dreamfields" and 3. "Dreamfields Calories" Except in the last of these articles, where I focused entirely on the calorie count, I made sure to note that Dreamfields spiked the blood sugar levels of some people who ate it. But then in late 2007 I began to eat very low-carb, which didn’t leave any room in my diet for any sort of pasta. So I didn’t think any more about Dreamfields. But my earlier articles remain online, and sometimes people ask me about them. Lately, several readers have written me about the articles that I wrote about Dreamfields Pasta. Here’s what happened in the last couple of years. The Dreamfields story made a major shift in 2012 when Frank Nuttall and three associates published "The Glycemic Response to Ingested Dreamfields Pasta Compared With Traditional Pasta" in Nutrition Today. This randomized, controlled, double-blind study of 20 people, none of whom had diabetes, compared their Continue reading >>
Pasta Substitutes Available For People With Diabetes
Most of us love pasta—what's not to love? The soft textured noodles take on any flavor and give us a sense of comfort, but pasta is also loaded with carbohydrates, which, when eaten in excess, can increase inflammation, cause weight gain, and elevate blood sugars. If you must eat pasta, choose whole grain, such as whole wheat, because it will help to increase your fiber, vitamins, and minerals and, if portion controlled, can possibly reduce how quickly blood sugars spike (when compared to white pasta). If on the other hand, you are willing to try some substitutes, think outside the box. Today, there are so many varieties of grains and grain substitutes. For example, did you know that they make a pasta with chickpeas? It's higher in protein and gluten-free. Other gluten-free varieties exist, and some pastas have added protein and omega-3 fatty acids. You can also make your own 'mock' pasta by using different types of grains or vegetables. Give some of these a try—you'll be shocked by how many options you have. Surprisingly similar in texture to al dente white pasta, a 1/3 cup serving of cooked whole wheat pasta has three times the amount of fiber as white pasta, making it a better option for glucose control. Fortified pasta varieties are another alternative to white pasta These pastas have been modified by adding a flour blend that includes egg whites and legumes for more protein; barley and oats for increased fiber; and flaxseed for healthy omega-3 fats. These pastas contain 40 percent more protein and twice the fiber in the same amount of calories as regular pasta. The higher protein and fiber content are both helpful for diabetic glucose control. Lastly, gluten-free varieties are available in most supermarkets, such as pasta made with chickpeas (Banza) or other va Continue reading >>
Pasta !! Is The Diabetic’s Search Over?
03/19/2014 Article #87 PASTA !! Is the Diabetic’s search OVER? This is a product review for: EXLORE ASIAN spaghetti (s) and fettuccini)- **Let me start out by telling you that I have not been paid (in any way) to endorse these products nor do I have any financial or personal interest in Explore Asian. Product was supplied to me by the vendor. Pictured above is exactly what you think it is… Your eyes are not deceiving you. It is a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. That is right, swirl it on your fork spaghetti. WHAT you ask? How can we Diabetics eat spaghetti? Five or six weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try out some pasta products from EXPLORE ASIAN. Like Joseph’s breads and Trop 50 orange juice, these are products that meet my criteria for eating well (could that be DECADENTLY?) with Diabetes. They have made a big enough and a delicious enough change to my eating life that I want to share information and my experience with the products with my fellow Diabetics. About the products- They are a bean-based pasta that is: -Low NET carbohydrate – Gluten Free – Organic – Kosher- Made in China- This product, despite being made from beans is not high in net carbs. I asked the importer how the product is made and this is their reply: The production process of our pastas is as follows: We grind the dry beans into a flour and add water to make the mixture soft enough to be able to pass thru our extrusion machine at low temperature. It comes out as a long thread which we hang on stainless steel rods and then undergoes 3-4 hours of air drying process; at the end of which, the pasta is dry and gets cut into the shape required and packed. A friend, and fellow writer (who has Celiac disease as well as Diabetes) suggested I give the product a try. She liked it and was Continue reading >>
Pasta And Diabetes: 5 Healthy Ways To Eat Pasta
Pasta and Diabetes: 5 Healthy Ways to Eat Pasta Pasta and Diabetes: 5 Healthy Ways to Eat Pasta Here's how to put some pasta on your plate without sending your blood sugars soaring! Written by Marina Chaparro, RD, CDE, MPH For me, little compares to a meal of freshly-made fettuccine with a sprinkle of olive oil. Fortunately, it's possible to eat spaghetti without sending blood sugar soaring. Pasta! Mangia bene pasta! For meand countless othersthere's nothing like eating freshly-made fettuccine with a sprinkle of olive oil, parmesan cheese and a nice glass of wine. Yet, for many people with diabetes, pasta is on the top 10 list of worst foods to eat. For years, the health message given to people with diabetes was to avoid pasta at all cost. Reasons included causing blood glucose spikes, weight gain, spiking excessive insulin and simply being a white food with too many carbs. Yes, pasta can be problematic for some people with diabetes. But, the problem with pasta is not the grain itself, but rather the quantities Americans are accustomed to eating. The appropriate serving size is not what you get at Olive Garden (equivalent to 3 cups of pasta), but rather the size of your fist or about 1 cup. Contrary to what most people think, pasta is a l ow glycemic food . One cup of fettuccine, which yields 45 grams of carbohydrates, has a glycemic index of 32 and a glycemic load of 15. Compare that to the same portion of Jasmine rice and the glycemic index more than triples,111 glycemic index and 45 glycemic load. Does pasta make you gain weight? Not according to the research. A recent Italian study published in the Journal Nutrition & Diabetes surveyed over 14,000Italians and found that those who ate more pasta had, in fact, a lower body mass index and smaller waist circumference, Continue reading >>
Can I Eat Pasta If I Have Diabetes
Having diabetes does NOT mean that if you like or love pasta, you will now have to give it up…nope, it does not. It DOES however mean that you should be choosier about the types of pasta you eat, your portion size and maybe how often you include pasta with your meals. We all need carbohydrates in our diet—it provides our bodies with the necessary fuel to keep us going. The critical question is how much and what kind of carbohydrate. Whole Grain Pasta versus Regular Pasta Whole grain pasta in general has lower calories, more fiber and more nutrients than regular pasta made from refined flour. Refining strips fiber, vitamins and minerals from the grain (usually wheat grain) and in return, you get a softer, smoother texture. 1 serving (1 cup) of whole grain pasta contains 174 calories, 37 grams of carbohydrate and 6.3 grams of fiber as compared to a serving of regular pasta with 221 calories, 43 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. That extra fiber in whole grain pasta (with fewer carbohydrates) can slow down the absorption of sugars from your digestive tract and this can mean that your blood sugars will not spike as much as they might with regular pasta. In addition, whole wheat pasta has a glycemic load of 15 while regular pasta has a glycemic load of 23. In both whole wheat pasta and regular pasta, about 80% of the calories are derived from carbohydrates.,  Put all this together and serving for serving, whole grain pasta gives you more fiber, more nutrients, fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates than regular pasta, making whole grain pasta a better choice, overall. Also, you can always opt for non-wheat based pasta such as corn, quinoa or rice-based pastas. I advise you to read the following diet tips for diabetes: Portion Size All the numbers given ab Continue reading >>
8 Diabetes-friendly Pasta Recipes
Pass the pasta If you have type 2 diabetes, you may have assumed that your pasta-eating days were over. Depending on your situation, that's not necessarily true. For some, bread and pasta can still be a part of a diabetes-friendly diet if you limit portions, follow the right recipes, and work them into the recommendations set by your dietitian. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how your blood sugar may react after a pasta meal—the effect can be highly individual, so it's not a bad idea to test your blood sugar after eating to see how you react. Linguine With Pepper Sauce The star of this dish is the sauce: Red bell peppers, olive oil, fresh garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar are sautéed and then put into the blender together to create a sauce that's packed with vitamin C and fiber. Yum! Ingredients: Olive oil, cooking spay, red bell pepper, garlic, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper, uncooked linguine Calories: 117 Try this recipe: Linguine with Red Pepper Sauce Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Your whole family will love this one-pan meal. (And if you're eating alone, it works great as leftovers.) Spaghetti is baked with a mixture of onions, garlic, tomatoes, and seasoning, and is topped with reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Chicken breast adds lean protein. Swap in whole-wheat spaghetti for an even healthier meal. Ingredients: Uncooked spaghetti, cooking spray, onion, garlic, stewed tomatoes, low-sodium Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, frozen cooked chicken Calories: 395 Try this recipe: Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Basil Scallops with Spinach Fettuccine A 3-ounce serving of scallops sets you back just 95 calories and less than a gram of fat—and pumps you up with an impressive 17 grams of protein. Scallops are also a Continue reading >>
6 Great Low-carb Pastas (and 1 To Avoid!)
Well there are plenty low-carb bread options out there nowadays–we keep adding to this list of great low-carb breads–but what do you do about those pasta cravings? While a traditional slice of bread will pack 16 grams of carbs or more per slice, a serving of pasta is no joke! At 40+ grams of carbs for one cup of pasta, it is not easy on the blood sugar! Fortunately, the creators of food are listening to your demands, because more and more low-carb pasta choices continue to pop up. Here are 6 great low-carb pasta choices that we’ve found so far: 1. Black Bean Pasta from ExploreAsian, Gluten-Free: This pasta is a favorite of mine because it’s gluten-free, it cooks really fast (in about 5 to 7 minutes) and it holds together. Oh wait, did I mention the only ingredients are black beans and water? Very clean and very healthy! After subtracting the 12 grams of dietary fiber from the total carbohydrates, you’re left with 5 grams of very low-impact carbohydrates! Feel free to have two servings at that count! 2. Adzuki Bean Pasta from ExploreAsian, Gluten-Free: This one has a different flavor than it’s black bean counterpart, and has twice as many carbs. But at 11 grams of carbs per serving, that’s still a lot fewer carbs than traditional pasta. You could even mix this pasta into the pot of boiling water with the black bean pasta to change things up and reduce the carbs in your bowl at the same time. (This company has some higher carb bean pasta variations, too!) 3. Dreamfields Low-Carb Pasta: Now this pasta really comes down to the individual. The company says they’ve created this whole-wheat pasta in a way that won’t impact your blood sugar significantly, “Its blend of fiber and plant proteins helps create a pasta that offers many healthy benefits while stil Continue reading >>
30 Types Of Dry Pastasranked For Nutrition! | Eat This Not That
Say 'hello' to healthy Italian dinners with these top pasta choices based on nutritional value. By Tiffany Gagnon & April Benshosan October 16, 2017 While the Italian dinner staple isnt completely evil in the world of dietary discipline, there are some pastas that rank significantly higher on the health scale than others. Sure, carb-heavy foods like pasta often get a bad rap, but sometimes its not warranted. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, carbohydrates are the bodys main source of fuel and are necessary to maintain proper cellular function. Its really the type of carbohydrates (and portion size) that matter most. Simply put: we need carbs, but only the good kinds! Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition advises that the carbohydrates and the calories are not to be mulled over too heavily, but rather its the protein and fiber content that separate the worst from the best in the macaroni world. Smith recommends a minimum of 3-4 grams of protein per serving and a baseline of 4-5 grams of protein for a pasta to be able to truly offer any kind of health benefit. To help you sift through the carbs thatll fuel your busy day rather than leave you in a food coma, weve put together a list of best and worst of the pasta aisle so that you can keep spaghetti and meatballs in the weekly dinner rotationbut with a little less guilt. Check out which boxes are Eat This-approved, and dont forget to snoop through our ranking of 40 Best and Worst Pasta Sauces to round out your rotini dinner. Per 2 oz: 190 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (8 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 14 g protein Ditch your old school noodles for these delicious chickpea pasta shells that pack in about double (plant-based!) prote Continue reading >>