Friday, February 4, 2011

Pizza and Diabetes

Question:

Friday nights my family & I have dinner at our favorite pizza restaurant.  Now that I've been diagnosed with diabetes I don't know what to order.  Could you help me with what (if anything) I can order?

Answer:  No doubt about it, pizza is one of the best foods ever created.  Good news is you can still eat pizza if you have diabetes!

Most of the carbs in pizza come from the crust and sometimes the sauce.  If you count carbs, you can figure that 1/8 of a 14" thin crust pizza probably has around 20g carbohydrate in it.  The same size piece of deep dish pizza is probably 2-3 times as much carbohydrate, depending on the thickness.  For most people with diabetes, 1/4 of 14" thin crust pizza will be a safe bet.

To help make this portion more satisfying, order a nice garden salad along with the pizza.  Order a smaller size pizza so you are not tempted with leftovers.  Eat your salad first to fill your stomach, and try eating your pizza with a knife and fork to help it last longer.  The slower you eat, the more full you will get on less food.

To make the pizza more heart healthy, stick with more veggies, lean meats (chicken, ham, Canadian bacon), and go easy on the cheese.  In most pizzas the cheese provides most of the saturated fat and calories.  Many pizza places offer wheat crust now which will probably have more nutritional value as well as more protein and fiber.

Enjoy!

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