Pizza and Diabetes

Posted: February 6, 2011 by amygilman in Nutrition Q & Amy

I am a Nutrition Editor at Foodpicker.org, a website designed to help people with diabetes.  Here is a question I recently received:

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

Great question!  Pizza can be a tricky meal because those slices can go down so quickly and before you know it, we have consumed half the pie!  Keep in mind that ONE slice of pizza has about 2.5 servings/exchanges of carbohydrates (plus one medium fat and one fat) for a thin crust, cheese pizza.  Some people with diabetes count their carbohydrates (carbs) and may have an allotted 4 servings/exchanges of carbs for dinner, for example.  If this person ate two slices of pizza, they would not only be over their allotted carb amount for that meal (2 slices = 5 carb exchanges), but they would also have a high amount of fat for one meal and no vegetable intake (assuming it’s a cheese pizza).

I have some tips to allow you to enjoy your special night with the family, while staying in the carb allotment and getting vegetables in.  Stick to one slice of pizza and eat it slowly.  Use a knife and fork if that will help you eat it slower.  Many pizza places have side dishes such as a garden salad or a steamed vegetable such as broccoli.  I suggest getting both of these to help fill you up.  Ask for the salad dressing on the side to control the amount of added calories and fat that you consume.  If the pizza place that you go to does not offer the suggested sides, try bringing your own vegetables such as baby carrots.  I have done this before.  I have even packed a salad in a Tupperware container and a fruit such as a pear (or any fruit of choice).  Drinking plenty of water during the meal will help fill you up as well.

Cheers to you having healthy Friday night dinners and quality time with the family!  Thank you for the question.

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