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Can Diabetics Eat Noodles?

By Anne Tourney ; Updated August 14, 2017

Diabetics can eat noodles and any other carbohydrate-rich food. The type of carbohydrates you eat aren’t as important as the amount of carbohydrates you eat and your total caloric intake, says the American Diabetes Association. Eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates may make you gain weight and raise your blood glucose level, which can increase the complications of diabetes. However, if you eat moderate portions of noodles as part of a balanced diet, you can enjoy them without worrying about their effect on your health.

Nutritional Content

One cup of cooked egg noodles has 221 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. If you’re eating 2,000 calories per day, this serving represents 11 percent of your daily caloric intake. The American Diabetes Association suggests that you aim for 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal, depending on your age, activity level and the blood-glucose parameters that your health-care provider has set for you. Work with your provider to determine how many carbohydrate grams you should have each day to keep your blood sugar within your target range.

Benefits

Like other carbohydrate-rich foods, noodles represent a source of energy for your brain and muscles. The glycemic index, or GI, of a food reflects how rapidly your body converts a carbohydrate-containing food into glucose. Noodles have a moderate GI value, which means that eating a single serving shouldn't elevate your blood sugar. The carbohydrates in noodles are starches, or complex carbohydrates, which your body digests more slowly than the simple carbohydrates in granulated sugar or milk products. A one-cup serving of noodles, combined with a lean protein and a non-starchy vegetable, should give you energy without sending your blood sugar out of your target range.

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Considerations

Because your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, eating large quantities of this energy-producing nutrient could result in elevated glucose levels. Eating oversized portions of noodles may require you to use more insulin and could lead to weight gain. If you're getting regular exercise, taking insulin or oral diabetes medication as prescribed, and eating balanced meals that don't exceed your caloric goals, you can have noodles and other carbohydrates as part of a healthy diet.

Recommendations

The type of noodles that you eat and the length of time that you cook them make a difference in their effect on your blood glucose level. The longer you boil the noodles, the more they may raise your blood sugar. Boiling noodles until they’re slightly firm gives them a lower GI value. Balance your meals to include non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins and unsaturated fats with your noodles. For example, a bowl of noodles tossed with sliced chicken, broccoli and a teaspoon of olive oil will meet your requirements for proteins, carbohydrates and unsaturated fats.

Alternatives

Noodles made with quinoa, buckwheat or mung bean flour may have a less significant effect on your blood sugar than egg noodles made with refined white flour. For variety and extra fiber, try noodles made with whole-grain flour. The fiber in whole-grain noodles will fill you up and prevent you from overindulging.

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