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Can Diabetics Eat Noodles?

Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD

Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Jun 03, 2022

    Can Diabetics Eat Noodles?

    Can diabetics eat noodles? Noodles, vermicelli, or canton are made from grains and are classified as starchy foods and tend to be high in carbohydrates, so they can raise your blood sugar. However, how the glycemic index changes depend on the type of noodles you choose, the quantity, and the food served with the noodles.

    Carbohydrate content

    Consuming carbohydrate-rich foods tends to affect your blood sugar more than low-carbohydrate foods.

    One bowl (cup) of cooked egg noodles (about 160g) provides up to 40g of carbohydrates and 2g of fiber.

    160g of spaghetti provides 43g of carbohydrates, including 2.5g of fiber.

    Glycemic index

    Foods with a low glycemic index score of 55 or less are more glycemic-friendly than foods with a high glycemic index score of 70 or higher.

    Different types of noodles have separate glycemic index scores with egg noodles at 40, spaghetti (boiled for 10-15 minutes) at 44, and whole-wheat spaghetti at 37. Boiling noodles for a longer time will increases GI scores and makes them one of the triggers for blood sugar spikes.

    Glycemic load (GL)

    Glycemic load is a contributing factor to an accurate prediction of your glycemic response relative to the glycemic index, as it takes into account the amount of carbohydrates in a serving as well as the glycemic index of the food.

    Hard-boiled egg noodles have a GL of 18, regular spaghetti has a GL of 21, and whole wheat spaghetti has a GL of 16.

    This means that consuming regular spaghetti has a high GL and will most likely cause a spike in blood sugar if you eat too much and don’t eat it with other foods like green vegetables, meat, etc.

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    Can Diabetics Eat Noodles?

    If noodles, vermicelli, canton, and pho are your favorite foods, but you’re worried that diabetes will make you say goodbye to them, don’t worry too much. You just need to know how to adjust because people with diabetes can still enjoy starchy foods and still have some control over blood sugar.

    Portion balance

    Try using a measuring cup or scale for a more accurate carb calculation. The amount of noodles consumed should be in the range of 64-83g for women while men can eat about 128g. A balanced serving of noodles will avoid the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar.

    Accompanied by protein-rich foods

    When eating noodles, you should include healthy protein such as eggs, lean chicken, beef, fish, tofu. Consuming protein helps to reduce the glycemic response in the meal and support blood sugar regulation.This is also a great way to avoid blood sugar spikes.

    Eat vegetables first

    You can apply this strategy to all sorts of different dishes. Eating vegetables first will increase satiety and prevent you from overeating. In addition, the order in which food is consumed at a meal can affect blood sugar. Studies show that if you start a meal with vegetables or protein first, then carbohydrates (noodles, vermicelli, pho), blood sugar is more likely to stay under control.

    Cook medium

    Overcooked noodles have a slightly higher glycemic index. Therefore, when boiling noodles, pay attention to the time for the noodles to cook just enough so that the glycemic index is not too high, thereby helping to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates.

    Diabetic-friendly noodles

    Besides traditional egg noodles or wheat flour noodles, you can refer to the following options for a more delicious meal while ensuring health:

    Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)

    Soba noodles originate from Japan and are made from buckwheat seeds. These noodles contain no wheat-like ingredients and are gluten-free. Soba noodles are high in cholesterol-lowering fiber, as well as magnesium, which improves blood flow. Fiber and magnesium also help control blood sugar, so these noodles may be a better choice for diabetics than traditional pasta.

    Kelp noodles

    There are 10 calories in 100g of kelp noodles. These clear, shiny noodles are made from pureed seaweed, mixed with salt and water. Kelp noodles are one of the great foods to help you track your weight because they are low in calories and also provide only 1g of carbohydrates per serving. This dish will limit the risk of high blood sugar as well as provide more calcium and magnesium, helping to strengthen bones.

    Mì shirataki

    Like kelp noodles, you can try to refer to and prepare dishes from shirataki noodles to support weight control and limit sudden changes in blood sugar after a meal.

    100g of shirataki noodles provide only 20 calories and are low in carbs, fat, and sugar.

    Hopefully with the information shared in the article, you have got the answer to the question of whether diabetics can eat noodles and how to eat so as not to affect blood sugar.

    Learn more about Diabetes here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Jun 03, 2022

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