Should I stay away from whole wheat pasta and brown rice altogether?

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Every time I have whole wheat pasta or brown rice, my sugar goes up way too high. Should I stay away from these foods altogether?

Q: Every time I have whole wheat pasta or brown rice, my sugar goes up way too high. Should I stay away from these foods altogether?

Whole wheat pasta, brown rice and other whole grains contain fiber and important nutrients. However, they are also very high in carbohydrates, which is why they often raise blood sugar above the target range. A modest one-cup serving of whole-grain pasta or rice contains 35-40 grams of net carbs. This alone may raise your blood sugar higher than you'd like. And consuming other foods that provide carbs at the same meal-- such as tomato sauce and vegetables – could drive the carb count up further.

You could try having a couple of bites of the pasta or rice instead of a full serving, if you really can't imagine giving them up altogether. However, there are some healthy alternatives to grains that you may find more appealing.

For instance, cauliflower can be grated and used in place of rice or pureed to mimic mashed potatoes. A spiralizer or “zoodler” can be used to create noodles from zucchini or yellow Italian squash. Another easy pasta substitute is spaghetti squash. Each of these vegetables is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals but provides less than 10 grams of net carb per cup, making it much easier to keep your post-meal blood sugar within range.

Answered by Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Answered By dLife Expert: Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian living in Southern California.


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