Can Diabetics Eat Spaghetti Sauce? Yes, Yes & Yes!

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Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 25-Aug-2022Read Time : 5 minutes
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Does your heart sing for spaghetti but your blood sugar cries about it? The sauce makes the spaghetti real! However, can diabetics eat spaghetti sauce? They can. Don’t worry, we have got you covered! From the nutritional content of spaghetti sauce to which ones are safe to eat for diabetes, read it all here! 

Contents:

  • Spaghetti Sauce: Nutritional Profile
  • Is Spaghetti Sauce Good for Diabetics?
  • Which is the Best Spaghetti Sauce for Diabetics?
  • How to Prepare Diabetic Friendly Spaghetti Sauce at Home?
  • Ways to Consume Spaghetti Sauce for Diabetes
  • Best Time to Consume Spaghetti Sauce for Diabetes
  • Risks of Overconsumption of Spaghetti Sauce
  • Other Health Benefits of Spaghetti Sauce
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

Spaghetti Sauce: Nutritional Profile

Spaghetti sauce is a kind of sauce that you put on cooked spaghetti pasta to enhance its taste. Though various types of sauces can be put on spaghetti, the term “spaghetti sauce” usually refers to a tomato-based sauce, and may often be used interchangeably with the term “Marinara sauce” or “pasta sauce”. Spaghetti sauce is usually made by cooking and blending ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs such as oregano. It is filled with flavours from the added herbs. It makes your bowl of spaghetti full of deliciousness due to its luscious ingredients. The nutritional value of 1 serving (½ cup or 128 g) of ready-to-use spaghetti sauce is as follows:

NutrientContent in 128 g
Energy65.3 kcal
Total fat1.89 mg
Cholesterol2.56 mg
Protein1.8 g
Carbohydrate10.3 g
Fibre2.3 g
Sugar7.04 g
Calcium34.6 mg
Sodium38.4 mg
Potassium408 mg
Vitamin A42.2 µg
Vitamin C2.56 mg
Vitamin E3.07 mg
Vitamin K17.8 µg

Source: USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)

Is Spaghetti Sauce Good for Diabetics?

Diabetics can eat spaghetti sauce. Here is how the ingredients of spaghetti sauce benefit diabetics:

  • The tomatoes used for making spaghetti sauce are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like lycopene, which help your body fight oxidative stress. Further, tomatoes have a low glycaemic index of less than 15, and thus are good for diabetics.
  • The vegetables in spaghetti sauce, such as tomatoes, onions, and garlic, are good sources of fibre. Your body is unable to absorb and break down fibre. This can keep you fuller for longer and prevent frequent snacking. Thus, it doesn't cause a spike in blood glucose (sugar) levels.
  • Studies suggest that specific compounds found in onions, such as quercetin, possess antidiabetic effects. Thus, onions may help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Garlic is a good source of vitamin B6 and C. Studies suggest that foods rich in vitamin C can help maintain blood sugar levels and prevent complications related to diabetes. 
  • Herbs such as oregano may also help lower blood sugar levels.

However, commercially available spaghetti sauce may be high in added sugar. Read the label before buying and choose a spaghetti sauce that is low in sugar and fats and high in fibre.

Which is the Best Spaghetti Sauce for Diabetics?

It is the one you make from scratch. It is advised to make your spaghetti sauce at home to control the quality and quantity of ingredients you need. The tomatoes used in preparing spaghetti sauce already have some natural sugar content. Hence, you may not need to add any sugar to your spaghetti sauce.

How to Prepare Diabetic-Friendly Spaghetti Sauce at Home?

The easiest way to ensure you have a healthy spaghetti sauce for diabetes is by preparing it at home. All you need to do is follow these small steps:

  • Gather the ingredients - 2 tsp olive oil, 1 onion (finely chopped), 2 cloves garlic (sliced), 400 g fresh tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp dried oregano, a pinch of black pepper and 5-6 fresh basil leaves.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, and let it turn golden brown. Once the onion is cooked, add the garlic and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Cool the mixture and blend it to a smooth consistency. 
  • Your spaghetti sauce is ready to be served.

Ways to Consume Spaghetti Sauce for Diabetes

You can use spaghetti sauce in various ways including:

  • As a sauce for pasta of any type
  • As a sauce for pizza base
  • As a spread for sandwiches
  • As a dip for baked chips and vegetables
  • As an ingredient for cooking rice or noodles

Best Time to Consume Spaghetti Sauce for Diabetes

You can have spaghetti sauce at any time of the day. However, it is best eaten at breakfast or lunch to meet your daily needs of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Avoid consuming it at night as spaghetti sauce is tomato-rich and tends to be acidic in nature. The acids can irritate the stomach lining and cause acid reflux. It is advisable to be mindful of the portion size when consuming spaghetti sauce. Limit yourself to 1 serving a day, with each serving being ½ to ¾ cup of spaghetti sauce.

Risks of Overconsumption of Spaghetti Sauce

Although appetising and satisfying to your taste buds, overconsumption of spaghetti sauce may be unhealthy. It is best to limit your consumption to ½ to ¾ cup of spaghetti sauce a day to avoid any side effects. Some of the risks of overconsumption of spaghetti sauce may include:

  • Many commercially available spaghetti sauces contain high amounts of fats, salts and sugar content, which can eventually affect your health. Overconsumption of these store-bought spaghetti sauces may cause elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Consuming an excess amount of tomatoes in the spaghetti sauce can result in acid reflux due to its acidic nature and swelling and joint pain due to the solanine content in tomatoes.

Other Health Benefits of Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce can provide many health benefits due to the presence of some healthy ingredients.

  • No matter, whole or in the form of a sauce, tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, C, and K. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining the health of your eyes, supporting the immune system and reducing skin disorders (like acne). Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your body cells against the damage caused by free radicals. Meanwhile, vitamin K is a crucial vitamin for blood clotting and building healthy bones.
  • Half a cup of spaghetti sauce contains as much as 2.3 g of fibre. Home-made sauces may contain even more fibre. Fibre can aid in digestion, help control blood sugar levels, and may also lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Tomatoes make up the bulk of spaghetti sauce. Tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene and lycopene, whose antioxidant properties can help boost your skin health. They can help enhance the skin’s defence mechanism against harmful UV rays.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Spaghetti sauce is a kind of taste-enhancing sauce that you put on cooked spaghetti pasta. It is usually made by cooking and blending ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs.
  • Diabetics can eat spaghetti sauce. Its ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs such as oregano can help maintain blood sugar levels and manage diabetes. 
  • However, commercially available spaghetti sauce may be high in added sugar. Opt for a spaghetti sauce that is low in sugar and fats and high in fibre. The easiest way to ensure you have a healthy spaghetti sauce for diabetes is by preparing it at home. 
  • You can use spaghetti sauce in various ways such as a sauce for pasta or pizza base, a spread for sandwiches, a dip for baked chips and vegetables, and also use it to cook rice or noodles.
  • Though it can be consumed any time of the day, spaghetti sauce is best eaten at breakfast or lunch and avoided at night to avoid acid reflux.
  • It is best to limit consumption of spaghetti sauce to 1 serving (½ to ¾ cup) a day.
  • Some of the risks of overconsumption of spaghetti sauce may include elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, acid reflux, and swelling and joint pain.
  • The ingredients of spaghetti sauce also help in maintaining skin and eye health, supporting the immune system, protecting the body against free radical damage, aiding in digestion, and lowering blood cholesterol levels.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides ‎360º care. Let's treat diabetes together.

Frequently Asked Questions

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