What Should I Consider When Eating Foods Such As Bagels, Pizza, And Pasta?

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Question: What should I consider when eating foods such as bagels, pizza, and pasta?

Answer: When you're eating foods like bagels and pizza and pasta, those are certainly foods that have a good source of carbohydrate -- they're a source of a lot of carbohydrate. It's important to remember pizza, in particular, also has quite a bit of fat on it. If you're talking about cheese and maybe meat, even if it's a vegetable pizza, you're still getting some fat in that cheese. So the first thing to pay attention to, again, is the portion size. How big is that bagel, how big is that pizza slice, how much pasta are you eating? And get to know the amount of carbohydrate in that serving size. It can be deceptive. Sometimes bagels are pretty big and so you want to be sure that you're taking a good look at how big that bagel is. If it's one of the smaller bagels, it's probably about 15 to 20, 25 grams in a half a bagel. If it's bigger than that, then you're going to have to adjust accordingly. Some of that comes with a little bit of experimenting. Pasta is about -- a quarter cup is considered, now, a serving of pasta. It used to be a half a cup; it's been dropped down a little bit, just to make things a big more consistent between pasta and rice. So again, you want to get to know about what a quarter serving of pasta looks like on your plate. Pizza, again, you want to be paying attention to the fact that that can have a lot of fat with it.

So if you're using insulin, you may need to be making some adjustments in when you take your insulin injection -- or bolus with your pump -- and account for the fact that that fat in the pizza can slow how quickly you're actually going to digest the pizza. The same would be true for the pasta if you're putting an alfredo sauce on it or a sauce that has quite a bit of fat in it, or if you're lathering up that bagel with some butter or cream cheese, you may need to, again, be paying attention to how much fat you're putting on those pasta items or carbohydrate items and making an adjustment in the timing of your insulin. But they can certainly be in your diet, just really want to pay attention to how big the portion size is. And learn the amount of carbs and count those carbs.

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