Whether it’s the ease of ordering in, the joy of making it at home, or the celebratory atmosphere it brings, pizza is a favorite food for many folks, and you may be worried about having to give it up if you have gestational diabetes.
However, all hope is not lost and if you’re wondering “can you eat pizza with gestational diabetes,” know that it is possible to enjoy pizza with gestational diabetes. As an intuitive eating dietitian, I’m here to share a perspective that allows you to savor the joy of this delicious dish while managing gestational diabetes with mindfulness and balance.
Read on to learn my top tips and recommendations!
Table of Contents
Choosing the Right Pizza Crust for Gestational Diabetes Pizza
Starting with the base! When asking “can you eat pizza with gestational diabetes,” the type of crust you choose can significantly impact how the pizza impacts your blood sugar numbers. Generally, looking for thin, whole grain crust, or cauliflower crusts are excellent choices that add fiber to your meal (fiber is great for blood sugars! Learn more about building gestational diabetes friendly meals from an intuitive eating perspective here).
Experimenting with different crust options allows you to find a balance that suits your taste buds and gestational diabetes management plan. A few crusts to try out that may work for you:
- Whole Wheat Crusts or a whole grain tortilla/toast
- Cauliflower Crust: you may need to check the ingredients here! Sometimes this just means cauliflower is a part of the crust, rather than the whole thing
- Ancient Grains Pizza Crust
- KBosh Artisan Keto Pizza Crust (I don’t love keto as a diet but “keto foods” may be supportive of your journey)
- Carbonaut Thin Pizza Crusts
- If you’re making them from scratch try the King Arthur Keto Wheat Pizza Crust Mix
Mindful Toppings and Balance
Pizza is usually primarily a carb source, so we want to add fiber and protein where we can to support your blood sugar! Look for protein sources like sausage, chicken or turkey, and add fiber through colorful vegetables.
Balancing these macronutrients by including healthy fats, such as olive oil or avocado, can also contribute to a more satisfying and blood sugar-friendly meal. And don’t forget cheese is both protein and fat and probably makes your pizza satisfying and delicious.
Adding toppings can increase the satisfaction factor of your pizza, which is a crucial part of any intuitive eating journey! Feeling satisfied after meals (something diet culture often ignores) can help prevent overeating later on and improve your overall relationship with food.
Have Pizza as Part Of a Meal
Another tip I love to recommend when folks ask “can you eat pizza with gestational diabetes: is to enjoy pizza as part of a meal, rather than on its own. For example, maybe instead of only having three slices of pizza (just a random number, everyone’s needs vary), you may have 1 or 2 slices with a salad to increase your fiber intake and satisfaction. Again, these numbers may vary depending on hunger levels and the size of the pizza you’re enjoying!
Enjoying pizza as part of a larger meal can also help distribute the impact of carbohydrates more evenly and prevent sharp spikes in blood sugar levels.
Rejecting Diet Culture On Your Gestational Diabetes Journey
As an intuitive eating dietitian, I’m here to guide you through a thoughtful approach to enjoying all foods (including pizza) without letting diet culture thoughts and pressures get in the way.
It can be especially easy for those navigating gestational diabetes to fall into the trap of diet culture and trying to “healthify” all foods (for example, when it comes to pizza folks often turn to cauliflower crust as a way to be “healthier” or “cut carbs”). While this may seem like a sensible choice to manage blood sugar levels (and may be supportive of your journey at this moment in time), it’s crucial to examine the intentions behind these decisions to support a healthy relationship with food.
Diet culture often encourages us to make substitutions or alterations to our meals in the pursuit of a perceived ideal. However, this approach can inadvertently lead to feelings of restriction, rebellion, and a slippery slope towards more rigid eating habits. If the thought of a cauliflower crust pizza triggers a longing for the classic version, it might be a sign that the intention behind the choice is rooted in diet culture rather than genuine support for your well-being.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to assess your intentions and decide how best to approach certain foods and meals (using cauliflower crust as an example):
- Are you using cauliflower crust from a place of restriction or support?
- Does it feel like a satisfying meal or are you longing for the regular pizza and counting down the days until you can eat it without thinking about your blood sugar?
- How are you left feeling after you eat the cauliflower crust? Are you satisfied or left feeling a little empty, or like you’re still searching for something?
There is so much nuance when it comes to intuitive eating, especially when you’re also working to manage your gestational diabetes and blood sugar. This is why it’s important to remember there is no one size fits all approach, and working with a dietitian can be a great next step if you’re looking to understand this concept better. You can also learn more about the importance of ditching diet culture here.
Work With a Dietitian For an Individualized Approach
While following these tips can be helpful to your blood sugar management journey, remember that everyone’s body will respond to foods differently and more goes into your numbers than just a singular meal. You also need to consider things like stress, movement, what you had earlier, time of day, etc.
If you’re looking to learn how to add foods and balance meals with confidence, consider working with a gestational diabetes dietitian (like me!). We will work together to improve your relationship with food, look at your food and diet mindset, and develop tools and strategies to make eating feel less overwhelming. Start by booking a free discovery call here.
TLDR: Pizza and Gestational Diabetes
At the end of the day, pizza gets a bad rap, and generally, those labels are inaccurate and not helpful. So, be sure to experiment and find what works best for you. Pay close attention to your hunger and fullness levels as you eat (more on that here) and don’t forget that your satisfaction matters. Oftentimes pizza can be a balanced meal itself (especially if you choose the right crust), but you also have the option to ADD and pair pizza with other foods. Remember that you deserve to enjoy what you eat and feel at peace in your relationship with food, despite what diet and wellness culture tries to tell you. If you’re having a hard time getting there on your own, know that reaching out for support can make all the difference. Get started with an intuitive eating dietitian here.