Can a diabetic eat Chinese food?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question: “can a diabetic eat Chinese food?” and other related queries.

Can a diabetic eat Chinese food? 

Yes, a diabetic can eat Chinese food but he is not advised to do it. Because Chinese food is more likely to increase blood glucose thus leading to hyperglycemia due to its high content in rice and other types of refined carbohydrates.

White rice is present approximately in all Chinese dishes. But also brown rice can be found, but it is less consumed compared to white rice. Diabetic patients should avoid white rice and substitute it with brown rice because it is high in fibers that prevent hyperglycemia. 

Also, noodles are a popular Chinese food. Generally, they are made from wheat flour, potato starch, and rice flour. All these products increase the carbohydrates contained in the noodles making them non-diabetic friendly food. Approximately half a cup of noodles contains 20 grams of carbs. 

Chinese foods are high in sodium. It is known that sodium will increase the blood pressure of the person and diabetic patients are more at risk for developing high blood pressure, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases compared to healthy people.

However, some types of Chinese food like dumplings that are filled with meat and vegetables can be safe to be consumed by diabetics due to their low carbohydrate content. Additionally, when the dish is rich in vegetables the risk of experiencing hyperglycemia is lower.

What health problems Chinese food can cause?

As stated earlier, Chinese food is very high in sodium so this will lead to an increase in blood pressure. So, people with hypertension and heart diseases should avoid Chinese food to prevent adverse health effects. Also, diabetic patients since they are at high risk of having heart problems should avoid Chinese food that is high in salt.

In addition, Chinese food is high in oil and fats. Some people might feel bloated and can experience abdominal pain due to the high-fat content in some dishes because fat needs time to be digested and when excessively consumed it will lead to a delay in gastric emptying.

The delay in gastric emptying will increase gastric acidity which can irritate the stomach lining. Fatty food when consumed regularly can lead to heart and cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and stroke. 

Diabetes is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. So, diabetics are advised to limit the consumption of unhealthy fats like butter and saturated fats and substitute it with healthier sources like nuts and olive oil. 

Weight gain is one of the side effects of eating Chinese food when excessively consumed but when eating it from time to time your weight will not be affected. So, refined carbohydrates like rice and noodles and fat are the major cause why you might gain weight. 

Chinese food is high in monosodium glutamate or MSG which is a flavor enhancer added to canned soups and vegetables. This chemical additive is responsible for developing headaches, weakness, sweating, and chest pain. The symptoms will depend on one person to the other.

How to choose healthy Chinese food for diabetes? 

Many tips can be followed in order to choose Chinese food if you suffer from diabetes to avoid rapid glucose spikes thus hyperglycemia. So, first, focus on non-starchy vegetables like green leafy vegetables such as Chinese broccoli, bok choy, and shiitake mushrooms that are commonly used in Chinese cuisine.

Also, avoid fatty and fried dishes that are topped with sweet sauces. Fried meat is usually high in saturated fat which will affect your blood cholesterol and sugar in sauces will increase your blood sugar because it is easily absorbed into your bloodstream. 

Choose wisely your carbohydrates. For example, avoid white rice and substitute it with brown rice if possible to benefit from the fibers in the brown rice to prevent hyperglycemia. However, the calories in brown and white rice are the same but the fiber content is higher in brown rice. 

When you want to choose some appetizers or entrees before starting with the main dish go for clear broth soups such as egg drop soup because it is low in carbohydrates compared to other types of soups. So, proteins in eggs are the main reason why this soup is diabetic-friendly.

How to eat healthy if I have diabetes?

The main concern in diabetes is blood sugar fluctuation along with other chronic health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney problems. So, first, whole grain products like brown rice, brown pasta, and whole wheat bread should substitute refined carbs.

Also, the diabetic patient should go for lean protein sources like chicken breast and fish instead of fatty meat. Plant-based proteins like tofu and soy products can be included in the diet of a diabetic patient. Healthy fat sources coming from nuts and oils should substitute unhealthy fats like trans and saturated fat.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question: “can a diabetic eat Chinese food?” and other related queries.


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