If you're one of the 34.2 million Americans with diabetes, chances are you're following a low-carb diet like keto to keep your sugar levels in check. Diabetes is a condition that greatly impacts blood sugar but can be managed by following a healthy diet and maintaining healthy body weight. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, very low-carb way of eating that just may help some people in supporting blood sugar.
That said, if you're following the low-carb lifestyle, whether that is to keep your blood sugar in check or just to improve your overall health, there's a pretty good chance you think your relationship with chips is over forever. Seeing as a classic bag of potato chips contains a whopping 15 grams of carbs, 160 calories, and only one measly gram of fiber, it's easy to see how chips are off the table unless you know a few tasty, crunchy chip alternatives that are perfectly healthy for low-carb dieters as well as diabetics.
Interested in learning more? We can help! Keep reading as we explore the ketogenic diet and diabetes and uncover some of the tastiest low-carb crunchy chip recipes that are perfect for diabetics.
Here’s a Quick Refresher on Diabetes
With diabetes, the body can't effectively process carbs. You see, normally, when you consume carbohydrates, they get broken down into itty bitty units of glucose, which ultimately ends up as sugar. When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas responds by producing the hormone insulin. This essential hormone allows blood sugar to enter cells easily.
In those without diabetes, blood sugar levels remain within a narrow range throughout the day. For those with the condition, however, this system doesn't exactly work in the same way, which is a huge problem because having both too low and too high blood sugar levels can cause a lot of problems.
There are different types of diabetes, but the two most common ones are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, both of which can occur at any age in life.
Type 1 Diabetes
In this type of diabetes, an autoimmune process destroys the insulin-producing beta cells found in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin many times throughout the day to ensure that glucose gets delivered to their cells and stays at a healthy level in the bloodstream.
Type 2 Diabetes
In those with type 2 diabetes, their beta cells at first produce more than enough insulin, but the problem is that the body's cells are resistant to its action. Therefore, blood sugar levels naturally remain high. To compensate, the pancreas produces extra insulin in an attempt to bring blood sugar down.
Over time, the beta cells lose their ability to produce enough insulin, and type 2 diabetics often need to start taking insulin throughout the day, similar to type 1 diabetics, to ensure proper glucose delivery to their cells.
According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes (to put that into perspective for you, that's about every 1 in 10), and roughly 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes.
Of the three essential macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar management because the body breaks them down into glucose. Therefore, those with this super common condition may need to rely on large doses of insulin, medication, or both when they chow down on a lot of carbohydrates.
To avoid misbehaving sugar levels, diabetics could simply avoid carbs altogether, which brings us to our next topic:
The Ketogenic Diet and Diabetes
As mentioned earlier, keto (short for ketogenic) is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Usually, five percent or less of energy intake comes from carbs. In contrast, the Dietary Guidelines recommend that 45 to 65 percent of daily calories come from carbs, so making the swap to keto is a huge change.
Your body prefers to use carbs, broken down to glucose, as its main source of energy. When your carbohydrate intake is extremely low and glucose isn't readily available for energy, your body will enter a metabolic state called ketosis, where it breaks down fat for energy instead. In this desired fat-burning state, the body uses ketone bodies for energy instead of glucose until you start eating carbs again.
Seeing as the ketogenic diet severely limits carbs, it makes sense that it would lower blood sugar, which is ideal for those with diabetes! That said, if you are diabetic, it's important to work with your healthcare professional to determine if the low-carb lifestyle is right for you and your medical condition. Everyone is different, and what might work wonders for your bestie might not work so great for you. So, before making the switch to keto or any diet, make an appointment to discuss it with your doctor first, especially if you have diabetes.
The Best Low-Carb Crunchy Chip Alternatives For Diabetics
We love chips. What we don't love? The carbs and empty calories that come with them. If you're eating low-carb or watching your sugar because you're diabetic, you might think that chips are off the table. Well, we've got good news for you. You can now enjoy crunchy chips without worrying about your sugar levels by swapping your calorie-filled, processed bag of chips for one of these tasty alternatives below.
1. Uprising Food’s Superfood Freedom Chips
If you haven't tried Uprising Food's Superfood Freedom Chips yet, then you're missing out.
Gluten-free, baked fresh, and made with clean ingredients as well as zero grams of added sugar, these unbelievably crunchy chips are truly one of a kind. Each serving contains nine grams of heart-healthy fiber, six grams of body-nourishing protein, and only two net carbs to fuel your body with nutrients from head to toe.
With Uprising Food's Superfood Freedom Chips, you can finally enjoy chomping on chips without worrying about counting carbs. Eat them right from the bag or dunk them in tasty dips like creamy artichoke dip or hummus. And the best part? They taste like real chips, not cardboard.
2. Zucchini Chips
One of the biggest issues of homemade vegetable chips is that they often lack the crunch factor that we get from traditional chips. That said, when baked, one veggie holds its crispiness pretty well, offering a delicious crunch: zucchini chips.
To make these mouth-watering tasty chips, start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F. Spray two cookie sheets with coconut oil. Place ½ cup of super-fine almond flour, ¾ cup of parmesan cheese (grated), and a dash of chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until thoroughly mixed, and the cheese is finely ground. Place mixture into a bowl and cup up one large zucchini squash, sliced into 3/16 slices.
Next, place two large egg whites into a second bowl. Dip the zucchini slices first in the egg white, then in the almond flour mixture, really pressing the mixture on to coat and turning the zucchini slice to coat both sides. Place your coated zucchini slices on a baking sheet, leaving an inch or so between slices.
Place the baking sheets with the coated zucchini right into the preheated oven and back for about seven minutes or until the bottom is a nice golden brown color. Turn and bake for about three more minutes before removing from the oven and transferring to a serving plate.
3. Cheese Crisps
If you ask us, cheese makes everything better. Don't like veggies? Smother and cover 'em with cheese. Boring lunch sammie got you down? Add cheese. Cheese is so deliciously wonderful, and these tasty little cheese crisps require just one ingredient: cheese.
All you need to do is shred some cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then bake until beautifully golden brown and crips. Yup, it's really that simple and unbelievably delicious!
A Final Word
If you're diabetic and miss snacking on chips, try one of our three crunchy chip alternatives above, like Uprising Food's Superfood Freedom Chips. Made with nothing artificial and zero grams of sugar, you won't believe these chips only contain two net carbs per serving.
Whether you're watching your sugar, following a low-carb diet, or just trying to eat better, Uprising Food's Superfood Freedom Chips offer a guilt-free snack that will leave your tastebuds begging for more. Check out Uprising Food today!