Once upon a time, I ate a lot of pizza. I was in the habit of eating pizza at least once a week for lunch, and then more pizzas would get peppered into my diet at other times. Shit, maybe that’s why I’m a Type 2 diabetic. Anyway … upon learning that I have goddam diabetes, my Golden Age of Pizza came to a screeching halt.
But just a couple weeks ago, I was lamenting my pizza-less life to a friend whose home I would be visiting a few days later. And thankfully, this friend happens to be very empathetic, very considerate, and also very food-savvy.
So this friend … let’s call her “Jane” (that’s actually her name) … decided that we would make almond flour pizza during my visit! And make almond flour pizza we did. Neither of us had ever accomplished such a feat before, but Jane got all of the ingredients together, and we gave it a try.
The two most obvious questions any diabetic would ask are:
- Was the pizza any good?
- How bad was the blood sugar hit?
To answer the first question, I’m going to say YES! it was good pizza, but there’s a caveat.
Pizza dough made with almond flour isn’t exactly like the pizza dough that the rest of the world is used to. The almond flour pizza dough that Jane and I made wasn’t especially soft or chewy, and it had a consistency that was closer to something like a thick cracker or a hard cookie.
But it was PIZZA! And when it comes to pizza, all the good shit sits on top of the baked dough (a.k.a. pizza crust), and that’s what you’re really after.
As for the blood sugar hit, let’s look at the numbers:
Blood sugar reading before eating: 109
This was on a Saturday evening, and I hadn’t eaten for a few hours. And I don’t think I had taken my diabetes drugs yet, either.
Blood sugar reading after eating: 109
That’s not a typo! Granted, I only had two pieces of pizza (it was pretty filling), but I waited the requisite hour before checking the blood sugar again. NO CHANGE. Crazy, right?
When I left to go back home, Jane insisted that I take the leftover almond flour pizza dough with me. I did, and a few days later I made my very own pizza at home.
Would I be able to replicate the blood sugar results that I got at Jane’s on Saturday night? After all, a scientific conclusion ain’t worth shit if you can’t replicate the results of the experiment.
Blood sugar reading before eating: 121
This was on a Wednesday night. I hadn’t eaten in several hours, and I was really hungry. Also … yes, that dough kept just fine for several days, and I think it would have kept for a few days more.
Blood sugar reading after eating: 133
OK, this one-hour-later result isn’t exactly the no-change result from Saturday at Jane’s, but it’s pretty goshdarned close! Also, this time I had eaten FOUR pieces of pizza, whereas I had only eaten two at Jane’s.
And just to be really, really sure of the results, I did an additional check after another 30 minutes had passed. That one was 119, so my blood sugar was on the way down. Yessss.
In addition to the quantity of pizza inhaled, another variable to consider is that my pizza toppings were a bit different from when I was at Jane’s place. Still, it all boiled down to some very similar components:
- pesto (green at Jane’s, sun-dried tomato flavor red pesto at home)
- tomatoes (sun-dried at Jane’s, diced tomatoes from a can at home)
- mozzarella cheese (fresh mozz at Jane’s, shredded at home)
- meat toppings (salami at Jane’s, pepperoni at home)
- vegetable toppings (arugula at Jane’s, onion/black olive/artichoke at home)
Note that neither the original pizza nor the Leftover Dough pizza used any actual “pizza sauce”!
In my past life, I might have just cracked open a jar of Ragu and dumped it on the crust, but then again, in my past life I wouldn’t have been looking for a diabetes-friendly pizza.
Also, I’m pretty sure sauces like Ragu, Prego, etc. are probably full of sugar. Definitely don’t want that.
Alright, so we have one test where there was no blood sugar change, and another where there was a minor change. Let’s look at what happened with my leftovers.
Blood sugar reading before eating: Dunno!
I didn’t check my blood sugar before eating! Gasp. I’m such a sinner. But I was eating this leftover pizza during my lunch break on a work day, and the end result really speaks for itself …
Blood sugar reading after eating: 128
This was about an hour after eating my pizza leftovers, which amounted to two pieces of almond flour pizza. To round things out stomach-wise, I also ate some leftover tofu & pork stuff that has become a regular part of my diet lately (more on that in a separate post later on).
So if my blood sugar after eating two more pieces of pizza + some tofu pork was only 128, I think we can conclude that my blood sugar wasn’t very high to begin with.
So, to recap:
109 → 109: Two pieces of pizza at Jane’s
121 → 133: Four pieces at home, from leftover dough
? → 128: Two pieces of pizza at lunchtime, plus tofu pork
Is this conclusive evidence that eating pizza made with almond flour is easier on the blood sugar than “normal” pizza? I’m gonna say YES.
The initial 109 → 109 test might have been an anomaly by itself, but then I ate FOUR PIECES of pizza made from the same dough, and my blood sugar only went from 121 → 133.
And the last test, while far from scientific, ENDED with a reading of 128.
Once again, I want to point out two very important things here:
- The pizza dough was made with almond flour.
- No “sauces” were used. We substituted pesto for sauce, and augmented it with either sun-dried tomato bits or diced tomatoes from a can.
In conclusion, if you have goddam diabetes and are dying for some damn pizza, this is the way to go!
As long as you’re using ingredients that are pretty free of carbs and sugars, you should be safe. But definitely do those before-and-after blood sugar checks the first time you make your own almond flour pizza.