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Can Diabetics Eat Tacos?

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Can Diabetics Eat Tacos?

When I first found out that I was a diabetic, I dreaded going on the diet.  Would I still be able to eat my favorite foods?  Exactly how much was I going to have to give up?  I didn’t even want to think about it.

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For the first few weeks, I probably cheated on my diet a lot more than I should have.  Trying my best to stick to the items provided on the list of recommended foods, but not finding enough choices that really fit my day-to-day routine.

One of my absolute favorite foods, tacos, was pretty much off the menu…unless I was willing to eat just one or maybe two.  I wasn’t.  I mean…why torture myself?

One day, while shopping at my local store, I decided spend some time looking at the nutrition facts on some of my favorite foods. 

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GET THIS RECIPE: Spicy shrimp tacos with mango avocado salsa

This was part of my way of getting familiar with the amount of carbs (carbohydrates) in each food, so I could plan my meals accordingly and stop buying stuff that I just plain couldn’t eat.

I checked my favorite salsas, snacks and finally, tortillas.  I was shocked to learn that corn tortillas only contained a fraction of the carbs found in flour tortillas!

Why hadn’t my diabetic coach told me this?  Tortillas were thought to be on the “foods to avoid” list.  I mean, 20g carbs or more per tortilla.  They were just as bad as bread, or worse.

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GET THIS RECIPE: American tacos on corn tortillas

Corn tortillas though, only contain about 8-10g carbs each.  You could easily have a plate loaded with 3-4 massive, meaty tacos, just like you would any other day! Carne asada, barbacoa, carnitas or lengua.  You absolutely don’t have to limit yourself.

Shopping as a Diabetic

As a diabetic, I’ve heard so much misinformation about what we should and shouldn’t eat.  A lot of people think that diabetes is a “fat” disease…but it isn’t.  Diabetes can happen to thin people too.  And it can happen to people who most would consider to have a “healthy” diet.

The main difference in what a diabetic can eat comes down to carbs.  Diabetics should do their best to eat low carb, high protein and high nutrient.

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LEARN MORE: Corn vs flour tortillas for diabetics

Things like grains (bread, pasta, rice, etc.) and sweets (sugary drinks, candies, dried fruit, etc.) are some of the most important things to cut from your diet.  Of course, having some carbs during the day is essential for good health, but cutting out carbs (and especially processed carbs) as your doctor recommends, will do much more for your health than cutting calories.

Some of the foods you can eat more of are proteins (meat, low carb dairy, beans, nuts, berries, etc.) and vegetables, most of which, are very low carb.  

When in doubt, just check the carb count in the food’s nutrition facts to see if it’s a good option for a meal or snack. And don’t miss these low carb snack ideas!

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GET THIS RECIPE: Chicken tacos with avocado salsa

Eating Out as a Diabetic

When you go out to eat the first few times, it’s always easier to stick to the things that you know.  Lots of veggies, meat and diary, which are most often low carb.  Avoid too many of the starchy foods, like potatoes, flour tortillas and rice (check out cauliflower rice as a substitute for meals at home).

If you’re going to a restaurant that serves tacos, skip the double stacked corn tortillas and ask for a single tortilla.  Choose corn instead of flour.  And when you’re just not sure about how many carbs are in a dish, it’s always better to order something that you already know is a safe bet.

Keeping track of how many carbs are in your favorite foods and ingredients is helpful too.  Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or dietary coach how many carbs you should be eating or for food recommendations.  Everyone’s dietary needs are different.

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GET THIS RECIPE: Easy Slow Cooker Pork Verde Tacos

So, can diabetics eat tacos?

The simple answer is YES…in moderation…and definitely on corn tortillas.  I have to admit, that I’ve also tried the low carb whole wheat tortillas that claim to have “4 net carbs” and they didn’t work for me. They still spiked my blood sugar. ​​​​​​My advice would be to try them and see if they work for you. If not, stick to the corn.

TA-KETO!

If you’re really looking for more of an all-you-can-eat taco option…check out our Mexican Inspired Keto Pinterest board for some delicious keto friendly tortilla recipes!

Tell us, what’s your favorite diabetic friendly meal?  Share your suggestions in the comments down below!

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