Pizza and Diabetes: What You Need To Know + Air Fryer Tortilla Pizza Recipe

blog banner with pizza slice in center

Today, On The Blog, I am talking about how to eat pizza with diabetes! Plus, sharing one of my favorite low carb pizza recipes that you can easily make at home.

I don’t know about you, but pizza is a popular request by my family and is one of my favorite foods. There is just something about a crust topped with cheese and toppings that makes the perfect dinner.

It is important that we continue to enjoy our favorite foods even if newly diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. My hope is that you have all your questions answered with this blog and feel confident when eating pizza with friends and family!

So, if you are ready to learn how to prevent blood sugar spikes with pizza, tips for making homemade pizzas, topping ideas, and what to eat with pizza, keep reading!

stacked pizza slices

Can You Eat Pizza with Diabetes

Yes! You can absolutely eat pizza with diabetes so don’t let anyone tell you differently or judge your food preferences.

It is a hot topic because pizza can cause blood sugar spikes making it frustrating to anyone who experiences this after eating.

However, with a little planning and mindfulness, it is possible to eat pizza without blood sugar spikes.

Pizza and Diabetes

Let’s chat about a few basics to help you gain clarity around why you may see a blood sugar spike in the first place.

Pizza raises blood sugars because of the high carbohydrate content. When consumed, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Insulin, a hormone, then helps the glucose get into your cells to provide energy.

Think of insulin as a key that opens the door of a cell. When working properly, insulin or the “key” can open the door and allow the glucose to enter from the bloodstream into the cell. This provides our body with the energy it needs to perform daily activities.

Problems with insulin could be the body not making enough or being insulin resistant like in prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

With insulin resistance, the “key” is not functioning or is resistant to opening that door. Thus, glucose is stuck in the bloodstream and is unable to enter the cell. This causes blood sugar levels to rise.

full size thin crust pizza with vegetable toppings

Preventing a Blood Sugar Spike

As with any food that contains carbohydrates, you can prevent a blood sugar spike by pairing with protein, fat and fiber and being mindful of the total carb content.

Protein and fat help to extend the time it takes your body to convert carbohydrates into glucose while dietary fiber helps you feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time.

In the case of pizza, it is already going to contain protein and fat from the cheese and any protein-rich toppings. By adding fiber to the top or as a side, you can include all the necessary components to support blood sugar control.

I am narrowing in on food tips; however, another great way to prevent a spike is to increase activity after the meal. Instead of heading to the couch, go for a brief walk after eating. This boost in activity can help your body use insulin more effectively and keep blood sugars in a healthy range.

Tips for Making Low Carb Pizza

  • Balance protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrates for blood sugar control.
  • Select a no sugar added pizza sauce.
  • Be mindful of pizza toppings and aim for non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins.
  • Pair with a source of protein if cheese pizza is desired such as a grilled chicken breast or pork chop.
  • Serve pizza alongside a fiber rich side (suggestions below!) to slow digestion and help you feel full longer.
  • Use moderate amounts of cheese and select part-skim (instead of whole milk) for a lower fat option.
  • Read nutrition labels before selecting pizza toppings and make lower carb swaps as able.
  • Choose a whole grain crust such as corn tortillas, almond flour tortillas or a whole wheat thin crust. The total carbohydrate content of crust is likely to vary drastically between every brand of crust. You will find some crusts coming in at 60+ grams per slice with others under 10 grams per slice. Refer to the nutrition label to find the best choice.

wooden round board surrounded by pizza toppings

Diabetes Friendly Pizza Topping Ideas

The best part of making pizza at home has to be the toppings! Get the whole family involved in pizza night by setting up a toppings bar then letting everyone customize their own pizza.


  • Pepperoni
  • Shredded chicken
  • Bacon
  • Canadian bacon
  • Ham

Non-starchy vegetables

  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers


  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh or pickled jalapenos
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Olives
  • Balsamic vinegar (not glaze)

leafy green salad topped with vegetables

Healthy Sides for Pizza

Just like pizza toppings, it can be fun to change up the sides you serve with pizza. Here are a few of my favorites that keep blood sugars controlled by boosting the fiber consumed at the meal.

  1. Leafy green salad loaded with non-starchy vegetables
  2. Piece of fresh fruit
  3. Steamed or Air Fryer Vegetables
  4. Sauteed zucchini and squash
  5. Sliced cucumbers tossed in an olive oil dressing
  6. Broth base soup with vegetables

tortilla topped with sauce, shredded cheese and pepperoni slices

Air Fryer Tortilla Pizza Recipe

2 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup no sugar added pizza sauce, divided
1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Optional: pizza toppings

Preheat air fryer to 390° F. Add the corn tortillas to the air fryer and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Remove the tortillas from the air fryer. Spread each tortilla with sauce and cheese then add any desired toppings. Add the pizzas back to the air fryer and cook for 4 minutes or until the desired crispiness is reached.

Watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to make air fryer tortilla pizzas.

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Springtime Nutrition, LLC was founded on my passion to partner with individuals to eliminate the stress, frustration and overwhelm of changing their nutrition lifestyle. I am committed to supporting you at every step of your journey. Ready to transform your life? Get started today!

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Kari Garner- Springtime Nutrition


Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Kari has a passion for helping others and has a mission to help prevent and delay illness through diet and lifestyle changes. She lives in Summerville, SC and see patients virtually that live in North and South Carolina. For more about Kari, click here.

Kari is a licensed Registered Dietitian in North Carolina and South Carolina. She is nationally licensed with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Her diabetes speciality certification is with the Certification Board of Diabetes Care & Education. 

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