Can Diabetics Eat Onion Rings?

Onion Rings
Onion Rings

Having diabetes means that foods are limited in your diet, to a certain extent that is. Fried foods tend to be the hardest food for newly diagnosed diabetics to give up and avoid. There are many such foods, however, these foods could still be enjoyed when made in healthier ways.

Plus, there are so many tips and suggestions out there it is difficult to know what is a good tip and what could lead to harm. This is when you need to focus on what the Dietician tells you and what the Physician suggests. Included here are the suggestions they both have.

What to Avoid

Onion Rings

You already know that there are certain foods that you cannot have. Those with Saturated Fats include:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Egg Yolks
  • Baked Goods
  • Crackers
  • Whole Fat Dairy Products
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Regular Soda
  • Sugared Coffee Drinks
  • Fried Foods
  • Processed Foods
  • Biscuits with Gravy
  • Juices
  • Sweetened yogurt
  • Sweetened Cereals

Yes, fried foods include french fries, onion rings, deep-fried mushrooms, fried cauliflower, and fried pickles. Although, when these do not have breading or are not fried, many of these items are good for a diabetic diet.

Onions and Diabetes

Onion Rings

Most foods, when eaten in moderation, do not cause sugar spikes. Onions are one of the many foods that may help reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Studies have shown that eating fresh onions reduced glucose levels in both Type 1 Diabetes and also Type 2 Diabetes.

Fresh onions can be added to most foods, such as soups, stews, salads, and even sandwiches. Onions have also been linked to cardiovascular health. Other research has shown that ripe onion juice has anti-diabetic properties. This means that eating them can help prevent hyperglycemia in diabetic patients.

Benefits of Onions

Onion Rings

Whether onions are added as the main ingredient, a garnish, or a condiment, onions do add flavor to any food. Onions are low-calorie and provide you with nutrients, Vitamins, and other micronutrients. Onions have high fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, and iron. Onions are also low in carbohydrates.

Onions contain flavonoids, these are high concentration micronutrients. Onions are believed to relieve inflammation, which is one underlying issue of Diabetes. The combination of nutrients and Vitamins in onions are said to help cell growth, and metabolism, strengthen immunity, are heart-healthy, and can aid in lowering blood pressure. Onions can help digestion with the fiber content and also promote heart health, while the sulfur compound helps prevent some forms of cancer.

The onion has antioxidants that have free-radical properties to help fight and reverse cell damage. The antimicrobial properties help fight against infections, which occur at higher rates in diabetics. It is also thought that onions help with bone health, which helps fight osteoporosis.

The sulfur-containing compounds have been shown to have benefits to reduce the risk of breast, colon, prostate, oral, stomach, and ovarian cancers. As a warning, onions contain fructans, a source of soluble prebiotic fiber. These are highly beneficial to most people, however, those who have the chronic condition of IBS may want to limit the use of onions.

So Why Avoid Onion Rings?

Onion Rings

Simply stated, onion rings are dipped in a scrambled egg mix and then dipped in breadcrumbs or they have a batter coating, and then both types are deep-fried. So what is the problem? Onions are onions, right? Wrong!

What makes the onion ring harmful to diabetics is that they have the coating and are deep-fried. This means added carbohydrates, calories, and too many saturated fats.

Giving Up or Changing Ways?

Onion Rings

Holidays for one, are a time when families all gather together and enjoy some great foods. One of them would be green bean casserole. Diabetics are unable to have this delightful dish. Unless they follow the following suggestion.

The french fried onions are what does damage to a diabetic meal plan. The saturated fat, the sodium, and the added carbohydrates. Let’s make a change so that we are all able to once again enjoy this Holiday Tradition.

Diabetic French Fried Onions

Onion Rings
  • Nonstick cooking Spray
  • ¼ cup refrigerated egg product
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ tsp flavored seasoning, such as Cajun, BBQ, or blackened
  • 1 large Vidalia Onion, sliced into rings
  1. Preheat the oven to 450*
  2. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray
  3. In a shallow dish combine the egg and buttermilk
  4. In another bowl combine the Panko breadcrumbs and your choice of seasoning
  5. Transfer about ⅓ of the breadcrumbs to a shallow dish
  6. One by one, dip the onion rings into the egg mix, shaking off excess
  7. Then toss them in the Panko breadcrumbs
  8. Lay each of them flat on the prepared baking sheet, without letting them touch one another.
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the onions are tender and the coating is golden brown and crisp.

Onion Ring Appetizers For Diabetics

Onion Rings
  • 1 Sweet onion, Vidalia or Walla, sliced into rings
  • 1 ¼ cup flour, (Almond or gluten-free, is fine)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs, you can use Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ tsp choice of seasoning, (paprika, Italian, Cajun,)
  1. Preheat your Air Fryer to 370*
  2. Spray the basket for nonstick
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and seasoning
  4. Mix in the egg and then the milk (you could use an equal amount of beer instead of milk)
  5. In a shallow bowl place your breadcrumbs in
  6. Using a fork, dredge an onion ring in the first bowl
  7. Then dip the onion ring into the breadcrumbs
  8. Then place it in the Air Fryer basket, without overlapping as much as possible
  9. Make the onion rings in batches
  10. Air Fry for 8 minutes, flip each onion ring over, and Air Fry for another 8 minutes

So, you see, having diabetes is not the end of good eating. When you still want to enjoy the foods you love, you need to be versatile and figure out a new way to make them. However, I will say this much, deep-fried foods really are not good for anyone, this is not meant for just a Diabetic lifestyle.

Technology has advanced far enough now so we do not need to use all that cooking oil to cook foods. The Air Fryer made this possible for many people. Do not get me wrong, there are some really great baked Onion Ring recipes also.

When you eat those heavy deep-fried onion rings, not only are they loaded with saturated fat, they are energy-dense. This means that you are getting more calories than your body needs. Being overweight does not make life with diabetes any easier.

Eating foods that are high in nutrients, Vitamins and minerals, eating as directed, meaning multiple small meals a day, and following the Doctor’s guidelines will help you to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

Creating even a simplified exercise plan can help you maintain that healthy weight also, or help you to lose weight and get to a healthy weight.

Eat Those Onions

Onion Rings

Onions can be and most often are a healthy part of many diets, not just for Diabetics. They are a versatile ingredient that can be added to any food to boost and add additional flavor. The manners in which we have all become accustomed to cooking are also likely some of the issues that cause the health conditions that we each face in our own lives.

It may seem easier said than done, but you can do it. You can change the way in which you prepare your food. Change up some of the ingredients to add a different flavor instead of salt. When it comes to frying, do yourself a favor and purchase an Air Fryer. Or you can use your oven and bake many of the foods you once fried.

A healthy eating pattern could help you to overcome other issues in life, such as weight loss, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol to name just a few.

I guess you could look at it as when Mother Nature says you can’t have this, prove to her you can! Give it a go, and create a new recipe that you will love for onion rings. You may start a trend or a new healthy eating diet.

One last point, all these diets that are flying around, including those labeled for diabetes specifically, Please, check with your physician before you decide to start one of those. Between the Physician and the Registered Dietician, they can tell you if any of those would be beneficial to you as a diabetic.

It is always important to speak with your doctor before starting a new diet anyway, and if you have diabetes, you should be in regular contact with the medical team. Do not feel as though you have to face all these new changes by yourself. There are other people who can help you and give you advice. In time, you will be able to help other diabetics with things that you have learned as far as cooking, recipes, and weight loss.

Author: Bella West