Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant mothers who have high blood sugar. To provide your baby with more glucose, mothers naturally become more resistant to insulin, a hormone that lets your cells absorb and use glucose for energy, but some pregnant women’s bodies do not make enough insulin or stop responding to it, resulting in too much sugar in their blood, causing gestational diabetes. Fortunately, these can be managed with exercise and a healthy, balanced diet, especially a low Glycemic Index (GI) diet.
Carbohydrates should contribute to less than half of the calories you eat. Food like bread, rice, pastries, pasta, cereal, potatoes, corn, fruit, fruit juice, cookies, candy, soft drinks and other sweets have high carbohydrates or sugar content.
There are two types of carbohydrates; simple and complex carbohydrates. Try to eat more complex carbohydrates and avoid simple carbohydrates to prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too quickly.
Vegetables & Fruits
To maintain a diet that prevents or helps to manage gestational diabetes, you should eat more vegetables. However, do take note to eat vegetables, fresh or frozen, without adding sauces, fats or salt. Healthier vegetables are spinach, broccoli, carrots, peppers and romaine lettuce.
Do eat whole fruits instead of just consuming fruit juices, because whole fruits have more fibre. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits are also a good source of Vitamin C. If you choose to drink fruit juice, make sure that there is no added sugar to prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking.
Prioritize fish and poultry as your source of protein. If you eat chicken and turkey, do remove the skin to reduce the fat content of your meal. If you enjoy beef, pork, veal or lamb, do trim all visible fats from the meat and try to eat as much lean meat as possible.
It is completely understandable that it may be difficult to completely cut out unhealthy food, as those cookie cravings can be hard to resist. However, do try to put countermeasures in place, so you can consume healthier options that can help you stay satisfied.
Avoid skipping meals, and keep your meal intake and mealtime consistent each day, to help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Be sure to eat a portion of protein with every meal, including whole fruits and vegetables, and limit processed food.
It is also important to avoid overeating by paying attention to your portion size. With a healthy and balanced diet, you might be able to manage your symptoms without relying on medicines. If you are currently on a special diet, such as vegan or vegetarian, be sure to discuss with your doctor to ensure that you are on a balanced diet. It is also ideal to ask your doctor to recommend a nutritionist or dietitian to help you with your meal plan with food that you like.