Healthy Diet for Gestational diabetes

What Is A Good Diet For Gestational Diabetes?

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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is when women develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Although it can happen with any pregnancy, it’s more common in overweight or obese women who are older than 25 and have had diabetes in the past.

GDM usually goes away after delivery, but there are still things you can do to manage your blood sugar during this time and keep your baby safe.

Here’s what you need to know about gestational diabetes and how to combat it with the right diet plan.

The Different Types of Diets

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your doctor may have suggested you follow one of these types of diets, ketogenic diet, low-calorie diet or diabetic exchange diet. If you are not familiar with these terms, don’t worry!

In just a few minutes, you will know everything there is to know about each type of dietary regimen. And more importantly, how each can help you manage your condition and control your blood sugar levels

Low-Calorie Diet: To keep things as simple as possible, most doctors agree that a low-calorie diet is one of the best ways to lower your glucose levels and reduce weight gain during pregnancy.

Keto genic diet:  A ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is a very low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. In other words, it’s about as far away from glucose as you can get! A ketogenic meal plan basically restricts your intake of carbohydrates to only 20–50 grams per day (the exact number varies from person to person). As a result of dramatically reducing carbohydrate intake and drastically increasing fat intake, the body goes into something called ketosis.

Diabetic exchange diet:  A diabetic exchange diet is another excellent option to control your glucose levels and lose weight during pregnancy.

Basically, all you need to do is make sure you consume fewer than 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal (not counting fiber). And choose more low-carb foods like meats, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese and non-starchy vegetables while restricting high-carb choices like breads, pasta and starchy vegetables.

I recommend being on one of these diets if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Lets take a look at  more information on different types of diet shall we?

High Carbohydrate Diet

To be able to control your blood sugar levels, you need to eat foods that digest slowly. High carbohydrate foods like rice, pasta and potatoes should form most of your diet.

Try to avoid simple carbohydrates such as pastries, cakes and white bread as they rapidly increase your blood sugar levels. You can also consume small amounts of fruits during each meal.

If you are not sure what types of food to include in your pregnancy meal plan, consult with your doctor or nutritionist before eating anything.

Low Carbohydrate Diet

High carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes are very easy to digest and cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. A low carbohydrate diet cuts out these foods, replacing them with vegetables and protein.

This can help those with gestational diabetes manage their blood sugar levels because it keeps them from spiking. + Low Carbohydrate Diet Recipes.

They are great alternatives to your regular meals. For example, bacon wrapped shrimp sticks or chicken nuggets aren’t exactly healthy but there are ways of modifying your favourite dishes so that they fit within your dietary requirements! 

Mediterranean Style Diet

Eating a Mediterranean-style diet may help you reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes. This means eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. In other words, foods that have little to no processed sugar in them.

This can be quite difficult if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, your body needs some calories from carbohydrates and protein to get you through each day.

That said, You shouldn’t cut back too much on complex carbs like brown rice and whole grain breads because they provide fiber, B vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc and selenium, which are all important during pregnancy.

But staying away from white breads made with refined flour will help keep your blood glucose levels in check while also helping control appetite hormones since they are mostly lacking fiber.

Combination Diet

Some women find that eating high-carb and low-fat meals, which can be very rich in calories, causes them to gain more weight than normal. Instead of striving to eat healthier foods in larger quantities, consider limiting your carbohydrates and increasing your intake of lean proteins and healthy fats.

For example, you could have 2 ounces of chicken with two slices of whole-wheat bread or 6 ounces of protein (fish or lean meat) with brown rice and salad. If these options are too bland, try adding some lemon juice or hot sauce.

It’s important to consult your doctor before attempting any changes in diet while pregnant, he/she will give you specific recommendations based on clinical assessment.

Personalized Dietary Regime

Gestational diabetes isn’t necessarily caused by poor dietary habits. However, healthy eating does contribute to overall health and well-being throughout pregnancy. The risk of developing GD increases with maternal age, especially if you’re 35 or older.

Eating right may help minimize your risk. If you have been diagnosed with GD, eating right will also help you manage it. Here are some tips to consider 

Tips for Managing Gestational Diabetes

Now that you know you have GDM, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to learn how to eat better and get in shape.

Learn more about managing your diet and lifestyle during pregnancy in order to reduce your risk of developing any long-term health problems related to having GDM (like type 2 diabetes after pregnancy). 

Eating well, exercising and watching your blood sugar levels closely are some of your best weapons against gestational diabetes complications.  The idea is to keep your blood glucose (sugar) level as close to normal as possible while still getting all the nutrition you need.

The American Diabetes Association recommends these guidelines: 

• Eat frequent small meals and snacks throughout each day so that you never get too hungry or too full. 

• Choose foods that are rich in fiber, protein and other nutrients.

 • Include fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. 

• Limit high-fat foods such as meat, butter, chips and cake. Try fat-free or low-fat dairy products instead of whole milk or cheese. Cut back on fried food.

 • Avoid sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice because they can make blood glucose levels rise quickly. 

• Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Strive to increase your activity level until you’re up to about 60 minutes a day by your second trimester and more if you can.

Regular exercise will help keep blood glucose under control while also boosting your energy level, strengthening your muscles and bones, helping you sleep better, improving your mood and lowering stress levels.

Takeaways 

Women with gestational diabetes should aim to stay within their calorie range, eat regular meals and snacks, take in plenty of vegetables, fruit and whole grains and limit your intake of sweets. A dietitian can also help you learn which carbs are best to avoid or minimize.

You’ll want to manage your blood sugar through eating healthy foods while still feeling well fed. Your doctor may recommend that you see a registered dietitian or diabetes educator who can give you personalized meal plans based on your individual needs.

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