Gestational diabetes occurs among women who have no previous history of diabetes but develop diabetes in pregnancy due to the body being unable to produce the required insulin levels causing high blood sugar.
A proper diet for gestational diabetes is vital to help manage the situation because uncontrolled diabetes in pregnancy can cause several complications.
Gestational diabetes usually has no symptoms and is mostly diagnosed only with pregnancy testing.
However once a diagnosis is made, a proper diet for gestational diabetes has to be determined and the doctor will have to examine if a woman needs insulin as well to control levels of blood sugar.
Some of the dos in your diet for gestational diabetes
- Do speak to your health care provider to determine exactly what you need to do to keep your blood sugar in control and develop a customized meal plan keeping in mind your specific needs.
- Do get tested regularly throughout your pregnancy for detecting blood sugar levels.
- Do keep your weight gain in control by regular exercise and a healthy diet.
- Do lower consumption of carbs and control the amount of sugar you consume not just through food but also through drink. So lower the amount of carbs you eat, such as bread, pastas, cereal and even fruit and increase the amount of protein in your diet – eggs, cheese, nuts and so on. Drinks such as sodas, tea, coffee, juices and even milk contain sugars and so ask your health care provider how much of what you can include in your diet for gestational diabetes.
- Do have plenty of complex carbs in your diet which have more fiber and have sustained energy release that will not cause big spikes in your blood sugar followed by sharp drops as simple carbs typically will. High fiber foods are legumes, beans, peas and whole grains that should be part of diet for pregnancy diabetes.
- Do eat several smaller meals spread out over the day rather than three big meals. Have three moderate sized meals and three other healthy snacks including one after dinner to help stabilize your blood sugar. By the same token you should also eat a good breakfast since it helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels after a long period of fasting at night.
Some of the don’ts in your diet for gestational diabetes
- Don’t forget to count the amount of sugar you drink by way of tea, coffee, and juices. You may have to cut down on milk and find alternative sources of calcium as well because of the simple sugar lactose that milk contains.
- Don’t skip meals, particularly breakfast. Take the time and manage the logistics whether at home or work so that you can have regular small meals through the day.
- Don’t forget to keep a record of what you eat and when you eat as part of your diet for gestational diabetes. Keep a record of your blood sugar levels, the amount of exercise you do in a day and everything that you eat and drink.