Gestational Diabetes Diet

Gestational diabetes, as the name suggests, is a form of diabetes which affects women when they are pregnant. It is different from type 2 diabetes. It affects about 5% of all pregnant women. There is a hormone called insulin which distributes glucose to the different cells of the body. If, during pregnancy, the body can not produce sufficient insulin, the mother suffers from gestational diabetes. As oral medications are not prescribed during this time, regular exercise and a proper diet for gestational diabetes can keep the blood sugar in control. In this article, we discuss how to plan a proper gestational diabetes diet.

A properly planned diet for gestational diabetes can help maintain blood glucose levels, keep a healthy weight and help in delivering a healthy baby. For an average woman, who had a correct weight prior to conception, an additional 100 to 300 calories are required during the second and third trimester. When you are suffering from gestational diabetes, you must avoid the sudden rises and falls in your blood glucose levels, which may harm your baby. A special diet for gestational diabetes will guide you about which foods you should eat, which one you should avoid, how much to eat and how often you should eat.

The following are some tips for planning a diet for gestational diabetes:–

(i) Eat three main meals and two/three snacks everyday. You should never skip meals. Meals should be eaten at the scheduled time to prevent sudden changes in sugar levels.

(ii) You can have one or two servings of cereals or crackers to beat morning sickness.

(iii) A diet for gestational diabetes should include a lot of fibrous foods. Foods such as vegetables, whole grain products and fruits contain a lot of fibers which help in digestion.

(iv) You should eat plenty of fluid. You may have small amounts of fruit or vegetable juices along with your meals, but water is the best option. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day.

(v) Make sure that your daily diet should contain a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

(vi) Always monitor the amount of carbohydrates you are taking in. Try to eat the same amount of carbohydrates during each meal. It is better to have complex carbohydrates, which are found in
whole grain products such as brown bread.

(vi) To stabilize blood glucose levels, you should have several small meals throughout the day.

(vii) Avoid simple sugar such as table sugar, honey, chocolate cakes or candies.

(viii) You may have a snack before bed. This will help to control your sugar level and avoid overnight hypoglycemia.

(ix) Exercise is also very important.

A combination of a planned diet for gestational diabetes and proper exercise can keep your sugar levels under control and help to deliver a healthy baby.