Raised blood sugar diagnosed during pregnancy can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes later in life. Using the right gestational diabetes diet can help control blood sugar without any insulin intake.
Exercise and portion control is important for the gestational diabetes diet, but since healthy nutrition is important, pregnant women with high blood sugar don’t have to face very strict restrictions.
Gestational Diabetes Diet Basics
Like in any diabetic diet, the most important element is controlling the level of carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables and complex carbs are a very important part of the gestational diabetes diet.
Moderation is advised when it comes to fat and protein, but the most important part of this diet is the reduction of sugary foods, from soft drinks to pastries.
Gestational Diabetes Diet: Good Foods and Bad Foods
When it comes to carbohydrates, you need to make sure they make up half of the calories eaten daily. The best choices are complex carbohydrates, high in fiber, including whole-grain bread, pasta and rice. Low-fat breads, like pita bread and tortilla are a good choice, as long as they’re not loaded with too many additives. You should eat at least 6 servings of carbohydrates a day, from bread, cereal, rice, pasta and beans.
Vegetables in the gestational diabetes diet should have 3-5 servings. Try to eat fresh or frozen unprocessed vegetables. The canned variety is usually higher in salt, sugar and fats. Dark greens are excellent, along with orange vegetables.
Fruits should be present in the diet with 2-4 servings a day. While a cup of fruit juice does make for a serving, you should aim to eat more whole fruits to stay away from the many restrictions of a possible future diabetic diet plan.
Calcium is very important during pregnancy, so milk and dairy should take up 4 servings daily. Low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt and cheese are better for the gestational diabetes diet. Avoid flavored yogurt with added sugars and mix fresh fruit in plain yogurt if you’re craving it.
Aim for 2-3 servings of protein every day, including lean meats, eggs, beans and nuts. Fish and poultry without skin are best.
Avoid eating too many sweets and fats. Fast food is rich in both, so avoid it. Home made deserts in small portions and healthy mono-saturated oils, like olive oil, are good choices, along with the right amount of exercise, advised by your physician.
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