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Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes

Posted On: 07-15-2016
Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, and is characterized by your body not making enough insulin to turn sugar into fuel. Two out of 10 pregnant mothers have gestational diabetes. Poor control of gestational diabetes can lead to birth defects, but you may be able to keep it under control with diet and exercise. It's important to understand how you need to balance eating a bit more with managing your gestational diabetes.

What to Eat

Carbohydrates are your body's main source of fuel, and some carbohydrates are better than others. Choose foods with naturally occurring complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, seeds and nuts. Keep carbohydrates like graham crackers or dried fruit on hand so you can snack if your blood sugar dips too low.

Other sources of carbohydrates are peas, potatoes, fruit, corn, milk, pasta, and rice. The timing of your carbohydrates can make a big difference. For example, you might want to consume fewer carbs at breakfast, when your insulin resistance is highest. But if you suffer from morning sickness, nibbling on pretzels before getting out of bed can help.

Aim for moderate amounts of fat and protein, and be sure to drink at least 64 ounce of water each day. Have two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables each day. It is a good idea to eat three to six small meals throughout the day rather than only eating at mealtimes. If your blood sugar drops too low, you can start to feel better quickly by drinking orange juice or eating something with honey.

Recommendations

Avoid regularly eating sugary items that can quickly raise your blood sugar and then send it crashing down, like soft drinks, cookies, candy and cake. Your doctor may also recommend that you incorporate physical activity into your daily schedule, and you may need to take medication or insulin injections to steady your blood sugar.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many women who have gestational diabetes will develop diabetes later in life, so be sure to follow your doctor's recommendations closely to keep yourself healthy. Keep in mind that every pregnancy is different, so you will need to talk to your doctor and adjust your diet according to what you need, your weight, your activity level, and how far along you are in your pregnancy.

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