I've Just Been Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes – What Can I Eat?
From the moment you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you are likely to be faced with what seems like an endless list of new tasks: more clinic appointments, more blood tests, taking medications, being more active and eating a healthy, balanced diet. No wonder it can all seem so daunting and overwhelming. One of your first questions is likely to be, “what can I eat?” But, with so much to take in, you could still come away from appointments feeling unsure about the answer. And then, there are lots of myths about diabetes and food that you will need to navigate, too. If you’ve just been diagnosed and aren’t sure about what you can and can’t eat, here’s what you need to know. This may come as a surprise, but you don’t have to go on a special diet when have gestational diabetes. Depending on your current diet, you may have to eat less of some foods and more of others. In the past, people were sent away after their diagnosis with a list of foods they weren't allowed to eat, or often told to simply cut out sugar. Nowadays, you may need to make some changes to your diet, but it’s not a case of cutting things out. Rather, you’ll need to follow the same healthy, balanced diet that’s recommended to everyone. The main aim for managing gestational diabetes is ensuring that your blood glucose levels are under control, so your healthcare team will discuss targets that are right for you. Achieving the targets will increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and your food choices play a vital role in this. It is important to enjoy your meals while making changes to your food choices that are realistic and achievable. This will help control your blood glucose levels, and help prevent excessive weight gain during your pregnancy. All carbohydrates will ha Continue reading >>
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What To Eat: A Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan
What to Eat: A Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan What to Eat: A Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan Here's how to create a gestational diabetes meal plan that will help you avoid dangerous blood-sugar spikes and have a healthy pregnancy. Between weird food cravings and intense aversions, following a healthy diet when you're pregnant can be challengingespecially if you've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. A condition caused by elevated blood sugar levels, gestational diabetes can affect the welfare of both mother and child, but maintaining a balanced diet is one proven way to help manage the symptoms. RELATED: 8 Things You Didn't Know About Gestational Diabetes Gina Charles, D.O., has dealt with gestational diabetes both as a patient and as a physician in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. During her own recent pregnancy, she was diagnosed at 28 weeks. "Since it was not severe, I was placed on strict diet control instead of insulin," she says. "With the help of a diabetic educator and my own knowledge of managing gestational diabetes, I developed a meal plan that fit my busy lifestyle." Fortunately, a gestational diabetes meal plan isn't too different from a standard healthy diet. The American Diabetes Association recommends aiming for a ratio of 25 percent protein, 25 percent grains and starchy foods, and 50 percent non-starchy vegetables. Recommended items on a gestational diabetes food list include: Lean meats such as chicken breast and pregnancy-safe fish Low-glycemic fruits (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries) Vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini) Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut) And when it comes to forbidden foods? You probably won't be surprised to learn that fast food, fried food, candy, sodas, and processed carbs are Continue reading >>
9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts
1 / 10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy With a Gestational Diabetes Diet Pregnancy already comes with a long list of things that you should and shouldn’t do to achieve the best outcomes for you and your baby. But if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), then you need to learn some more dos and don’ts to keep your blood sugar under control and make sure that diabetes doesn’t harm your pregnancy. You will need to learn about a gestational diabetes diet — foods and lifestyle habits that help stabilize your blood sugar — as well as, possibly, gestational diabetes treatment. This may include diabetes medications your doctor prescribes during pregnancy to keep your blood glucose under control. It is possible to have a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes, but you must take care of yourself to reduce your risk of the following: An overly large baby Cesarean delivery (C-section) Miscarriage Preeclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure) Preterm delivery Stillbirth Other poor health outcomes for your baby Long-term health effects for you Controlling your blood glucose is important for everyone, young and old. But for pregnant women, good blood sugar control is important before, during, and after pregnancy to reduce the chance of diabetes complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, good blood sugar control during pregnancy can help prevent or reduce these risks: Prevent complications for the baby Prevent complications for the mother Reduce the risk of birth defects Reduce the risk of excess fetal growth Reduce the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth Reduce the risk of premature birth To keep blood glucose under control during pregnancy, it’s important to check your blood sugar level frequently. If you are Continue reading >>
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Why Diet Is A Significant Cause Of Gestational Diabetes
As with many issues related to pregnancy and parenting, there are many myths and misconceptions about gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes has been a controversial topic for some time, with even world famous obesterician, Michel Odent, weighing in on the matter. Some medical and health professionals believe gestational diabetes (not to be confused with type 1 diabetes) is a “diagnosis looking for a disease”, because the steps to manage it is exactly the same as the advice to prevent it – with diet. Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are given a label, without any evidence to show that the label improves outcomes. Low carb, high healthy fat eating, quitting smoking and exercise is how you prevent and treat insulin resistance. As Doctor Chatterjee says, “Our genes load the gun, but it's our environment that pulls the trigger”. Our addiction to sugar and processed foods is literally making us — and our future children — sick. If you haven't yet read about the 3 year old who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it's a must read. Women Need Educating, Not Testing A diagnosis of gestational diabetes results in the very advice which should already be given to all pregnant women — long before their glucose tolerance tests. They should eat a low GI diet, eliminate sugar and processed grains, as well as get some daily exercise. Very wise advice for all of us, regardless if we're pregnant or not. A recent study concluded, “A low GI diet was associated with less frequent insulin use and lower birth weight than control diets, suggesting that it is the most appropriate dietary intervention to be prescribed to patients with GDM [gestational diabetes mellitus].” However, the vast majority of doctors and midwives are not trained nutritionists, dieticians Continue reading >>
What Is The Best Diet For Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes can cause a range of complications during pregnancy. Fortunately, a woman can help reduce complications by following a healthful diet. What foods should women eat and what foods should they avoid if they have gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes occurs if a woman's body cannot produce enough insulin, during her pregnancy. This deficiency leads to high blood sugar. High blood sugar levels may cause problems for the woman and her baby if not managed properly. This article explains what type of diet a woman should follow during pregnancy if she has gestational diabetes. It also considers other treatment options for gestational diabetes and what complications may occur if the condition is not properly managed. Contents of this article: Understanding gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2 and 10 percent of pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes each year in the United States. This type of diabetes occurs when a woman's body cannot make enough of the hormone insulin. Insulin is made by the pancreas and helps the body's cells to use sugar from the blood as energy. When a woman is pregnant, her body will produce more hormones, and she may put on weight. Both of these changes may mean that her body's cells may not use insulin as well as they used to. This is called insulin resistance. Becoming resistant to insulin means that the body needs more of it in order to use up the sugar in the blood. Sometimes a woman's body cannot produce enough insulin to keep up. This leads to a sugar buildup in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of gestational diabetes may include: being unusually thirsty Continue reading >>
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What Type Of Pregnancy Diet Should I Follow If I Have Gestational Diabetes?
Good nutrition is especially important during pregnancy if you've developed gestational diabetes. Diabetes develops when your body can't efficiently produce or use insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that allows cells to turn sugar in your blood (glucose) into usable fuel. When large amounts of glucose accumulate in your blood, it means that your cells aren't getting the fuel they need. High blood sugar can be harmful for you and your developing baby, so it's important to try to control it. One way to keep your blood sugar levels under control is to follow a specific meal plan. I strongly recommend seeing a registered dietitian who can create a diet particularly suited to you, based on your weight, height, physical activity, and the needs of your growing baby, as well as your level of glucose intolerance. She'll also take into account your personal food preferences. (Note: If dietary changes aren't sufficient to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range, you'll need to take insulin as well. If your practitioner prescribes insulin injections, you'll need to meet again with your dietitian to reassess your diet.) A dietitian starts by determining how many calories you need each day. Then she teaches you how to determine portion sizes and how to balance your meals with just the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. She also assesses your current eating habits to make sure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals. Here are some general dietary guidelines: Eat a variety of foods, distributing calories and carbohydrates evenly throughout the day. Make sure both your meals and your snacks are balanced. The American Diabetes Association recommends that you eat three small-to-moderate-size meals and two to four snacks every day, including an after-dinner snack. Continue reading >>
Real Food For Gestational Diabetes: What You Need To Know
Note From Mommypotamus: When I wrote about natural alternatives to the glucola test, many of you asked what to do if gestational diabetes is diagnosed and confirmed. Today I am so excited to welcome Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, CLT, a registered nutritionist and gestational diabetes educator, who will be filling us in on how to take a real food approach to GD. Lily is the author of Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, a thoroughly researched guide filled with practical guidance and easy-to-follow instructions. It is, hands down, the best resource on the subject that I have found so far. If you or someone you know is looking for information on managing GD with real food, I highly recommend it! Gestational diabetes is never part of any mom’s plan . . . But it is the most common complication of pregnancy, affecting up to 18% of pregnant women. Yet there are many misconceptions about this diagnosis, both in conventional health care and the integrative medicine world. As a registered dietician/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator who specializes in gestational diabetes, I’m going to clear up some of the confusion for you today. Whether or not you have gestational diabetes, this post will help you understand how it develops and why it’s important to maintain normal blood sugar (for all pregnant women, really). I’ll also be sharing why the typical gestational diabetes diet fails and why a real food, nutrient-dense, lower carbohydrate approach is ideal for managing gestational diabetes. What is Gestational Diabetes? Gestational diabetes is usually defined as diabetes that develops or is first diagnosed during pregnancy. However, it can also be defined as “insulin resistance” or “carbohydrate intolerance” during pregnancy. I prefer to rely on the latter descrip Continue reading >>
Dietary Recommendations For Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs in about 7 percent of all pregnancies. It usually arises in the second half of pregnancy and goes away as soon as the baby is born. However, if gestational diabetes is not treated, you may experience complications. The first step in treating gestational diabetes is to modify your diet to help keep your blood sugar level in the normal range, while still eating a healthy diet. Most women with well-controlled blood sugar deliver healthy babies without any complications. One way of keeping your blood sugar levels in normal range is by monitoring the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrate foods digest and turn into blood glucose (a type of sugar). Glucose in the blood is necessary because it is the fuel for your body and nourishment your baby receives from you. However, it's important that glucose levels stay within target. Carbohydrates in Food Carbohydrates are found in the following foods: Milk and yogurt Fruits and juices Rice, grains, cereals and pasta Breads, tortillas, crackers, bagels and rolls Dried beans, split peas and lentils Potatoes, corn, yams, peas and winter squash Sweets and desserts, such as sugar, honey, syrups, pastries, cookies, soda and candy also typically have large amounts of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates in foods are measured in units called grams. You can count how many carbohydrates are in foods by reading food labels and learning the exchange lists. The two most important pieces of information on food labels for a carbohydrate-controlled diet is the serving size and grams of total carbohydrate in each serving. Dietary Recommendations It is important to be meet with a registered dietitian to have your diet assessed. The dietitian will calcula Continue reading >>
Gestational Diabetes And Your Diet
If you have gestational diabetes, your diet will become an important part of managing your condition and keeping your pregnancy safe. Some women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes manage to keep their blood sugar levels under control using diet and exercise alone. If you have gestational diabetes, you need to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks you have. These foods raise your blood sugar levels very quickly. You will be shown how to monitor your blood glucose levels and, as you go on, you will see which foods are raising these levels too high. You are also likely to find that your tolerance to certain foods could change during pregnancy. Some women can start out eating cereal without a problem for example, but as their pregnancy gets on they find that the same food causes a blood sugar spike. I was diet controlled all the way through but I had to be very strict and it found it was harder to get good blood sugar reading the further along I was, even with the same foods that had been fine for ages. For me following a low carb, high fat, high protein rule worked. I managed to avoid insulin and also lost excess weight I was carrying around for no reason. My little boy was born a healthy 6lb 10. Its helpful to understand how carbohydrates (carbs) work. Carbohydratesare the sugars, starches and fibres found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. They are the body's main source of energy. Some carbs release sugar into the bloodstream faster than others. These are called simple carbs. This raises your blood sugar levels. Others release sugar more slowly. These are called complex or starchy carbs. The glycaemic index shows which foods release sugar quickly and which ones don't. High glycaemic foods = release sugar quickly Low to moderate glycaemic in Continue reading >>
My Experience With Gestational Diabetes
Explanation of gestational diabetes & personal reflection of what to expect if you are diagnosed during your pregnancy. Not to worry, it’s can be managed! When you’re pregnant many people love to say “Now you can eat for two!” or “Your pregnant, this is the time you can eat what you want!” Unfortunately, these words of wisdom are not entirely accurate. Every mom-to-be dreads the glucose tolerance test, which involves ingesting a high concentration of glucose (a form of sugar) mixed with water to see if you have gestational diabetes. It’s a grueling test because you have to sit in a doctor’s office or clinic for a few hours while they take blood samples before and 2-3 times after you drink the solution. Before the test, you have to fast for 8 hours and this alone makes mamas pretty aggravated but then with the drink solution you have to deal with a sugar high! Waiting for the results, you cross your fingers and hope that the last 24-28 weeks you’ve had a balanced, healthy diet. I knew that I had increased my carbohydrate and sweet intake more than before I was pregnant, but I was hoping the test would still be negative. Unfortunately, when I got the call from my doctor who then said I had gestational diabetes, my first reaction was guilt. How could I have done this to my baby? Gestational Diabetes 101 I want to make sure I disclose this up front, I am not a doctor, I’m just sharing my experience with gestational diabetes. My daily pregnancy routine consisted of exercising five times a week and eating healthy on most days. However, I knew I could have eaten healthier in the last trimester, but I didn’t (those darn cravings and ravishing bouts of hunger!). As I learned more about gestational diabetes, I realized that our bodies change so much during p Continue reading >>
What Can I Eat If I Have Gestational Diabetes? Food List And More
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that only occurs in pregnant women. That means you can't get gestational diabetes unless you’re pregnant. You may develop gestational diabetes for the first time during pregnancy or you might have a mild undiagnosed case of diabetes that gets worse when you’re pregnant. During pregnancy, the way your body uses insulin changes. Insulin is a hormone that breaks the foods you eat down into glucose, or sugar. You then use that glucose for energy. You’ll naturally become more resistant to insulin when you’re pregnant to help provide your baby with more glucose. In some women, the process goes wrong and your body either stops responding to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin to give you the glucose you need. When that happens, you’ll have too much sugar in your blood. That causes gestational diabetes. If you have recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or are curious about what will happen if you are diagnosed with it, keep reading to learn more about maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Eat protein with every meal. Include daily fruits and vegetables in your diet. Thirty percent or less of your diet should be made up of fat. Limit or avoid processed foods. Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating. If you have gestational diabetes, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet may help you manage your symptoms without needing medication. In general, your diet should include protein plus the right mix of carbohydrates and fats. Once you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, ask your doctor about working with a registered dietitian or nutritionist. They can help you plan your meals and come up with an eating plan that will keep you and your baby healthy. Aim to base your meals around protein. Include lots of fresh foods a Continue reading >>
Not Eating Enough...
Never thought I would have a Dr tell me I wasn't eating enough food throughout the day.. I know I don't eat all day long but I've felt like all I do is eat. Changing my diet doesn't seem like it would be so hard. I eat the right foods just not the right time of day, or the right amount. :( I feel ya, that was always a struggle at first for me too. You'll get the hang of it! Been doing it for 8 weeks now and is kinda second nature. It was super overwhelming, but you can do it! We are all human, do the best you can for you and baby :) I'm curious.. What made the doc say that? I feel like ever since I've started the diet (2 weeks ago) I have been feeling like total crap! My numbers are great but I feel really off and my head is in sort of a daze most of the time. I'm wondering myself if I'm not eating enough. So with u on this. I'm newly diagnosed and I'm still struggling with all day nausea and heart burn at night. I just don't want to even look at food. They told me at my last visit that I'm not eating enough and I need to eat more. I told her that I literally feel like I'm being force fed. She just nodded and shrugged and said please try. The problem is that diet is not enough to control my levels. I have to exercise 30-45 minutes everyday so I'm burning it off as well. I just got my numbers down and feel like I'm getting the hang of the diet, barely. You're not alone. At night I don't want to eat. I just want to go to bed. GD SUCKS It can be hard to eat enough. Have you tried doing more healthy fats in your diet? I try to buy full fat Greek yogurt, whole milk, avocados and even switched to heavy cream in my coffee (or over sliced peaches for dessert). I am still losing weight, but not super rapidly. The fat also slows down the glucose and can provide a bit of cushion Continue reading >>
Gestational Diabetes.. Not Eating Enough Carbs?n
Gestational diabetes.. Not eating enough carbs?n Started by Riotproof, Dec 15 2014 04:58 PM So, in my complete soap opera of a pregnancy, I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Looking at all the units of carbs as suggested by the nutritionist, I do eat the lower amount of 2 units per main meal, and they are mostly low and medium gi, and I don't really snack. So far, I've done two readings which have been quite high, and I'm wondering if there is a usual timeframe of tweaking to try and manage it. Do you just keep trying different things? How long does it take? If I introduce the snack might that help? I did try that today already. I can't help feeling this is just another area of pregnancy that I'm going to fail at. Edited by Riotproof, 15 December 2014 - 04:59 PM. I was given a week to tweak my diet before they put me on insulin. You are going to need to snack - basically eating every two hours to avoid big peaks and troughs in your levels. Don't forget that carbs don't have to be stodgy bread, spuds etc. Some grapes, berries, a muesli bar, a biscuit, a small glass of juice or milo. A snack only needs to be 1-2 serves and will really help balance things out in my experience. Have you been given a diet plan? I haven't had GD but DH has type 2. I believe the most important part is spreading your carb intake over the day and low gi carbs to stop your blood sugar spiking so snacking is important. Try and spread your food intake over 5-6 mini meals instead of 3 main meals. Small meals often. I found that low GI was the best. Milk and milo was a good filling snack. White bread, rice and pasta resulted in a blow out! That's pretty much how I did it. I used a timer to help me remember otherwise there was no way I would do it. I just wanted to add the wise words the Continue reading >>
Managing Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy when your body cannot cope with the extra demand for insulin production resulting in high blood glucose levels. Gestational diabetes is managed by monitoring blood glucose levels, adopting a healthy eating plan and performing regular physical activity. Effective management of gestational diabetes will reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy and the birth of your baby. Your healthcare team including your doctor, specialist, dietician and Credential Diabetes Educator, can help you with blood glucose monitoring, healthy eating and physical activity. There are three basic components in effectively managing gestational diabetes: monitoring blood glucose levels adopting a healthy eating pattern physical activity. Gestational diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, for some women with gestational diabetes, insulin injections will be necessary for the rest of the pregnancy. Approximately 10 – 20% of women will need insulin; however, once the baby is born insulin is no longer needed. This is safe for both you and your baby. After the baby is born, gestational diabetes usually disappears. A special blood glucose test (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) (OGTT) is performed six weeks after delivery to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and should be tested for diabetes at least every 2 – 3 years. If gestational diabetes is not well looked after (blood glucose levels remain high) it may result in problems such as a large baby, miscarriage and stillbirth. A large baby can create the risk of injury at delivery, caesarean delivery, Continue reading >>
Diet For Gestational Diabetes
I have gestational diabetes. Why do I have to watch what I eat? Eating well is an important way to stay healthy for all women in pregnancy. But if you have gestational diabetes (GD), choosing the right food is especially important. When you eat, your digestive system breaks most of your food down into a type of sugar called glucose. Glucose is one of your body’s main sources of energy. Glucose enters your bloodstream and then, with the help of insulin (a hormone made by your pancreas), your cells use the glucose as fuel. However, if your body doesn't produce enough insulin – or your cells have a problem responding to the insulin – too much glucose stays in your blood, instead of moving into the cells and getting converted to energy. Pregnancy hormones reduce the effect of insulin, so your body has to make more of it. If your body can't keep up with the demands for insulin, your blood sugar levels can get too high. That's when GD happens. It's important to control it, as it can lead to problems for your baby. You may be able to control GD by changing what you eat and combining a healthy diet with regular exercise. Learn all about gestational diabetes, including risk factors, symptoms to watch out for, and how it's managed. How will I have to change my diet? If you’ve been diagnosed with GD, your doctor should refer you to a dietitian who can work out a special diet for you. Every pregnancy is different, so what works for one woman may not work for you. You’ll probably need to experiment with different foods and combinations of foods before you work out what’s best for your body. Your dietitian will be able to help you with this. Women with GD say the foods they can tolerate often change as their pregnancy progresses, which can be frustrating. Others say their Continue reading >>