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What Do You Eat When You Have Gestational Diabetes?

Diet For Gestational Diabetes

Diet For Gestational Diabetes

I have gestational diabetes. Do I have to watch what I eat? Yes. Eating well helps all women stay healthy during pregnancy. But if you have gestational diabetes, choosing the right food to eat is even more important. That's because many women with gestational diabetes can manage their condition by following a healthy eating plan, monitoring their blood sugar, and exercising regularly. Keeping your blood sugar stable by eating healthy food and exercising makes it less likely that you'll need medication to control your condition. You and your baby are also less likely to have any complications from your condition. Watching what you eat also helps you gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy. If you were overweight before becoming pregnant, your healthcare provider may recommend limiting calories so you don't gain too much as your baby grows. Do I need to monitor carbohydrates? Yes. The amount and type of carbohydrates (natural starches and sugars) in food affects your blood sugar levels. And with gestational diabetes, you'll need to track your carbohydrate intake in particular. Setting a limit on the amount of carbohydrates you eat at each meal is the first step to managing your blood sugar. Your provider is likely to recommend reducing the total amount of carbohydrates to about 40 percent of your daily calories. Try to eat carbohydrates that are high in fiber. Fibrous foods are harder to digest. Whole grains are high in fiber, so choosing brown rice and whole grain bread instead of refined versions (white bread and rice) means that they take longer to digest and release sugar more slowly into your bloodstream. Vegetables, beans, lentils, and chickpeas are also high in fiber and release sugar into your blood slowly. Avoid food and drinks that are high in added sug Continue reading >>

9 Gestational Diabetes Dos And Don’ts

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 >>

Meal Planning For Pregnant Women With Diabetes

Meal Planning For Pregnant Women With Diabetes

Your meal plan for diabetes needs to be modified when you are pregnant. The total calories you need are based on your prepregnancy weight, age, activity level, and whether you are carrying more than one baby. Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy is not recommended, because you may not receive enough nourishment for you and your baby, and it may increase your risk for premature delivery. Follow these guidelines for your meal plan during pregnancy. Carbohydrate Inadequate carbohydrate intake can result in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) for women taking insulin and in ketone production for women who have gestational diabetes. Excessive carbohydrate intake can result in elevated blood sugar levels. Make sure your meal plan contains: Complex carbohydrate, especially foods high in fiber, such as oatmeal, brown rice, bran cereal, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and beans. Fresh fruits. Milk. Fresh or frozen vegetables. Limit these carbohydrate foods in your diet: Refined sugar and foods with a high content of refined sugars (sweets) Refined starches, such as highly processed breakfast cereals, instant potatoes, instant rice, or instant noodles Fruit juice Protein If your kidney function is impaired, your protein allowance may be lowered. Fat Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats, rather than saturated fats, should continue to be the primary source of fat in your diet. Fiber Get enough fiber each day. Fiber can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and relieve constipation, which is common during pregnancy. Most people get far more sodium than they need. Talk to your doctor about how much sodium you should eat. Vitamins and minerals Take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid and iron to meet your body's increased need for these micronutrients. Folic acid is needed for th Continue reading >>

Real Food For Gestational Diabetes: What You Need To Know

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 >>

What Can I Eat If I Have Gestational Diabetes? Food List And More

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 >>

Basic Meal Planning

Basic Meal Planning

Meal plan You need to eat and drink at least 12 carbohydrate choices each day. Most women need 14 carbohydrate choices each day to maintain the desired weight gain of one-half pound each week. If you follow a vegetarian diet, you need 15 to 16 carbohydrate choices each day to get enough nutrients. At breakfast, include: 2 to 3 carbohydrate choices (30 to 45 grams) protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, peanut butter) vegetable or fat, freely At lunch, include: 3 to 4 carbohydrate choices (45 to 60 grams) protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, peanut butter) vegetable or fat, freely At dinner, include: 3 to 4 carbohydrate choices (45 to 60 grams) protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, peanut butter) vegetable or fat, freely For a morning snack, include: 1 to 2 carbohydrate choices (15 to 30 grams) protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, peanut butter) vegetable or fat, freely For an afternoon snack, include: 1 to 2 carbohydrate choices (15 to 30 grams) protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, peanut butter) vegetable or fat, freely For an evening snack, include: 1 to 2 carbohydrate choices (15 to 30 grams) protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, peanut butter) vegetable or fat, freely Breakfast tips Blood glucose is hard to control in the morning when the hormones that boost your blood glucose levels are released. To help, follow these breakfast tips: Eat a small breakfast. Eat whole-grain bread products. Eat a food that has protein. Do not eat cereal or fruit. Do not drink fruit juice at breakfast or any other time of the day. Fruit juice raises your blood glucose very quickly. Completing a meal plan Vegetables Most vegetables do not raise blood glucose. Vegetables supply many nutrients for both you and your baby. Try to eat at least four servi Continue reading >>

Healthy Eating Guidelines For Women With Gestational Diabetes

Healthy Eating Guidelines For Women With Gestational Diabetes

Introduction Gestational diabetes (GDM) can happen during pregnancy as hormone levels in your body change. These changes affect how your body manages glucose (sugar). GDM makes it harder for your body to control your blood glucose and increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and other health conditions later in life. Eating a healthy, well balanced diet, managing your weight gain and being physically active can help control your blood glucose and give you and your baby the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy. Ask your health care provider to refer you to a diabetes clinic in your community. The dietitian and rest of the health care team will help you to plan a healthy diet that works for you and to have a healthy pregnancy. The information in this handout can help you to get started. Steps You Can Take Eat regular, balanced meals and snacks. Enjoy three meals and three snacks spaced evenly throughout the day. Include at least three food groups in a meal and two food groups for a snack. Eat one of your snacks at bedtime. A balanced diet contains foods with carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Carbohydrates raise your blood glucose levels. Read on to learn which carbohydrates are the healthiest choices for you. Carbohydrate is found in grain products, fruit and fruit juice, some vegetables, milk and alternatives, dried beans, peas and lentils, and foods such as cakes, cookies, squares, candy and sugary drinks. Choose fibre-rich sources of carbohydrates like whole grain breads and cereals, and dried beans, peas and lentils. Fibre slows carbohydrate absorption into your blood. Choose vegetables and fruit rather than juice. Choose low glycemic index (GI) foods more often. Low GI foods raise blood glucose at a slower rate than high GI foods. See Additional Resources Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes And Your Diet

Gestational Diabetes And Your Diet

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. Carbohydrates and blood sugar levels Generally, it’s helpful to understand how carbohydrates (carbs) work. Healthy eating means eating foods that don’t encourage your blood glucose levels to spike. This means looking at the carbohydrates you eat, which include sugars and starchy foods. When it comes to complex carbohydrates, you still need to eat some starchy carbs with each meal, but avoid the ones that are released very quickly into your bloodstream. As you monitor your glucose levels, you will see why: they have a dramatic effect on your blood glucose levels. The glycaemic index was devised to show which foods release sugar quickly and which ones don't. Look for options that have a low glycaemic index. Read more about the glycaemic index and find a list of foods that have a low glycaemic index (low GI) here. Sugars (simple carbohydrates) include sweet foods such as sugar, honey and natural sugars that occur in foods like milk and fruit. Manufacturers add sugar to a wide range of processed foods, from cakes and chocolate to peanut butter or tomato sauce. Some of these foods release sugars instantly into your bloodstream, causing it to spike suddenly. "I lost the craving for sweets after about two weeks."Beth, mum of two Starchy foods (complex carbohydrates) include foods such as pasta, noodles, rice, couscous potatoes and bread. They need Continue reading >>

What Is The Best Diet For Gestational Diabetes?

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 >>

Diabetes Diet - Gestational

Diabetes Diet - Gestational

For a balanced diet, you need to eat a variety of healthy foods. Reading food labels can help you make healthy choices when you shop. If you are a vegetarian or on a special diet, talk with your health care provider to make sure you're getting a balanced diet. In general, you should eat: Plenty of whole fruits and vegetables Moderate amounts of lean proteins and healthy fats Moderate amounts of whole grains, such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice, plus starchy vegetables, such as corn and peas Fewer foods that have a lot of sugar, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, and pastries You should eat three small- to moderate-sized meals and one or more snacks each day. Do not skip meals and snacks. Keep the amount and types of food (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) the same from day to day. This can help you keep your blood sugar stable. CARBOHYDRATES Less than half the calories you eat should come from carbohydrates. Most carbohydrates are found in starchy or sugary foods. They include bread, rice, pasta, cereal, potatoes, peas, corn, fruit, fruit juice, milk, yogurt, cookies, candy, soda, and other sweets. High-fiber, whole-grain carbohydrates are healthy choices. Vegetables are good for your health and your blood sugar. Enjoy lots of them. Carbohydrates in food are measured in grams. You can learn to count the amount of carbohydrates in the foods that you eat. GRAINS, BEANS, AND STARCHY VEGETABLES Eat 6 or more servings a day. One serving equals: 1 slice bread 1 ounce (28 grams) ready-to-eat cereal 1/2 cup (105 grams) cooked rice or pasta 1 English muffin Choose foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. They include: Whole-grain breads and crackers Whole grain cereals Whole grains, such as barley or oats Beans Brown or wild rice Whole-wheat pa Continue reading >>

Dietary Recommendations For Gestational Diabetes

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 >>

10 Savvy Snacks For The Gestational Diabetes Diet

10 Savvy Snacks For The Gestational Diabetes Diet

If you’ve got gestational diabetes, you can still get the nutrients you and Baby need and keep your blood glucose levels under control. Enjoy these 10 healthy, diabetic-friendly snacks during pregnancy. 1. Nachos Who says diabetic snacks mean zero taste? These zesty nachos are tantalizing to the taste buds, provide approximately 29 grams of carbohydrates, and are a good way to work in a little calcium and a serving of vegetables into your prenatal diet. Here’s how to make them: Layer 10 corn tortilla chips—just over 1 ounce in weight—on a baking sheet and top with 1/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of chopped green pepper (or use hot peppers, if preferred). Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and transfer to plate. Top with 1/4 cup of tomato salsa and a tablespoon dollop of low-fat Greek-style yogurt. Health Tip: Because flavored tortilla chips tend to contain lots of sodium and, even worse for moms with gestational diabetes, added sugar, stick to plain corn tortilla chips. 2. Cheese and Crackers Perfect for a healthy, carb-controlled snack break at home or work—and easy enough to pack up for eating on the go—change up your choice of fruit and cheese to keep this snack classic fresh and exciting. These options are paired with a cup of low-fat milk for added calcium and just enough carbohydrates to reach 30 grams: 10 whole grain baked “thin snack crackers” (approx. 8 g of carbs); 1 ounce of cheddar cheese, sliced; 1/2 medium apple, sliced (10 g) and 1 cup of low-fat milk (12 g) 4 pieces of whole grain melba toast (15 g of carbs); 1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese (1 g); 1/4 cup sliced strawberries (3 g) and 1 cup of low-fat milk (12 g) 5 round whole grain crackers (10 g of car Continue reading >>

Have Gestational Diabetes? Here’s How You Should Eat

Have Gestational Diabetes? Here’s How You Should Eat

While most women need to be careful about their diets, others have to be especially careful not to develop gestational diabetes. I’m on the crusade to fight diabetes in all of us, but I’m especially concerned about women with gestational diabetes because their babies are automatically at risk for developing diabetes related issues down the line. And we don’t want that! So let’s discuss a plan to keep moms as healthy as possible during this magical time known as pregnancy. How Did I Get Gestational Diabetes? Insulin is the hormone responsible for getting sugar out of the blood and inside the cells. Our bodies can typically regulate the amount of insulin it needs to produce to get sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells. But during gestational diabetes, the hormones in the placenta that help the baby develop properly also block insulin from working in mommy’s body – causing insulin resistance. So instead of getting moved into the cells, all this sugar becomes stuck outside the cells, creating high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia. How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect Babies? Diabetic women who become pregnant are at higher risk of developing birth defects. But since gestational diabetes only affects the baby after it’s been formed, but is still growing, the risk becomes macrosomia, or “fat” baby. During gestational diabetes, mom’s pancreas has to work harder to produce more insulin to get rid of all the sugar in the blood that the cells are not absorbing. The placenta doesn’t absorb insulin, but it does let sugar pass through. This extra sugar goes right to the baby. When the baby develops high blood sugar levels, the baby’s pancreas starts to produce additional insulin to eliminate all the extra sugar in the blood, just like mom’s do Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes Diet Regulations And Menu Plan

Gestational Diabetes Diet Regulations And Menu Plan

If you have gestational diabetes, your practitioner has probably already told you that you'll have to pay extra attention to your diet. Not sure how to best go about that? It'll help to talk to a certified diabetes educator (CDE) who has experience in gestational diabetes and who will be able to show you how to select the right foods and design the best eating plan for your needs. Some key points to remember each day: Choose complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains and beans) over simple ones (like white rice and white bread) Opt for lean proteins over fatty ones Eat lots of fruits and veggies Stick to fat-free or low-fat dairy foods whenever possible Eat snacks throughout the day (to maintain your blood sugar level) Steer clear of processed sugars The following is an example menu of what you might eat in one day to meet your nutritional needs if you have gestational diabetes. The total number of calories comes out to 2089, and it features a moderate amount of diabetes-friendly carbohydrate foods, such as whole grains, legumes, and fruits and has many snacks sprinkled throughout the day. Continue reading >>

What Type Of Pregnancy Diet Should I Follow If I Have Gestational Diabetes?

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 >>

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