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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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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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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
We hope that the following practical information on eating and staying well will help you feel positive and encouraged to stick to the gestational diabetes (GDM) diet. The GDM diet is basically a really healthy way of eating which can benefit the whole family. Read on for tips on everything from exercising, eating cake and dealing with hunger. Written by Natasha Leader, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Credentialled Diabetes Educator What about exercise? What’s the deal with carbs? So you’ve just found out that you need to manage your daily carbohydrate (carb) intake. This can be a little tricky. Carbs are now a problem for you but also the solution. You need carbs and your baby needs carbs. Carbohydrates are our energy food. They are contained in many important food groups i.e. bread and cereals, fruits, vegetables and dairy. You can’t just cut them out or your diet would end up unbalanced and insufficient but too much of them means too much glucose in your bloodstream. The answer is this. You need to eat a consistent and moderate amount of carbs regularly through the day. Timing: Ideally you should be eating every 2.5-3hrs. Leaving a much longer gap means you might get too hungry and want to eat more when you finally do eat. Eating every hour means your body is going to find it too hard to keep processing all the time. Try having 3 meals and 3 small snacks through the day. These should be at times of the day that suit you. Type & Amount: Choose nutritious or high-fibre carbs i.e. wholegrain breads and crackers, pasta, starchy vegetables such as corn and potato, legumes, low fat dairy milk and yoghurt and fruit. A fist-sized amount of carbohydrate is a good rule of thumb to go by until you see a dietitian. This is usually equal to about a standard cup measure (2 Continue reading >>
Gestational Diabetes: Can I Lower My Risk?
As many as 9 out of every 100 pregnant women will develop a condition known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). It can put you at risk for problems during pregnancy and delivery. When you're pregnant, your cells become slightly more resistant to insulin. This causes the amount of glucose or sugar in your blood to rise. The extra sugar helps make more nutrients available to your baby. But if your cells become too resistant and the glucose can't into them, your blood sugar level becomes too high. It can cause problems for you and your growing baby. Although some things mean you're more likely to get it, you can steps to lower your risk. Who Gets It? No one can say for sure who will have gestational diabetes, but your chances go up if you: Are Hispanic, African-American, Native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander Were overweight before your pregnancy Have a family member with diabetes Are age 25 or older Had gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy Had a very large baby (9 pounds or more) or a stillbirth Have had abnormal blood sugar tests before Talk to your doctor about how likely you are to get it and what symptoms to watch for. Diet Your doctor or a nutritionist can help you choose foods that may keep your blood glucose within a healthy range. They can also teach you about ideal portions and meal timing. In general, limit sweets and track how many carbohydrate-rich foods you eat. Include fiber in your meals. This can come from vegetables, fruits, whole-grain breads, whole-grain crackers, and cereals. One large study looked at diets of women before they got pregnant. Each daily increase in fiber by 10 grams reduced their risk of gestational diabetes by 26%. In addition to what you eat, taking fiber supplements may be helpful in helping you reach your f Continue reading >>
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 >>
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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