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 >>
How To Avoid Gestational Diabetes
Expert Reviewed Four Parts:Determining Your Risk FactorsLowering Your Risk Through Medical ScreeningLowering Your Risk Through DietLowering Your Risk Through ExerciseCommunity Q&A Gestational diabetes mellitus, sometimes also referred to as (GDM), is a potentially serious condition that develops during pregnancy. Basically defined, gestational diabetes affects how the mother's body produces and uses insulin to control her blood sugar levels which can be harmful to both her and the baby. The good news is that GDM is can be prevented, or your risk for developing it at least minimized. There are no guarantees, but the more healthy habits you adopt before and during your pregnancy, the better you and baby will be. 1 Get a family history. The first step in preventing GDM is determining your risk factors for developing it. If it turns out that you are at high risk, then you and your doctor take steps towards lowering your risk and keeping you and the baby healthy. Before talking with your immediate relatives about their diabetic history, it might help to know the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, is an autoimmune disorder, whereas type 2 diabetes is closely tied to lifestyle and eating habits. Your risk of developing gestational diabetes increases if a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, has type 2 diabetes. Talk to your family to see if this applies to you. 2 Determine your other risk factors. Besides heredity, there are a number of other risk factors in that you should think about and bring to your doctor’s attention. These include: Being overweight before your pregnancy. Being 25 years of age or older. If you developed GDM in a previous pregnancy. If you previously had large baby (9 pounds or more) or a stillbirth. A his 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 >>
5 Fruits To Avoid During Pregnancy Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is thought to affect 18 out of every 100 women and can cause serious problems in a pregnancy week by week, along with complications during delivery. Pregnancy diabetes can develop when the sugar levels in your blood begin to rise, and your cells become more resistant to absorbing insulin. While the extra sugar is necessary to produce enough nutrients for your baby’s healthy development, when it cannot be absorbed into your cells, it can cause your glucose levels to rise dangerously. If you are pregnant and worried about developing gestational diabetes, there are some healthy ways you can lower your risk. Pregnant women are often told to eat plenty of fresh fruits, and in most cases this is an excellent way to ensure you and your baby are getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy. When gestational diabetes occurs, it is important to limit your sugar intake, and this includes cutting back on how much fruit you eat during the day. Most fruits are high in natural sugar, which is generally easier for your cells to absorb, but when you are suffering from gestational diabetes, the glucose simply builds up in your blood stream, which can result in serious health complications for you and your baby. While health care professional still recommend eating three servings of fresh fruit during the day, there are some you may want to avoid. Oranges Oranges and its deliciously refreshing juice are both high in natural sugar that can be a problem if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The added glucose in your body can cause your sugar levels to climb to dangerous levels that can put you and your baby at risk. If you simply cannot give up oranges for 9 months, then you want to limit how much you eat. Sticking with only a section of the fresh fr 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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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 >>
Gestational Diabetes Foods To Avoid
Gestational diabetes occurs in 14 percent to 25 percent of all pregnancies. Obesity, maternal age, ethnicity and a diabetic family history are all factors that contribute to risk of gestational diabetes. An oral glucose test is performed between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy to test for this condition. If gestational diabetes is diagnosed, blood sugar control is necessary to prevent health risks for you and your baby. Monitoring certain foods in your diet and controlling your blood glucose will support a healthy pregnancy. Video of the Day For people with gestational diabetes, 40 percent to 45 percent of total calories should come from carbohydrate sources. If your daily calorie goal is 2,000 calories, approximately 800 to 900 of your total calories should come from this food group. Avoid eating refined flour sources like white bread or noodles. Instead, replace these foods with whole-grain choices. Also, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Limit intake of fruit and vegetable juices as many have a lot of added sugars. If you read the label of these juices, you will see that many of them have a lot of carbohydrates in a very small serving size. Milk and dairy products are also good carbohydrates to include in your diet when you have gestational diabetes. Pick healthier low-fat varieties of these foods in place of foods with a lot of added sugar, such as chocolate- or strawberry-flavored milk and yogurt with high-fructose corn syrup. Protein foods are also needed in a gestational diabetes diet and should make up approximately 20 percent of your total calories. Lean meat, poultry and fish -- along with eggs, beans, soy and tofu -- are good protein choices. Milk products and cheese can also be incorporated. Choose lower-fat versions if too much weight gain is a concern b 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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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 >>
4 Practical Tips To Help Avoid Gestational Diabetes
4 Practical Tips to Help Avoid Gestational Diabetes Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Pregnancy can be stressful theres a lot to think about and even avoid during those nine months. Taking the right supplements. Avoiding certain types of fish and raw foods. Steering clear of some medications. Controlling blood sugar. The list goes on. Attempting to control blood sugar should be amongst the most important on that list, as one in seven pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. This condition happens during pregnancy when the body becomes more resistant to insulin and doesnt make the proper amount of insulin to regulate blood sugar. There are two main reasons to avoid gestational diabetes. First, moms who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes 5-10 years down the road. Second, babies of moms with gestational diabetes are at greater risk for having a heavier birth weight, a cesarean delivery, and birth complications. Kids of moms with gestational diabetes are also at a higher risk of struggling with obesity, and developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The good news is that healthy lifestyle choices can help you avoid gestational diabetes, and if you do end up with the condition, it can be well managed with the proper medical interventions. With so much to think about during pregnancy, here is a practical list of things women can do to help avoid the condition. 4 Practical Tips to Help Avoid Gestational Diabetes Achieve a healthy weight and make good lifestyle choices before conception Its much easier to achieve a healthy weight when your body isnt supporting two people. Controlling your weight and blood sugar before pregnancy will give you and your baby a healthy start. Exercise can help prevent too m 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 >>
Preventing Gestational Diabetes
Pregnant or thinking about pregnancy? You should know about diabetes of pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, or GDM. Gestational diabetes usually goes away when you give birth, but it can complicate life for both mother and child. Gestational diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance, very much like Type 2 diabetes. Pregnancy increases insulin resistance, to save more sugar for the growing baby. That’s good when food is in short supply, but too much glucose in the blood can cause your baby to be too large. It increases risk for premature birth, respiratory problems, and low blood sugar for the infant after birth. Gestational diabetes puts baby and mother at risk for Type 2 later on. More than 50% of women who have diabetes of pregnancy will get Type 2 diabetes 5–10 years later. About 10% of mothers in the United States develop gestational diabetes. You may be at extra risk if you are overweight prior to becoming pregnant; have a family history of Type 2 diabetes; or have prediabetes, high blood pressure, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women older than 25 and those who are of African, Native American, Asian, Latino, or Pacific Islander descent also have a higher risk of gestational diabetes, as do women with a history of gestational diabetes or a history of having large (over 9 pounds) babies. If you develop gestational diabetes, you will probably be treated with diet, exercise, and medications, often insulin. You’ll have a crash course in diabetes management. You can do that, but it’s much better to prevent it. Preventing gestational diabetes You can do a lot to prevent gestational diabetes. Here are some of the most effective ways found yet. • Exercise. In one large study, researchers found that women who got roughly four hours a week of physical a 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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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 >>