Gestational Diabetes is actually a form of carbohydrate intolerance: Most women between their 24th and 28th week into pregnancy are tested for gestational diabetes. Though the timing for this screening may change depending upon the health condition and the OB-GYN’s recommendation. And many pregnant women who may not have had diabetes otherwise, are found positive for GD. Though it is no cause to worry, if taken proper care and gestational diabetes diet. Around 9.2% of pregnant women have gestational diabetes and there are still no clues why GD even prevails.
All we know is, insulin resistance in a mothers body causes placenta hormonal blockage which prevents insulin usage. Diabetes pregnancy test or Glucose Tolerance Test as we popularly know it as, enables the OB-GYN to see if any pregnant women has potential for GD. And for all those who test positive for GD, the major concern is Gestational Diabetes diet. So we have some wonderful and healthy tips on gestational diabetes food list also including the doses of each constituent in gestational diabetes diet
What is Gestational Diabetes and how is GD tested in third trimester:
Gestational diabetes during pregnancy is a common condition which may still have no factual findings on its causes. Generally women with no prior diabetes history, during their pregnancy develop high blood sugar levels in their third trimester. Though there may not be any apparent symptom of GD but a mandatory Glucose Challenge Screening Test is conducted on pregnant women, just into their third trimester, to check the blood glucose levels.
Soon after the results if any marginal signs of diabetes also appear, the pregnant women is sent for Glucose Tolerance Test. Though not all women who test positive for Glucose challenge screening test have GD, and the Glucose tolerance test gives an exact result. A series of dietary recommendations are given for glucose tolerance test and it takes a two checks before which is fasting and after drinking large concentration of glucose drink. Blood samples drawn at the two instances at least a few hours apart give the exact gestational diabetes situation in pregnant women. And then comes the major part which is Gestational diabetes diet menu. A dietitian may be referred for you to consult all the dietary details for gestational diabetes diet basics.
What foods are good to eat for Gestational diabetes?
Wondering what food should you eat if you test positive for Glucose tolerance test. Well, worry not; we have some dietitian recommended plans giving balanced diet for gestational diabetes. Some of the foods to the east for Gestational diabetes include:
1- Bulk up your meals with vegetables specially as salads:
Vegetables are oozing with vitamins and minerals also a lot of good dietary fiber. They help you get fuller quickly thus preventing those guilt indulging hunger pangs. Vegetables are fibrous carbs which are wonderful for gestational diabetes as they keep the digestive system running well. Raw and under-cooked vegetables are low on Glycaemic index thus helpful for a gestational diabetes diet.
2- Consume more of good saturated fats which are heart healthy:
Natural mono-saturated fats poly-saturated fats which are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. As they decrease blood cholesterol levels and thus are heart healthy. They also help in enriching the brain, eyes and nervous system of the baby in the womb. Even full fat dairy goes well for gestational diabetes diet
3- Cut down the unrefined complex starchy foods:
GD is more about carb intolerance than actual type 2 diabetes. Since high cab contents turn quickly into glucose thus elevated blood sugar levels. But avoiding carbohydrates completely can cause ketosis which can be dangerous to the pregnant women and her baby. So pick small amounts of saturated carbs at every meal, as they are nutritious.
4- Drink a lot of water:
Drinking water does not actually lower blood sugar levels but it helps in keeping the system detox and flush toxins off your body. Also, body must be hydrated efficiently for pregnant women and avoid caffeine. As these are stimulating and diuretic too thus they may dehydrate your body.
5- Eat more whole grain foods:
Whole grain are rich in fibers which are helpful for maintaining digestive system. Also, brown rice, oats and other fiber rich foods are great for keeping the body in balance and fuller for long. Also, they are slow to digest so fibers release glucose in bloodstream much slowly than their refined counterparts.
6- Eat more and more lean proteins like lean meat, fish and low fat dairy. They help in controlling the blood sugar. They can be paired with whole grain breads and thus prevent sugar spikes in our system.
7- Eat more and more foods with lower Glycaemic Index:
Foods like citrus fruits, legumes, whole grains and vegetables. Lower glycaemic index means these foods take longer to digest thus release sustained energy.
Food list for gestational diabetes:
Let us look at some quick foods to eat for gestational diabetes. As pregnancy is a time when even the hunger pangs along with hormonal imbalance, mood swings and physiological transformation; goes for a toss. So it is very important to keep eating every few hours and maintain adequate energy in the body. This gestational diabetes food list is your quick reference guide to finding the right food items to eat. Make sure you read all food labels thoroughly before consuming anything. Check the below foods to eat for gestational diabetes:
- Multi-grain or whole grain breads
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole wheat pasta, spaghetti and noodles
- Brown rice, quinoa and oats
- Peanut butter
- Whole milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk
- Yogurts preferably sugar free
- Fruits like apple, oranges, pear, peach, watermelon and mangoes
- Vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, onion and carrots
- Lean proteins like Tofu, lentil, beans, eggs, fish and lean meat
Gestational diabetes meal plan:
For all those looking for some easy gestational diabetes meal plan, here is your week long guide to eat healthy and stay happy. Do check with your dietitian before proceeding with any of these as there are some specific items which may cause reactions in some people, as not every body type is same and every health condition can have same foods. Here is your gestational diabetes meal plan for a week:
- Begin your day with eggs and vegetables
- Snack on peanut butter and whole grain crackers
- Have turkey and bacon slices for lunch along with a bowl of salad or sweet potatoes
- Whole wheat bread for snacks along with oranges and a cup of yogurt plain
- Cantaloupe and apples for dinner along with one glass warm milk
- Drink at least 12 glasses of water
- Go for walk and do a 10 minute yoga during the day
- Whole grain french toast for breakfast with apple and strawberry
- Whole wheat pita bread with hummus from only chickpea and lemon juice for lunch also include a bowl of salad
- Whole grain crackers and apples for snacks
- Yogurt for mid evening snack
- Brown rice with loads of vegetables for dinner
- Drink warm milk at least twice a day\
- Also 12 glasses of water at least, in the day
- Quinoa or oatmeal along with strawberry and apples for breakfast
- Tofu or low fat cottage cheese, whole wheat bread, salad bowl and a cup of yogurt plain for lunch
- Balsamic roast chicken along with salad bowl and Italian dressing
- Have peanut butter and whole grain bread in snacks
- A full bowl of yogurt and some fruits for mid meal hunger pangs
- Drink 2 cups warm milk and at least 12 glasses of water in the day
- Cherios and skimmed milk with a full bowl of fresh fruits
- Whole grain bread with vegetable soup and yogurt for lunch
- Turkey and bacon along with brown rice for dinner and a full place salad too
- Drink 2 glasses of warm milk and at least 12 glasses of water in the day
- Snack on peanut butter and whole grain crackers
- Cooked oatmeal with fruits and a cup whole milk as breakfast
- Cheese slices and whole grain crackers for snacks
- Roasted and low sodium ham along with low fat cheese and whole wheat bread slices for lunch
- Quinoa meal for snacks with vegetables
- 2 cups warm milk
- Roasted salmon fillet and avocado bean salad for dinner with some fresh fruits as desert since its Friday
- Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water
- Peanut butter and fat free cheese along with tofu can be your mid meal snack for the day
- Sausage link along with fat free jam and whole grain bread as breakfast also take one fruit
- Cherios and milk for mid morning snack
- Roast beef sandwich and yogurt for lunch with a bowl of broccoli stir fry
- Have fruits like apples, peaches, watermelon, oranges and mangoes in small quantity as your guilty pleasure for this day in the week. Be sure not to overindulge
- Drink 1 cup warm milk and do not take any good carb or starch as fruits have already done the part for the day
- Eat more vegetables in raw form and have a big bowl of soup in dinner
- Drink 12 glasses of water and one bowl brown rice as mid evening meal
Sunday can be a day when you eat any of the items in breakfast, lunch and dinner from above. As this is the day when you keep your taste buds pampered also keeping the healthy meal aspect in line. Remember if you consume fruits then avoid other carb’s and for every meal have some vegetables along as a fiber supplement to help aid digestion and give you fuller feeling too
What Foods to Avoid with Gestational Diabetes?
There is a list of foods to avoid during gestational diabetes to prevent any severe impact on the baby or mother. These are high Glycaemic index foods which immediately convert to energy releasing glucose in bloodstream. Thus triggering diabetic highs. These gestational diabetes foods to avoid list consists of the below:
- Soda and serated drinks
- White bread
- Processed carb’s
- Fruits juices
- Ready to eat cereals
- Saline crackers
- White grain bread
What Happens if You have Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy?
Most women who have gestational diabetes give birth to healthy babies even vaginally. Gestational diabetes effects on baby can be damaging if GD is left untreated, some of its effects include:
- Too much glucose in baby’s blood stream
- Larger baby due to consumption of large quantity of sugar thus causing it impossible for vaginal delivery
- Low blood sugar in baby soon after delivery
- Breathing problems in baby post birth
- Heart related deformities can also develop into baby post birth
How gestational diabetes can be treated with diet:
Well by now we all have read already that the only way Gestational diabetes can be treated is through proper diet schedule. Gestational diet as it is popularly called, comprises all the low glycaemic index foods which do not cause too much blood sugar too quickly and release energy slowly. During pregnancy women, diet may change considerably from eating more in terms proteins and good carb’s but with gestational diabetes, it gets difficult to consume all of those. But still, you can manage delectable diet with some healthier options. A diet for healthy pregnancy consists almost the same items as a gestational diabetes diet. And the only difference is in terms carbohydrates which are too quick to convert into energy. We have a few tips for pregnant women with GD:
- Check blood sugar regularly
- Get a gestational diabetes diet chart from dietitian after consulting your OB-GYN
- Take all the medicines prescribed and on time
- Limit carbohydrates but do not leave them off completely as you need energy
- Avoid sugary drinks and packaged fruit juices
- Exercise and take proper sleep
The above details on gestational diabetes diet are just informative and must not be consumed without medical recommendation. Though all the details have been thoroughly and factually examined we still recommend consult your dietitian before picking any of the above items to form gestational diabetes food list
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