Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan
Keeping to a gestational diabetes diet plan is very important if you have been diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy. It is vital to your own health as well as the health of the baby that your blood sugar levels are managed and controlled during your pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when women who have not been diabetic before develop diabetes during pregnancy. Most pregnant women are tested for it as a matter of routine. It happens because the needs of the baby for glucose, which provides energy, interfere with the body’s normal insulin-based regulatory mechanism. If you maintain close contact with your health care provider during your pregnancy and take any medications that they prescribe as well as following the gestational diabetes diet plan that they will help you to formulate, there is every chance that you will have a normal birth with a healthy baby. The diabetes often goes away when the baby is born.
The main principles of a diet plan for pregnant women with diabetes are the same as for other forms of diabetes:
Avoid refined sugars, including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and any foods that contain them.
Replace sugared desserts with fresh fruit.
Eat regularly, with smaller meals and healthy snacks spread evenly through the day.
Choose whole grains over refined grains, e.g. brown rice over white rice, bread and pasta made from whole wheat flour instead of white. This adds fiber to your diet which helps to delay the absorption of the natural sugars present in whole foods.
Eat more vegetables, both to fill you up and to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Manage your carbohydrate intake. This does not necessarily mean eating fewer carbs, but it is important not to eat too much at the same time. Spread carbs through the day and be sure to eat a little before going to sleep and soon after waking in the morning.
You may be advised to cut down on fatty foods, especially if you were overweight before the pregnancy began or have gained more weight than expected during the pregnancy.
Most gestational diabetes diet plans will involve counting carbohydrates in some way. You will either be advised to eat a certain number of carbohydrate grams at each meal, with some flexibility of course, or you will be taught an exchange system where each food has a certain value.
We cannot give specific figures here because individual diabetics have different requirements of carbs and other foods. Diabetes can be a dangerous condition and it is vital that your individual case is managed correctly. If you do not understand the gestational diabetes diet plan that you have been given, do not rely on information from websites but check back with your health care provider.