Managing Gestational Diabetes With a Healthy Diet. What Should You Eat?

Posted on: 12 March 2020


Pregnancies often come with a lot of hormonal changes in the human body. These changes can create a wide range of health conditions that weren't there before. Gestational diabetes is among the conditions you may develop when you're expectant. If you've been diagnosed with it, taking appropriate steps to manage the condition is crucial to the health of both yourself and your child. If left unmanaged, gestational diabetes can result in issues such as stillbirth, miscarriages, a larger-than-normal baby and the need for caesarean delivery. You and your child could also be at risk of developing diabetes in the future. Managing diabetes mainly involves controlling the sugar levels in your body. Therefore, you need to watch what you eat, and these steps will help you stay healthy during pregnancy.

Space Your Meals Evenly

Spacing your meals evenly throughout the day is the first step to managing gestational diabetes. While doing this, do not skip any meals. The reasoning behind this is to prevent you from feeling overly hungry at specific mealtimes. For instance, you won't feel the urge to eat more at dinner because you skipped lunch. Eating too much food at once, especially carbohydrates and sugary foods, will increase the glucose levels in your blood significantly.

Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake

All foods can affect the blood sugar levels in your body. However, carbohydrates (carbs) have the largest impact because they are directly converted to blood glucose. With that in mind, it's imperative to monitor the amount of carbs you eat in each meal. Start by refraining from consuming a lot of carbs at once. Carbohydrates include foods such as starches (bread, rice, pasta, etc.), dairy products like milk and yoghurt, fruits and starchy vegetables. While limiting your portion sizes of these foods, remember to go for the healthier carbohydrates. These may include, among others, whole-grain, high-fibre carbohydrates (whole grain bread, whole grain rice pasta, brown rice, etc.), low-fat dairy products such as plain yoghurt, beans and lentils and starchy vegetables.

It would be best to supplement your carbohydrate intake with healthy proteins and fats, which are essential for the growth and development of your baby. These include foods such as fish, poultry, lean meat and healthy oils or fats such as olive and peanut oil.

Eat a Low-Sugar Diet

Avoid foods that are high in sugar. These include, among others, sugary snacks such as cookies, desserts, sweets and chocolates. Also, trade sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks with plain water or skimmed milk.

To learn more about women's health care, contact a doctor in your area.