If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably heard someone say, “You’re eating for two now.” Though it is true that you are eating for two, you still need to pay attention to what, when, and how much you are eating—especially if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects 2% to 10% of all pregnant women in the United States every year. It can cause several complications for both the mother and the child, including difficulties during delivery.
Fortunately, you can tackle gestational diabetes with a balanced and healthy diet.
Read on to learn more about how you can maintain your blood glucose levels and ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Keep Track of Portion Size to Avoid Overeating
Too much of anything is bad for you—even vegetables! From starchy vegetables and fruits to dairy products and more, you need to measure out how much you’re eating based on your calorie needs. If you find it hard to draft a meal plan, your gynecologist or dietician can probably help you.
When you overeat, your blood glucose levels can rapidly increase. So, focus on eating smaller meals throughout the day. Three nutrition-filled meals a day will keep you and your baby healthy. Try snacking to keep your sugar levels stable. There are several diabetes-friendly snacks you can munch on in-between meals.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day—especially if you’re pregnant. Your pregnancy hormones are more potent in the morning and make your blood glucose levels fluctuate. You need to eat a fiber-rich meal in the morning to stabilize your sugar levels.
Skipping breakfast also increases the chance of snacking on high-calorie food during the day. If you have bad morning sickness, a light breakfast can help boost sugar levels and ease symptoms.
Eat More Protein with Every Meal
Pregnant people should eat protein along with carbohydrates to promote blood sugar control. Protein plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy. It supplies the fetus with nutrients needed to grow normally and strengthens the mother’s immune system.
Fish, poultry, lean cuts of beef, beans, legumes, and nuts are all good protein sources. These are also rich in vitamin B, iron, and zinc. Bake, roast, or grill the meat instead of frying. Normally, you need to eat 2 to 3 servings a day.
Eat Fruits In Moderation
Fruits have natural sugars. So, it is advisable to eat only one serving at a time, i.e., one small fruit or half a large fruit, or about one cup of mixed fruit. Oranges, apples, berries, bananas, lemons, avocados, and mangoes are healthy additions to your pregnancy diet.
What Should You Avoid Eating
- Fruit Juice and Sugary Drinks
- Sweets and Desserts
- Fast Food
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Fried Food
- Extremely Starchy Food Like White Pasta & White Rice
- Stay Away from Sugar
- Watch Out for Sugar-Alcohols in Sugar-Free Food
Gestational diabetes increases your risk of type 2 diabetes post-pregnancy. So maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle even after you’ve given birth. Remember, a healthy diet does not mean you have to compromise on taste. There are several gestational diabetes-friendly recipes you can eat to satisfy your taste buds and cravings.