Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women experience high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. About 6 to 9% of pregnant women are diagnosed with it. In this situation, the body cannot meet the insulin requirements during pregnancy. If not addressed, it may lead to health issues in mother and baby. However, with adequate monitoring and following a suitable gestational diabetes diet, the condition can be managed easily.
The placental hormones may prevent insulin from operating normally during pregnancy, resulting in insulin resistance. Factors such as obesity, maternal age, high blood pressure, cholesterol-rich diet, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and sedentary lifestyle add to the causes of gestational diabetes in women.
The most common symptoms indicating gestational diabetes are increased thirst, frequent urination, parched mouth, feeling tired even after resting, genital thrush, and sudden weight loss. Gestational diabetes is initially asymptomatic and is diagnosed during blood sugar tests in the 24th week of pregnancy.
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Gestational diabetes is quite common. By following certain ground rules, it is possible to undergo a healthy pregnancy despite the condition. The most important way to achieve this is by following proper gestational diabetes diet guidelines and consuming balanced, nutritious meals. Instead of skipping meals, one should ensure proper nutrition to control blood sugar levels. Drinking adequate water also helps.
Women should not try to make gestational diabetes diet plan of their own. They should consult their healthcare provider to formulate a suitable gestational diabetes diet chart, which will cover all their special dietary needs.
In addition to adhering to the gestational diabetes diet guidelines, some more tips include:
Obtaining the proper nutrients in the right amounts is key to managing this condition. A healthy diet aids significantly in keeping blood glucose volumes in the normal range. It helps achieve the correct blood lipid levels and prevents further complications like cardiovascular disease. It also lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes post-pregnancy.
We aim to apprise you about the gestational diabetes diet guidelines in the following few paragraphs. Know more about certain indispensable food nutrients that you must include in your pregnancy sugar diet chart.
Lean meats are recommended. Red meat, processed meats and cold cuts are best avoided. Extra fats and skin layers should be removed. Cooking methods like grilling, baking and roasting are preferable.
|How it helps control gestational diabetes||Proteins like lean meats and sprouts are low in saturated or trans fats. They restrict the build-up of additional fat and help in lowering triglyceride levels. It leads to effective blood sugar control.|
|Examples||Paneer (cottage cheese), poultry, seafood, eggs, peanuts, soy chunks, lentils, beans|
|Consumption per day||2 to 3 portions (60-65 grams)|
Remember to choose dairy products that are low-fat or fat-free. Yoghurt loaded with artificial sweeteners is a strict no-no.
|Food category/group||Dairy products|
|How it helps control gestational diabetes.||These provide essential nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. They give balanced nourishment for effective sugar control.|
|Examples||Low-fat milk (cow/soy/almond), buttermilk, plain yoghurt|
|Consumption per day||2 to 3 servings with minimum sugar|
White bread and white rice consumption should be limited. Instead, go for whole-grain options. High-fat and starchy grains are not recommended.
|How it helps control gestational diabetes||In addition to the essential nutrients, this group of foodstuffs is rich in fibre content. Fibres help in insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar readings.|
|Examples||Oats, Barley, Millets, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Bread/Pasta|
|Consumption per day||Five Servings (around 300 grams)|
Foodstuffs rich in trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided. The right type of fats to include are unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
|Food category/group||Fats and Fatty acids|
|How it helps control gestational diabetes||Healthy fats should be included because they are essential for the baby’s nervous system development. Unsaturated fats improve insulin secretion and also lower blood pressure.|
|Examples||Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Nuts, Avocado, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds|
|Consumption per day||Not more than 30 grams|
Including non-starchy vegetables in the diet is strongly recommended. They can be consumed in raw form or cooked in minimum oil/butter. Excessive addition of sauces or salt must be avoided.
|How it helps control gestational diabetes.||The Antioxidants and Starch-digesting enzymes present in vegetables help to regulate blood sugar levels.|
|Examples||Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage, Green Leafy Vegetables, Eggplant, Bell Pepper, Carrot, Okra, Cucumber|
|Consumption per day||3 to 5 servings|
Consuming whole fruits is recommended moderation since fruits are rich in natural sugars. In the case of fruit juices, make it fresh and add minimum sugar. Canned juices are best avoided.
|How it helps control gestational diabetes||Fruits are rich in soluble fibres, which slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. It brings down blood sugar levels.|
|Examples||Apple, Grapes, Papaya, Plum, Peach, Fig, Pear, Pineapple, Citrus Fruits, Berries|
|Consumption per day||1 to 3 portions|
The varieties of foodstuffs above have been suggested, considering Indian diet for gestational diabetes. Distribute your daily nutritional requirements in small portions throughout the day. It brings stability in blood sugar control. Fried foods, starchy foods, sugary beverages, foods rich in simple carbohydrates and saturated fats should be strictly avoided. Proper management of gestational diabetes can ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy without complications during delivery. Also read about the type 2 diabetes diet.
An appropriate breakfast for a gestational diabetes diet includes a protein-rich and whole wheat meal. Whole grain bread, paneer paratha, bran flakes or granola with skimmed milk and no sugar, scrambled eggs, rava dosa with peanut chutney, moong dal or besan pancake, upma and vermicelli are a few healthy options for breakfast, keeping in mind your gestational diabetes diet guidelines.
Gestational diabetes is very common in women during their childbearing period and this type of diabetes can be controlled and fought with the help of a balanced and healthy diet. Apart from having a good diet, people with gestational diabetes need to meet the nutritional requirements of their bodies. Cutting down on carbs and having meals in smaller proportions instead of having all the food at one can help to improve the condition. Often this type of diabetes fades away after childbirth if the person manages to take good care of their sugar levels.
During the pregnancy period, if the body fails to produce enough insulin then you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. During your childbearing period, your placenta produces hormones that result in a glucose build-up in your blood. The pancreas that produces insulin generally takes control of this situation but if the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin then your blood sugar level will rise to result in gestational diabetes.
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