Gestational diabetes may occur during pregnancy when the woman’s body cannot produce enough insulin to combat the high levels of blood glucose. If you are also one of those whom suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, pregnancy may also make your diabetes condition worsen.
Generally, gestational diabetes develops in the second half of the pregnancy and when the baby is born, the condition will disappear. However, those who develop gestational diabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later on in life. It is therefore, important to follow a good and balanced gestational diabetes diet, so that your blood glucose is under control. This is because uncontrolled levels can pose a risk to yourself and the unborn baby.
It is a misconception that when you have gestational diabetes, you need to follow a special diet – this is not true. The gestational diabetes diet should be the same as those whom do not suffer from diabetes. The diet should be high in fibre, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit and low in salt, simple sugars and fat. By eating a balanced diet, managing your weight, following a healthy lifestyle and monitoring your condition, this will benefit your health.
Eating a balanced diet, managing your weight, and following a healthy lifestyle, together with taking any prescribed medication and monitoring where appropriate will benefit your health enormously
Different foods will affect each person’s blood sugar differently, so it is advisable to monitor your blood sugar levels. A diabetes dietician should be able to help you with a dietary plan to meet you and your unborn babies’ required dietary needs.
General guidelines include:
-Eat a range of balanced foods, for example, foods with high fibre, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, whole grain bread, cereals, lean meat, fish and skinless poultry
-Eat three small to moderate meals and two or three snacks regularly throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels stable and do not skip meals
-Limit your intake of sugary drinks and foods, such as desserts, carbonated drinks, fruit juices and do not be tempted by diabetic foods and drinks, as these contain more calories and are expensive
-Eat at the same time of day to maintain a steady blood glucose level
-Drink at least eight cups of water per day
-Eat and drink at least four servings of calcium-rich dairy products per day
-Eat a diet rich in iron and folate
-Avoid alcoholic drinks and limit your caffeine intake
-Make sure that your diet contains sufficient vitamins and minerals