Gestational Diabetes Diet

Gestastional diabetes can have negative consequences for both mother and baby. Gestational diabetes causes a pregnant woman to have high blood sugar levels even though she was not diabetic before pregnancy. The high blood sugar levels associated with gestational diabetes are often controlled with a gestational diabetes diet. If the blood sugar levels continue to be high, insulin injections may be necessary.

A gestational diabetes diet is similar to a diabetes diet. The difference is that the gestational diabetic diet must take into account the caloric demand of pregnancy. Therefore, the gestational diabetes diet may include more calories than the diabetic diet may include if the woman was not pregnant.

The obstetrician may recommend that the gestational diabetic patient meet with a nutritionist to devise a gestational diabetes diet. Like the diabetic diet, a nutritionist can structure a diet that specifies the servings of the food groups for each meal and snack. The nutritionist can educate the gestational diabetic patient on portion sizes and healthy food choices.

Fruit juice, large servings of starches, and sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike. The gestational diabetic patients check and record their blood sugar levels after meals. If the blood sugar levels are too high, the nutritionist can make recommendations on foods to eat and those to avoid. If the first blood sugar level, or fasting blood sugar level, is too low, the nutritionist may recommend a snack at night that would help prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too low.   

If the pregnant woman’s blood glucose levels remain high, the baby’s blood glucose levels are higher than they should be. The high blood glucose levels of the baby causes the baby’s pancreas to produce extra insulin. The insulin turns the glucose into energy. The energy that is not needed by the baby is turned into fat. Babies whose mothers’ had gestational diabetes tend to be large due to this extra fat.

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Type 2 Diabetes – Prevention And Control

Type 2 diabetes usually begins in adulthood. It is often called noninsulin dependent or adult-onset diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled by following a diabetic diet. Exercise is also helpful in preventing and controlling type 2 diabetes.

The biggest risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes is obesity. Abdominal fat is especially linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent and control type 2 diabetes, but it is not a guaranteed method of prevention of the development of diabetes. Advanced age, inactivity, and heredity are additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

People of certain races are at greater risk for developing diabetes. American Indians, Hispanics, and those of Asian or African decent are more predisposed for the development of type 2 diabetes. If a woman had gestational diabetes, diabetes during pregnancy, she is at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by a tolerance to insulin or a decrease in the amount of insulin being produced. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and enters the bloodstream. In the blood, the insulin delivers glucose in the blood to the body’s cells. When insulin is ineffective or there is not enough insulin to infuse the body’s cells with glucose, the glucose remains in the blood. When the amount of glucose in the blood increases, it causes diabetes and the complications associated with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is called noninsulin dependent diabetes because the body does produce insulin, so insulin injections are usually not necessary. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin, therefore insulin is a crucial element of treatment. However, if the diabetic patient with type 2 diabetes is unable to control their blood sugar levels with diet and exercise, insulin may become part of their treatment.

Gestational Diabetes Diet

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