Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is characterized by an increase in blood sugar levels, and this occurs in various degrees. This type of diabetes is first detected during pregnancy through gestational diabetes symptoms. GDM occurs due to a drop in the supply of insulin, especially when the supply is inadequate to meet the tissue demands for normal blood glucose regulation. The condition can be managed by planning a good diet for gestational diabetes.
Why Follow A Diet For Gestational Diabetes?
Dietary modification plays a vital role in the management of gestational diabetes mellitus. This adds on to the advantages of treatment with insulin therapy by keeping the blood sugar levels under check. The main aims of dietary modifications are:
- To maintain normal blood sugar levels
- To maintain adequate nutrition
- To maintain the desirable body mass index (BMI)
Framing A Diet For Gestational Diabetes
The major nutrients in any diet – carbohydrates, protein, and fat, have a net affect on blood glucose levels. For this reason, it is necessary to have the right balance of these nutrients in your diet. A balanced diet (that has all the vital nutrients), regular insulin, and physical activity are the three factors that help maintain best blood sugar levels.
It is also important to keep the carbohydrate content of the diet consistent on an everyday basis for the same reason. This is because carbohydrates are digested quickly and they often contribute to an increase in the blood sugar level.
The right diet for gestational diabetes should be a balanced diet that mainly contains carbohydrates (60-70%), fat (15-20%), proteins (20-25%), and dietary fibre (25gms/1000Kcal).
Tips For Charting A Diet For Gestational Diabetes
Here are some dos and don’ts you should note when it comes to choosing a gestational diabetes diet plan.
Remember that you should not:
- Eat too much, without regular intervals
- Drink soda or other sugary drinks
- Eat fast foods frequently, or outside food
- Eat high-fat dairy products
- Eat unhealthy fats and oils
- Buy red meat
- Skip breakfast
Here’s what you should do:
- Eat smaller servings at regular intervals
- Drink water or diet drinks
- Eat less fast food, no more than once a week
- Prepare more meals at home
- Switch to 1% or non-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and frozen yogurt
- Try fish, chicken, or turkey instead of red meat items
- Switch to healthier oils like olive and canola
- Plan and have a healthy breakfast every day
If diet management does not control your blood sugar levels, you may be prescribed insulin therapy. Most women who develop gestational diabetes will not need diabetes medicines or insulin, but some will. Ensure that you consult your doctor whenever you’re confused on what to include in your diet for gestational diabetes.