Common Portion Sizes of Carbohydrate Choices Part 3 – Milk and Dairy Gestational Diabetes

milk and dairy gestational diabetesWhen it comes to gestational diabetes, one of the most important things you need to look after is your diet. The main problem in gestational diabetes is that your body does not produce enough insulin or does not have enough insulin receptors to lower the glucose levels in the blood.  That is the reason why the foods that you eat contribute a lot to the management of your condition. Carbohydrates, most especially, should not be totally avoided, but ingested moderately to avoid sudden surges or dips in blood sugar levels. We shall discuss milk and dairy gestational diabetes

Aside from bread and other starches, you can get carbohydrates from milk and other dairy products. This includes soy milk and yogurt. This food group serves as great sources of energy, proteins, and fats. It is also high in vitamin A and calcium. Each serving of milk and dairy products is equivalent to 12 grams of carbohydrates. Here are the serving sizes:

Milk and Dairy Products Gestational Diabetes

Size of One Serving

Nonfat milk 1 cup
Low-fat, reduced, or skim milk 1 cup
Evaporated, fat-free milk ½ cup
Plain, unsweetened, low-fat soymilk 1 cup
Plain, light, low-fat yogurt 3/4 cup or 6 ounces
Low-fat, frozen yogurt 1/3 cup
Non-fat, fruit flavored yogurt with sweetener 1 cup
Sugar free custard, pudding, or evaporated milk ½ cup
Fresh milk 1 cup
Non-fat milk powder 1/3 cup
Non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese ¼ cup
Low-fat, reduced, or non-fat cheese 1 ounce
Peanut butter 1 tablespoon
Margarine 1 tablespoon
Low-fat or fat-free cream cheese 2 tablespoons

Tips on Including Milk and Dairy Gestational Diabetes Diet

  • Since you are pregnant, you can have four to five servings of milk or yogurt every day as part of your diet.
  • Drink more skim or low-fat milk instead of whole milk, since this contributes less glucose to your bloodstream.
  • If you want to add sweetener to your low-fat or fat-free yogurt, you can do so, provided that you use a low-calorie sweetener. There are many low-calorie sweeteners that are being sold in the market nowadays, especially made for persons with diabetes.
  • If you are going to use sour cream, you can use low-fat, plain yogurt as a good substitute. This can also work as a dip for chips and such.
  • It is best to eat dairy products that are either non-fat or low-fat. As much as possible, you should avoid foods that are high in saturated fat.

Aside from the tips that have been mentioned above, you should also keep in mind that you should eat in small, frequent feedings. Also ingest more protein, since this helps even out the carbohydrates in your diet. Proteins like meat and other meat products also give you energy, making you feel sated throughout the day. High-fiber foods should also be included in your gestational diabetes meal plan, and these foods include cereals and fruits. Indulge in sweets sparingly, as these can quickly raise your blood sugar levels.

To know more about meal planning for gestational diabetes, you can subscribe to our newsletter in the form below, or check out our new book about gestational diabetes meal planning.

Fruits and Vegetables Gestational Diabetes-Common Portion Sizes of Carbohydrate Choices

Fruits and Vegetables Gestational Diabetes

In gestational diabetes, it is important that you control what you eat. This does not necessarily mean that you should avoid eating certain foods. On the contrary, you can eat any type of food that you want, provided that you do so in moderation. This is to avoid raising your blood sugar levels to uncontrollable heights. The important thing is to keep a balanced diet with all the nutrients still present in your meal so that both you and your baby can grow healthy. On your diet try fruits and vegetables gestational diabetes!

That being said, carbohydrates are very important parts of your meal. It will give you the energy to do your daily activities, although too much of it can raise your blood sugar levels. Therefore, here are the serving sizes for fruits and vegetables.

Each fruit here contains 15 grams of carbohydrates:

Fruits

Size of One Serving

Apple, orange, pear, or peach 1 small piece the size of a tennis ball
Banana or mango ½ piece
Grapefruit 1 large piece
Small grapes 17 pieces
Honeydew or cantaloupe 1 cup
Raisins 2 tablespoons
Unsweetened, canned fruit ½ cup
Papaya or watermelon 1 cup cubed
Apple, orange, or grapefruit juice ½ cup
Applesauce ½ cup
Fresh blueberries or blackberries ¾ cup
Kiwi fruit 1 piece
Dried fruit ¼ cup
Fresh strawberries 1 ¼ cup
Lemon 1 large piece
Nectarine 1 cup
Diced pineapple ¾ cup
Canned pineapple 1/3 cup
Raspberries 1 cup
Fresh cherries 12 pieces
Dates 3 pieces
Figs 2 small pieces
Plum 2 pieces
Diced rhubarb 3 cups
Low-calorie cranberry juice 10 ounces
Unsweetened orange, grape, or pineapple juice 4 ounces
Unsweetened lemon juice 6 ounces

 

On the other hand, each vegetable here contains 5 grams of carbohydrates:

Vegetables

Size of One Serving

Raw broccoli 1 cup
Cooked broccoli ½ cup
Spinach and other greens 1 cup
Raw cauliflower 1 cup
Raw carrots 1 cup
Fresh pepper 1 cup
Canned tomato ½ cup
Leafy vegetables 1 cup
Tomato sauce 2 tablespoons
Vegetable or tomato juice 1 cup
Chopped asparagus 1 cup
Bamboo shoots, beans, Brussels sprouts, or bean sprouts ½ cup
Cabbage, celery, collard greens, green beans, fresh mushrooms, mustard greens, radishes, or squash 1 cup
Chili pepper 5 small pieces
Turnips, kale, leeks, okra, onion, sauerkraut, scallions, or rutabagas ½ cup

Take note that vegetables contain 1/3 of the carbohydrate of a regular serving of any other carbohydrate.  You can eat 3 times as much of them as other carbohydrates for the same 15 gm.  Vegetables and whole fruits also contain more fiber and keep you feeling full longer than other foods, so they are an important part of your overall plan to reduce your blood sugar.

Tips on Including Fruits and Vegetables in your Diet- Fruits and Vegetables Gestational Diabetes

  • Eat vegetables with only little or no fat, dressings, or sauces.
  • If you want to have salad dressing, choose the low-fat type.
  • You can also steam vegetables using low-fat broth.
  • When cooking vegetables, add a small piece of smoked turkey or lean ham instead of fat.
  • Sprinkle herbs and spices on your vegetable salad because these flavorings have almost no fat or calories.
  • If you do use fat in cooking vegetables, choose soft margarine, olive oil, or canola oil.
  • Eat smaller pieces of fruit rather than make them into juices.
  • If you are going to make a fruit juice, do not add any more sugar.

Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about incorporating fruits and vegetables into your gestational diabetes meals… Fruits and Vegetables Gestational Diabetes

SEE MY book on gestational diabetes meal planning.

Gestational Diabetes Bread and Starches-Common Portion Sizes of Carbohydrate Choices Part 1

Gestational Diabetes Bread and Starches

gestational diabetes breadA very important part of gestational diabetes therapy is watching your diet. As in any type of diabetes, the food that you eat should be moderated in order for you avoid sudden spikes of glucose in your blood, as your body’s insulin cannot cope up with the amount of glucose in your body. Carbohydrates are the main sources of glucose, but this does not mean that a woman with gestational diabetes is no longer allowed to eat carbohydrate-rich foods. A gestational diabetic can enjoy any type of food, as long as she controls the portion sizes of every food she eats.

If you are planning your gestational diabetes menu, here are the serving sizes of the most common breads and starches. All of the amounts here are equal to one serving, and each serving contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Gestational Diabetes Bread

Size of One Serving

Whole grain bread 1 ounce slice
Cooked cereal ½ cup
Cooked rice or pasta 1/3 cup
Cooked beans, peas, or lentils ½ cup
Corn ½ cup
Large baked potato ¼ portion
Mashed potato ½ cup
Flour or corn tortilla 1 to 6 inches
Low fat crackers 6 squares
Hamburger or hot dog bun, English muffin, or frozen bagel ½ portion
Popcorn 3 cups
Rice cakes 2 pieces
Graham crackers 3 pieces
Concentrated bran 1/3 cup
Dinner roll 1 small portion
Broth-based soup 1 cup
Pretzels, potato chips, or tortilla chips 3/4 ounces
Sweet potatoes or yams ½ cup
Pancake 1 piece, 4 inches

It would also be very helpful if you consult your dietitian regarding your numbers of servings per day of carbohydrate, since this varies from person to person. However, in general, you can choose one kind of starch and have a maximum of three servings per meal, or you can choose several combinations of starches for a bit of variety.  If you find a gestational diabetes meal plan is helpful, you can read more about planning in our gestational diabetes diet meal plan.

Tips on Including Starches and Bread in Your Diet

  • If possible, choose pasta, cereals, and whole grain bread, since they are made of complex carbohydrates, hence not causing sudden spikes in blood glucose levels.
  • Fried and high-fat starches, such as tortilla chips, potato chips, and biscuits, should be eaten sparingly. Instead, you can opt for baked potatoes, pretzels, and low-fat muffins.
  • Instead of using sour cream on baked potato, try using a low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
  • For your dips and bread fillings, remember to use low-fat or fat-free substitutes, like low-fat mayonnaise or light margarine.
  • Use skim or low-fat milk together with your cereals.
  • If you are buying foods from the market, check out the nutrition facts on the food labels so that you have an idea how much carbohydrate and other nutrients are stored in the food that you eat. (remember, one serving carbohydrate = 15 gm of carbohydrate)
  • Check the serving sizes using measuring cups and spoons. You can also use a food scale if you have one.

Remember that planning your diet is an integral part in coping up with gestational diabetes.

For more information on how to create a meal plan for women with gestational diabetes, you can sign up to receive our newsletters.