Meal Planning with Gestational Diabetes

Meal Planning with Gestational Diabetes

meal planning with gestational diabetesGestational diabetes is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. It is an often complicated and intimidating condition to deal with, and requires following a strict diet plan to ensure the safety of both mother and child.

Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can put a mother at risk for a myriad of complications including pre clampsia, jaundice, low blood sugar, and delivery complications. Some babies born to mothers with unchecked gestational diabetes can grow larger than a normal baby and cause complications for both mother and baby during delivery.

A controlled diet is often the first step to controlling gestational diabetes. Every pregnant woman should follow certain guidelines when eating for two, but for women with gestational diabetes it is especially important to follow a healthy dietary plan. Most doctors will recommend eating three moderately sized meals per day with two or three snacks dispersed throughout the day. Meals should include whole grains, fresh fruits, lean proteins, and lots of vegetables.

Carbohydrates will need to be heavily monitored and limited. Carbohydrates are not just limited to baked goods, though. A lot of foods are high in carbohydrates such as breads, cereals, pasta, potatoes, fruit, and milk. For pregnant women with gestational diabetes, it is a good idea to plan out your meals ahead of time. This will help you keep on track with what you are eating, and also ensure that you do not skip meals or snacks. Skipping a meal or snack can be detrimental to keeping your blood glucose levels in check.

Here are some ideas to help you plan your meals:

Breakfast:
Whole grains such as steel cut oatmeal, bran cereal, or two slices of whole wheat toast. A protein such as a hard boiled or scrambled egg, or a tablespoon of peanut butter.  A small handful of fresh berries or half a grapefruit.

Example: One cup of hot bran cereal topped with a small handful of fresh berries and vanilla almond milk.

Mid-Morning Snack:
Snacks should be mostly protein based. Try to stay away from chips or cookies.

Example: A handful of raw almonds or six saltine crackers with a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Lunch:
One ounce of protein and lots of fresh veggies make a delicious, satisfying, and gestational diabetic friendly lunch.

Example: Tossed salad with one ounce of grilled chicken and two tablespoons of low fat dressing.

Afternoon Snack:
Fresh cut veggies make a great healthy and filling snack.
Example: One cup of baby carrots with two tablespoons of hummus. (Try using a low sodium brand or making your own)

Dinner:
Three ounces of a lean protein of your choice, ½ to one cup of starch, and as many vegetables as you can eat. You can include a small amount of fat, such as one tablespoon of margarine or two tablespoons of a low fat salad dressing.

Example: Three ounce turkey breast with bread crumbs served with half a cup of cooked quinoa with mushrooms and mixed vegetables sautéed in one tablespoon of olive oil. Try a baked apple with oats and cinnamon for dessert.

Before Bed Snack:
It is highly recommended for expectant mothers to eat a before bed snack. It will help keep your blood glucose levels maintained while you are sleeping, and can sometimes help prevent morning sickness.

Example: One slice of whole wheat bread topped with a sliced hard-boiled egg.

Eating for two with gestational diabetes can be filling and enjoyable. By following recommended meal plans, you can ensure a healthy mom and baby.

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Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes

Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes Management

diet plan for gestational diabetesGestational diabetes occurs in some women during pregnancy as the hormone levels change the body’s insulin requirement. Though it goes away after the child is born, it does increase chances of getting diabetes later in life. The following diet plan for gestational diabetes gives advice on how to eat healthy and effectively manage gestational diabetes.

Following a healthy diet plan for gestational diabetes will not only help to manage your blood glucose levels but also provide adequate nutrition to you and your developing baby. You will also be able to achieve the appropriate weight changes during the pregnancy period.

1. Carbohydrates-diet plan for gestational diabetes

There is a wide variety of foods that you can eat. For carbohydrates, you need at least 12 different choices each day. These should be spread over small meals and snacks throughout the day. Some foods that have carbohydrates include:
-rice, noodles and pasta
-potato, corn and cassava
-legumes such as beans and lentils
-fruits
-milk and yogurt
However, there are some carbohydrates that have little nutritional value such as soft drinks, sugar, cakes and biscuits. These are best avoided as they do not add any value to your body. Sometimes, you may be eating the correct type and quantity of carbohydrates but still experience high levels of blood glucose. In this case, you should not cut back on the carbohydrate intake. Sometimes, your body might need some extra help in order to manage insulin and blood glucose levels.

2. Fat-diet plan for gestational diabetes

The fat you eat should be very limited, more so the saturated fats. You should opt for healthy fats such as olive oil, canola, margarine, avocados and unsalted nuts. Though fat in the diet plan for gestational diabetes does not affect levels of blood glucose directly, they can cause weight gain if taken in large amounts and this makes it harder to control the levels of blood glucose.

3. Protein-diet plan for gestational diabetes

Protein is very important for the maintenance and growth of the body. Foods with protein include fish, eggs, reduced fat cheese, chicken and lean meat. These foods do not affect your levels of blood glucose directly. Though some of the foods listed above are listed as proteins, such as milk, they also have carbohydrates.

4. Iron and Calcium-diet plan for gestational diabetes

The body needs more iron and calcium during pregnancy. You should have 3 servings of food rich in calcium every day. This includes milk, reduced fat cheese and even calcium fortified soy milk. Iron from fish, chicken and red meat is readily absorbed into the body. In case you are vegetarian, you can opt for an iron supplement or even a pregnancy multivitamin.

5. Other Dietary Considerations-diet plan for gestational diabetes

There are some freedoms that come with this diet plan. For instance, nutritious food that will not cause weight gain or an increase in blood glucose levels can be freely eaten. Examples of these foods include lemons, limes and low carbohydrate vegetables. You should endeavor to have at least 5 servings of vegetables each day and also avoid the foods that cause allergies to you.
In conclusion, the diet plan for gestational diabetes involves foods that do not cause increases in levels of blood glucose, do not cause an increase in weight and are also nutritious. Eating healthily is therefore very important for a healthy mother and child.

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