Is Gestational Diabetes Preventable?

Is Gestational Diabetes Preventable?

Gestational diabetes can happen to anyone who is pregnant. Although there are factors that increase the risk of gestational diabetes in a pregnant woman, there are some people who still get afflicted with this condition even though they have no prior risk to it. Hence, there is really no guarantee that you can prevent gestational diabetes, but having healthy lifestyle habits before you get pregnant can still make a difference. Even if you have gestational diabetes now, these healthy habits can help you prevent developing gestational diabetes in your future pregnancies. They can also help you avoid type 2 diabetes later in life.

If you want to prevent gestational diabetes, follow these simple tips:

  • Have a healthy diet. Since one of the risk factors of gestational diabetes is being overweight, the food that you eat counts a lot in preventing gestational diabetes. Opt for healthy choices, such as foods that are low in fat and sugar but high in fiber. Fatty and sweet foods can make you gain weight, and if you do not control what you eat, you are well on your way to becoming overweight, or worse, obese. On the other hand, high fiber foods promote better digestion and elimination, thus helping you lose weight. Eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, since they are packed with vitamins and minerals and low in fat. Eating the same kinds of food can be boring, but the key is to strive for variety so that you can still eat nutritious food without compromising your health.
  • Exercise regularly. Diet always goes hand in hand with exercise. Although you can lose weight by simply eating smaller portions and healthier foods, your body will only be toned through exercise. Moreover, exercise is good for heart health. This is needed to prevent gestational diabetes complications such as hypertension and heart attack. In exercising, you can start with 30 minutes of moderate activity at least three times a week. Since you are pregnant, you don’t have to do high impact exercises. Simple walking, jogging, biking, and swimming already count as exercises. You can also chop your 30-minute exercise sessions into shorter periods throughout the day if you find the former tiring.
  • Lose weight before pregnancy. If you have plans of getting pregnant, make sure that your body is in tip top shape before you carry out your plan. That means you should make sure that you are not overweight so that you do not run the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Losing weight will not only benefit you in terms of your gestational diabetes, but also in terms of heart, muscle, and bone health. This can also improve your self-esteem dramatically. Doctors usually do no recommend losing weight while you are pregnant unless there is a necessity to do it, so you have no other time to lose weight but right now while you are still planning for your pregnancy.

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What Are The Healthiest Ways In Cooking For Gestational Diabetes – Grill, Fry, Microwave, Stovetop?

Cooking for Gestational Diabetes

In gestational diabetes, healthy eating does not only mean eating the right type of food. It also means cooking those foods in the right way. There are several cooking methods that cut great amounts of calories from foods that normally contain lots of fats. Good thing that there are several ways to cook healthy, and you are not limited to just one option. Grilling, stir frying, microwaving, and some stove top cooking methods can help you achieve your goal of eating healthy. Here are the reasons why these cooking methods are perfect for women with gestational diabetes:

Grilling –Cooking for gestational diabetes

cooking for gestational diabetesA lot of grilled foods are good for women with gestational diabetes basically because they are low in fat and high in nutrients. Moreover, grilling does not strip your food of flavor; in fact, this cooking method enhances flavor, making it not just a healthy way of cooking but also a delicious way of bringing out the flavor in your foods. You can marinate your food using olive oil and citrus juices to tenderize the meat and vegetables that you are grilling.

Just remember that if you are grilling meat, you have to remove the excess fats just like other cooking methods. Burnt fats produce heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are said to be cancer-causing substances. You also need to remember not to overcook foods, since the charred bits can increase the production of HCA and PAH. In addition, you can add herbs like mint, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and sage to reduce HCA formation and to add flavor to your grilled foods.

Stir-Frying-Cooking for gestational diabetes

Stir frying is also a healthy way of cooking for gestational diabetes because it allows you to subject your food to very high heat for a short time. Hence, in order to cook them thoroughly, your food must be cut into smaller pieces and you must continuously stir the food to keep them from being burnt. For woman with gestational diabetes, you can stir fry different vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, and eggplants. Since you need to cut them into small pieces when you stir fry them, it will help also help you to control what you eat. You can also use olive oil to make your food a lot healthier.

Microwaving-Cooking for gestational diabetes

Microwaving is just like steaming, since you are just subjecting the food to heat without using any oils or fats. You can microwave goods like vegetables, fish, and chicken in order to retain their nutrients. You can also cover the food while microwaving so as to retain the steam inside. Just make sure that you use microwave-safe cooking vessels, such as glass and baking dishes. Metal, Styrofoam, and some plastic containers are not safe to be used in the microwave.

Stove Top-Cooking for gestational diabetes

Different stove top methods are considered to be healthy ways of cooking for gestational diabetes. These methods include steaming, simmering, and boiling. Steaming leaves your vegetables tasting crunchy but still nutritious because it uses less amount of water compared to boiling and simmering. Boiling and simmering are common ways of cooking vegetables by submerging them in boiling water, with the latter only using less heat than the former. All of these stove top cooking methods can be used to cook nutritious foods for cooking for gestational diabetes.

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What Are Great Gestational Diabetes Snacks To Carry With You When You Have Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational Diabetes Snacks

When you have gestational diabetes, you might find it hard to decide on what kinds of snacks you need to eat. Some women might even avoid eating snacks altogether, making them very hungry during mealtimes. The truth is that women with gestational diabetes need to eat snacks in between meals. These gestational diabetes snacks keep you from getting hungry until your next meal, thus helping you not eat too much at mealtimes. This, in turn, will help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Moreover, it prevents the risk of having hypoglycemia in between meals.

Women with gestational diabetes are advised to have two to four snacks per day. Your gestational diabetes snacks choices will largely depend on how much you exercise and also the hypoglycemic agents you are taking. In general, however, here are some examples of snacks that have low glucose content and can be eaten by women with gestational diabetes:

  • Plain yogurt with natural sweetener – A cup of plain yogurt combined with an herbal sweetener like Stevia is a good dessert for women with GDM. You only get carbohydrates from yogurt, but since you use a natural sweetener, you don’t get extra calories or glucose.
  • Sugar-free gum – The chewing action that you make while chewing the gum in your mouth can give you a satiated feeling while you are waiting for your meals. Also, since this is sugar-free, you don’t get calories from it. You can also try munching on some sugar-free candies.
  • Unsalted almonds – 23 pieces of naturally unsalted almonds is only equal to five grams of carbohydrates, so you can enjoy quite a lot of these healthy and crunchy almonds without fearing a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels.
  • Fruit-flavored bottled water – You can find different variants of these fruit-flavored bottled waters in the supermarket. Whether carbonated or not, they taste like your favorite fruity drinks, only with no caffeine and no carbs. However, what you need to remember is that most of these fruit-flavored bottled waters contain Splenda, so always drink these in moderation.
  • gestational diabetes snacksLow-carbohydrate vegetables – You can munch on vegetables with low carbohydrate content like asparagus, artichoke, celery, and cucumbers. Although these veggies won’t really sate your sugar cravings, they act like the chewing gums that occupy your mouth while waiting for your meals.
  • Sweet pickles – You can get individual-sized servings from Mt. Olive. They give you a tangy flavor while still remaining sugar-free. Moreover, the strong flavor provides a feeling of satiety, thus quelling the appetite easily.

In choosing gestational diabetes snacks, you have to remember to always eat healthy, meaning indulge in foods that have low caloric and sugar content but contain nutrients and vitamins that you and your baby needs. You should also limit the carbohydrates you consume per snack to 1 to 2 carbohydrate choices. As for midnight snacks, you might also need to eat some, but make sure you talk to your health care provider first.

For more information on gestational diabetes and the dietary choices you have, you can sign up to our newsletter.  If you are in search of a complete gestational diabetes diet meal plan with recipes you can look at buying my book on Amazon, find the link here. Gestational Diabetes Book!

Some Good Ways to Celebrate Spring with Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Celebrating Spring

Gestational DiabetesNow that springtime is just around the corner, you might be wondering what activities you can do for this season. Remember, having gestational diabetes does not limit you to the things that you can do. There are still a lot of ways to enjoy this springtime, whether it be in terms of what you eat or what you do. In fact, this is the best time to fine tune your diabetes management plan because your mood is also probably at its best. Don’t be a bummer during springtime and indulge in the following activities and rejuvenating changes while the spirit of the season is still within you:

  • Take care of your feet. When you have any kind of diabetes, including gestational diabetes, your feet need to be showered with extra care to avoid developing diabetic feet. Spring is the best time to pamper your feet with a warm water soak that should not last for more than three minutes to avoid causing macerated skin. Also apply lotion to dry skin, but make sure that you do not leave moist areas, especially the area between your toes. Although you cannot indulge in a full-blown pedicure while you have gestational diabetes, you can still color your nails to get that springtime feeling.
  • Get out and walk. There is no better season to get out of the comfort of your own home and walk around your neighborhood than spring. The benefits of walking have been enumerated innumerable times already, and even if you are pregnant, this is still a great exercise for you. You can start by walking 20 minutes per day for at least three days per week. Just walk at the pace that your body is comfortable with. As your body gets used to the exercise, you can gradually increase your time and pace. Just make sure that you rest every few minutes, especially if you feel out of breath.
  • Eat fresh and keep hydrated. Springtime is also the season of lots of fresh fruits of vegetables that you can certainly indulge in. You can try a lot of unfamiliar fruits and veggies which contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for you and for your baby. Just make sure that you watch the glucose content of what you eat. As for the hydration, good old water is still the best drink for you. You have to increase your water intake especially once the temperature starts to climb. Drinking eight glasses per day is good for women with gestational diabetes.
  • Volunteer for gestational diabetes. The best gift that you can give to other women suffering from gestational diabetes is your support. Make a difference by joining advocacy groups and sharing your experiences as someone with gestational diabetes. Not only will you learn a lot from these groups, but you will also be able to benefit them from your experiences and coping methods. Empowering other women with gestational diabetes will help them cope with their conditions.

You can learn more about gestational diabetes and the activities that you can do through signing up for our newsletter.  Looking for a gestational diabetes diet meal plan then look no further, Buy my book on Amazon.  A complete gestational diabetes meal plan and recipes!

How Soon After I Have The Baby Should I Be Checked For Diabetes?

One of the worries that most women with gestational diabetes have in their minds is their condition after pregnancy and giving birth. Will they continue to have diabetes, or will their lifestyle be back to the way it was before they got pregnant? The answer is pretty simple: Your gestational diabetes will disappear once you are no longer pregnant. Otherwise, that would already be a case of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Now, the next question that would probably be plaguing your mind is this: How soon do I know this? In order for you to know the state of your blood glucose levels, you need to subject yourself to a postnatal check to determine if everything is okay with you and your baby.

The Postnatal Check

In reality, your pregnancy hormones will drop a few days after giving birth. Remember that these hormones are the ones responsible for the delay of glucose transportation from your bloodstream to your cells, hence causing gestational diabetes. However, you will only know this once you get a postnatal check.

Also known as the six-week check, your postnatal check will be done six to eight weeks after giving birth, or roughly two months after your delivery. You have to make an appointment with your doctor to have you and your baby checked.

If you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you may be asked to subject yourself to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) during your postnatal check. Statistics show that one out of 50 women still have diabetes even after pregnancy, and this might mean that they had diabetes mellitus all along and they just had not realized this. Hence, this test will determine if your blood sugar levels have already returned to normal.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

This is the same test that you are being subjected to during the diagnosis stage of gestational diabetes. Before the test, you need to fast overnight. Check with your health care provider regarding the intake of your maintenance medications.

Once you arrive at the clinic, a blood sample will be taken from you. This sample will be the basis for the baseline test, since this will measure the blood glucose levels during fasting. Afterwards, you will be asked to drink a sweet and sugary mixture, which is equivalent to 75 grams of glucose. You have to drink the whole mixture, after which another blood sample will be collected two hours after drinking the mixture. This next blood sample will be compared to the baseline sample to see how high your sugar levels rose and whether or not it is within the normal range. Take note that you should not eat or drink anything within the two-hour waiting time. You can only eat after the second blood sample has been taken. The result will usually be ready 48 hours after the test.

If you get a positive result from the test, it is likely that you have already developed type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, a negative result means your gestational diabetes had gone away and you can resume your normal routine.

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Eating Right is Eating the Way You Want to Eat

The title of this article may seem conflicting to you. After all, how can you eat what you want if you have gestational diabetes? Although at first the dietary modifications that you need to employ may limit your food intake drastically, remember that this is not the goal of gestational diabetes treatment. You only need to lessen your carbohydrate intake so as not to increase your blood glucose levels. That means that you can still eat other foods as long as they do not spike up your sugar levels. Hence, you still have a pretty vast variety of foods that you can choose from.

Eating right means knowing what is good for you and choosing from the foods that you want to eat from those choices. To aid you in making healthy diabetic food choices, here are some tips for you to remember:

  • Choose complex high-fiber carbohydrates. If you love eating carbohydrates, you can still indulge in them even if you have gestational diabetes. It all boils down to what kind of carbohydrates you can eat. Generally speaking, you should only avoid those that contain refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice, and white bread. You also have to avoid those that contain simple sugars, like candy and soda. What you can eat are those known to be slow-release carbohydrates, which are so-called because they are digested slowly, thus letting your body control the blood glucose levels more easily. These are even advantageous because they make you feel full for a longer period of time. Choose alternatives to your favorite refined carbohydrates, such as brown rice instead of white rice, sweet potatoes instead of mashed and fried ones, and whole-wheat pastas and breads instead of the regular ones.
  • Watch out for your sweets. Although sweets contain simple sugars, it does not mean that you can never eat them during the duration of your gestational diabetes condition. Moderation is the key in eating these favorite desserts. At first, your sweet tooth habit may be hard to overcome, but it will get easier overtime once you keep on practicing healthy eating. Learn to compromise, like letting go of complex carbohydrate foods if you want to have some dessert. You should also learn to eat healthy fats, such as those found in yogurt and peanut butter. Also, sweets should be eaten as part of the meal to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Eat healthy fats, not unhealthy ones. There are two kinds of fats – the unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats) that can be found in whole milk dairy products, red meat, and eggs; and the healthy fats (unsaturated fats) coming from fish and plant sources. Of course, common sense dictates that you should eat more healthy fats, since these contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for both your brain and heart. Those with gestational diabetes are also at risk for developing heart and brain complications.

Remember that eating smart is the key to eating right for women with gestational diabetes. If you want to learn more tips in eating the right foods for gestational diabetes, please sign up for our newsletter or Buy my book on Amazon, it is a complete gestational diabetes meal plan.

Green Things Are Healthy for You On St. Patrick’s Day-Gestational Diabetes

If there is any time of the year that pushes you to go green, that would be St. Patrick’s Day. There is no other time of the year best fit for you to enjoy eating healthy green foods other than St. Patrick’s Day. This especially goes out to all those with gestational diabetes, since eating green means also eating healthy. It is more than just the color of the foods that you eat; it also means the nutritional content of the food that makes it “green”. Here are seven great green dishes and delicacies for you to try during St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Lime yogurt pie – In order to do this, you need to use some fat-free cream cheese and low-fat or light yogurt. The fresh lime juice content will also add a tangy flavor to this sweet treat. This is the perfect dessert for those who want to indulge in something sweet yet healthy this St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Protein shamrock shake – Sweet treats don’t have to be a guilty pleasure for you as this shake only contains 8 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein. Just make sure that you use low-fat cottage cheese and protein powder. Add mint flavoring to your shake for a cool effect in your mouth.
  • Vegetable burger – The difference between the veggie burger and the regular burger is that the latter contains lots of fats, while the former contains hardly any fats. For women with gestational diabetes, a mixture of chick peas, spinach, cucumber slices, lettuce leaves, avocado halves, and tomato slices make up a good vegetable burger.
  • Garlicky kale salad – Only containing 7 grams of carbohydrates, a bowl of kale can be converted into a healthy and delicious salad just by adding apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Aside from being low in carbohydrates, it is also low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants, making it a pretty great meal for women with gestational diabetes.
  • Zucchini cakes – With only 63 calories, there is no doubt that zucchini cakes are healthy treats for those with gestational diabetes. Although it is a cake, it only contains 1.1 grams of sugar, so this can be a nutritious dessert which you can enjoy in several servings.
  • Green detox soup – This green-colored soup is made from a mixture of different vegetables and fruits such as avocado, broccoli, onions, and lemon juice. The ingredients are also known to be good antioxidants, and that means that this food is packed with a lot of nutritional benefits.
  • Green chili chicken – You can get a lot of protein from this delicious soup, since it contains 54.6 grams of protein. Aside from chicken, the soup contains a variety of vegetables such as red pepper, garlic, cumin, and cilantro, which makes it green and healthy. The additional jalapeno and green chiles give a spicy kick to this tasty dish.

Although the aforementioned dishes are great for St. Patrick’s Day, remember that this is not the only day for you to eat healthy. You can learn about more nutritional dishes for gestational diabetes if you sign up for our newsletter.  If you are in need of a diet meal plan for gestational diabetes meal plan.  This is a complete meal plan and recipes, it written by Mathea Ford RD/LD, find it on Amazon below.

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.

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