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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Ways To Prevent Gestational Diabetes

Prevent Gestational Diabetes

prevent gestational diabetesAs more and more pregnant women are being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, people are asking if there are ways in order to prevent gestational diabetes. Simply speaking, there are no guarantees with regard to the prevention of gestational diabetes.  After all the focus on gestational diabetes is intervention and monitoring rather than prevention. If you are at high risk for developing gestational diabetes, then there is no sure way to prevent gestational diabetes.

However, this does not mean that you just have to accept your fate and not do anything in order to prevent gestational diabetes. While you can’t change your family history of type 2 diabetes or your, remember that there are modifiable risk factors so that you can lessen your chances of getting gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Here are some of the things that you can do in order to help prevent gestational diabetes:

Eat healthy foods-Prevent Gestational Diabetes

Although this piece of advice applies to all pregnant women, those who are at risk for developing gestational diabetes should watch out for the foods that they eat to help prevent gestational diabetes. Your goal to prevent gestational diabetes is to keep your blood glucose within normal and stable levels throughout the day. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index, such as pasta, flour, potatoes, and sugar. You can eat them, but in very small and controlled amounts. Instead, eat more protein-rich foods like chicken, dark green leafy vegetables, and seafood if you want to prevent gestational diabetes. You may eat fruits, but avoid commercial fruit juices since they contain artificial sweeteners that might shoot up your blood glucose levels.

Exercise-Prevent Gestational Diabetes

Physical activity is important even if you are pregnant, and more so if you want to prevent gestational diabetes. Remember that right after exercising, blood glucose levels considerably drop, hence making it an effective way to prevent gestational diabetes. You don’t have to do heavy exercises in order to keep your blood sugar levels stable. In fact, you have to make sure that you only engage in light exercises since you are pregnant. Light exercises can already work well to prevent gestational diabetes. Such exercises include walking around the block and even doing light household chores. Just make sure that you monitor your heart rate while exercising.

Maintain your weight-Prevent Gestational Diabetes

While you will certainly gain weight during pregnancy, remember that this weight gain should be kept under control to prevent gestational diabetes. Your should have regular check-ups with your obstetrician to know the right weight for your month of pregnancy. Obesity is linked to gestational diabetes as it is one of the modifiable risk factors of that condition. Therefore, planning your meals accordingly and exercising regularly can help maintain your weight within the normal range and help prevent gestational diabetes.

Stop smoking-Prevent Gestational Diabetes

Smoking is another risk factor that is linked to gestational diabetes. If you are a smoker, perhaps it is high time that you consider giving it up for the sake of your baby and to prevent gestational diabetes. Not only will it hasten the development of gestational diabetes, but it might also have some detrimental effects on your baby. Quit now before it affects you and your baby.

Although there are no guarantees in totally avoiding gestational diabetes, knowing how to prevent gestational diabetes through lifestyle changes will surely help you in managing your condition.

If you have found yourself with gestational diabetes, then please read all my published books on gestational diabetes Search on Amazon for “Baby Steps for Gestational Diabetes”, you will find my book series there, Thanks Mathea Ford RD/LD

CLICK THE BOOK COVER TO SEE THE DETAILS OF THIS GREAT BOOK!

prevent gestational diabetes

 

Gestational Diabetes Diet

gestational diabetes diet

gestational diabetes diet

FREE EBOOK

 

First things first, I want you to have 3 of my dinner recipes for gestational diabetes FREE and I created an Ebook on managing gestational diabetes that I want you to have FREE as well.  Go to the green box to the right and I will email it to you.

Now, many things come into play when you find out you have gestational diabetes, I know, I had it twice.  Outcomes today are just fine.  But I want you to understand why I created the Ebook I am giving out for free and why I created “Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes”  you see over here on the left.  I really want to give back to all of you who are going through emotional times with this condition.  I found that the support from my OB was horrible so I wanted to create this meal planning book to be a source so no woman is lost and on an island with this condition.

Get the FREE stuff and then see what you think about grabbing the meal plan and recipe book!

This condition can be a challenge and among all of these changes, the health of the baby growing within you is the biggest concern, and the health of the baby can sometimes become compromised when gestational diabetes is factored into the equation. In most cases, gestational diabetes can be treated through a healthy diet, gestational diabetes diet, though in some cases medication is required to keep insulin levels under control. Regardless, gestational diabetes is something that could have a future impact on the health of you and your child later in life if it is not treated properly.

What Causes Gestational Diabetes?

During pregnancy, sometimes the body becomes more resistant to insulin. This leaves excess levels of glucose floating around in the bloodstream. While most women never experience any symptoms of gestational diabetes, there are some risks to the baby if it is left unchecked. Not only can the baby gain too much weight–particularly in the upper body, but gestational diabetes can also lead to weight problems later in life for the child. Untreated gestational diabetes also can cause a baby to be born with extremely low blood sugar levels, as their pancreas will be producing too much insulin at birth. This can lead to convulsions, coma, and even death.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes?

Most times, gestational diabetes is asymptomatic in women. In some cases, however, symptoms include increased thirst, increased urination, blurred vision, increased fatigue, weight gain, and nausea or vomiting. They are often mild and go unnoticed during pregnancy, however, as they are often attributed to pregnancy itself. It is usually diagnosed through routine screening during pregnancy–sometime between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. This is done with a glucose test starting with a one hour then a three hour if unclear.

How Is Gestational Diabetes Treated?

In most cases, gestational diabetes is treated through diet, gestational diabetes diet. The gestational diabetes diet is more like a lifestyle plan than a diet. It does not involve deprivation or weight loss–rather it is a balanced eating plan which encourages intake of healthy foods and eliminating bad ones. The gestational diabetes diet involves eating 3 small, balanced meals per day and at least 1 snack, sometimes 2-4 snacks depending on the plan. Meals should be high in lean protein and dietary fiber and low in certain types of carbohydrates and sugars. It involves carefully reading labels and avoiding foods that are laden with carbs and sugars.

The Gestational Diabetes Diet In A Nutshell

Only a small percentage of women with gestational diabetes will need medication to keep the disease under control. By following the gestational diabetes diet, most women can keep their blood glucose levels within a normal range.

* If eating carbohydrates, choose high fiber, whole grain carbohydrates in favor of less healthy carbs.
* Eat 3-5 servings of vegetables each day and 2-4 servings of fruit. Choose whole fruits in favor of fruit juices and sauces as they are full of sugar.
* Eat 4 servings a day of low fat cheese and dairy. Skim milk, low fat yogurt, and hard cheeses are good options.
* Eat 2-3 servings of lean protein per day. This includes meat, nuts, beans, and eggs. 2-3 ounces per serving is sufficient, and avoid fattier forms of protein.
* Some fats are good. Don’t completely cut fat from your diet, but avoid saturated fats and oils if possible.

If your doctor gives you the okay for exercise, thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day has also been shown to help reduce insulin resistance. Walking is a great way to exercise without putting too much impact on pregnancy-stressed joints and is considered relatively safe even late into pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common pregnancy-related illnesses. Many women are completely unaware they have gestational diabetes until they are screened for it later in pregnancy. In most cases, simply eating a healthy, balanced diet will keep the disease under control. A gestational diabetes diet is not one of deprivation and restriction–rather, it is a healthier way to live and a good way to balance yours and your baby’s nutritional needs.

For more on planning your gestational diabetes treatment and diet plan please sign up for my email list and get my FREE EBOOK on  gestational diabetes. 

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Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan-How to Get Started

Gestational diabetes refers to a case where diabetes is recognized during pregnancy. It is common to about 7% of all pregnancies. The diabetes arises during the second half of the pregnancy and goes way after the baby is born. The diabetes may have further complications if not treated during pregnancy.

Chances of Getting Gestational Diabetes

The chances of getting gestational diabetes are greater if one is overweight, if she had gestational diabetes before, if you have a relative(parent, brother, and sister with type 2 diabetes), if one has ever given birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds, and she is an American Indian, African American, a Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic/Latina.

How Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan Works

gestational diabetes diet meal planModifying the diet is the first step that a mother that has the disease should emulate towards when treating the condition. This is essential in maintaining the blood sugar level at a normal range while still taking a healthy diet. Gestational diabetes diet meal plan is done by monitoring the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. This is because carbohydrates are digested to produce glucose, a core factor in fueling the body and nourishing the developing fetus. However, the glucose levels must be controlled so that they stay at a level that is within target.

The following measures should be taken in order to keep glucose levels in control:

Plan the Meals-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

One can maintain blood sugar levels by eating 3 regular meals in a day and 2 to 4 snacks thorough the day. The meals and the snacks must be balanced and more so in the amount of carbohydrates and calories they contain.

Eat a Good Breakfast-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

One must ensure that she eats a good breakfast because the levels of glucose are usually unstable in the morning. However, one must limit carbohydrate and fruit juice intake and eat proteins instead.

Increase Your Fiber Intake-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

This should include vegetables, beans, peas, legumes and whole grain breads should make up a large portion of your diet.

Limit Your Milk and Sugary Beverage Intake-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

Usually, milk has high lactose (simple sugar) content and must thus be limited to all the mothers that are working to manage gestational diabetes. One should look for additional sources of calcium and additionally avoid fruit juices and soda because they contain a high level of glucose.

Effects of a gestational diabetes meal plan on the child

Glucose crosses the placenta from mother to baby to meet the energy needs of the developing baby. If mother’s blood glucose levels are raised, a greater amount of glucose crosses the placenta to the baby. To manage this extra amount of glucose, the baby produces more insulin. This can cause excessive growth and fat in the baby. If mom’s blood glucose levels continue raised, the baby size may be larger than normal. Following delivery, the baby might experience low blood glucose levels, mostly if the mother’s blood glucose levels were higher before the birth. Gestational diabetes can be monitored and treated with a gestational diabetes diet meal plan and if well controlled, the risks are greatly reduced.

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Gestational Diabetes Breakfast Diet Meal Plan

slice of rye breadGestational Diabetes Breakfast

Gestational diabetes is a very common condition that occurs among pregnant women. If not controlled effectively, gestational diabetes may cause problems during pregnancy and may also affect the child and mother later in life.  A gestational diabetes breakfast to start your day is very important. Just like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes mainly affects the use of glucose in the body. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that it is properly managed in order to avoid passing the excess blood glucose to the unborn child. In case the excess glucose is passed on to the child, it may cause a condition known as fat baby or macrosomia. These babies are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, and breathing problems later in life. On the other hand, the baby is more likely to have hypoglycemia and/or damage to the shoulders during delivery.

Importance of breakfast to women with gestational diabetes

4.1.1A gestational diabetes breakfast menu needs to be very flexible in order to ensure that it can be easily adjusted to fit the current situation. Since no food is taken during sleep, it is normal for the blood sugar level to vary from the recommended levels (In most cases, it I lower than recommended). In such cases, it is critical to ensure a corresponding adjustment in the sugar level and carbohydrate of the breakfast meal in order to maintain the amount of glucose in the blood at a healthy level. Therefore, the carbohydrate-controlled plan needs to be individualized based on every woman’s preferences and needs. This is mainly because the type, amount and distribution of food during breakfast will affect blood glucose control throughout the day. However, due to
increased hormonal activity, carbohydrates are not tolerated well during breakfast. Though some carbohydrates are necessary during every meal, the bulk of breakfast needs to be comprised of protein in order to achieve better glucose control.

Breakfast foods for gestational diabetes

When coming up with a breakfast plan for a person with gestational diabetes, every dietitian aims at maintaining stable glucose levels throughout the day in order to provide enough energy and ensure provision of adequate nutrients for the mother and unborn baby.To avoid a sudden rush of energy, it is vital to balance carbohydrates with dairy and proteins.

Possible breakfast combinations include:

2 slices of wholegrain waffle, peanut butter spread and ½ cup of non-fat skimmed milk.
A slice of whole wheat bread, a hardboiled egg and ½ cup of non-fat skimmed milk.
Egg breakfast taco and turkey sausage
Egg sandwich and Canadian bacon on whole-wheat bread

It is very important to ensure that only sugarless dairy products are consumed. On the other hand, the milk should be skimmed with a low fat concentration. Avoid all beverages that increase the risk of diabetes such as alcohol, tea and wine and minimize the intake of fast foods.

Breakfast tips for gestational diabetes

Don’t drink fruit juice or eat fruits.
Avoid cereal.
Ensure that your breakfast has protein.
Eat a small (in terms of quantity) breakfast meal
Consume whole-grain bread products.

Hormones that boost blood sugar level are normally released in the morning making it quite hard to control blood glucose. Therefore, you need to follow these breakfast tips in order to control gestational diabetes more effectively.

What Should Be My Calorie Intake With Gestational Diabetes?

What Should Be My Calorie Intake With Gestational Diabetes?

Just like in any other type of diabetes, women with gestational diabetes should watch what they eat. This is an important facet in the control and treatment of gestational diabetes. Neglecting you dietary restrictions and requirements will only worsen your gestational diabetes, leading to complications not just for you but also for your baby. To prevent these things from happening, health care providers and nutritionists advise women with gestational diabetes to watch their calorie intake. Thus, What Should Be My Calorie Intake With Gestational Diabetes? Special attention is paid to carbohydrates, since these are the sources of glucose that women with gestational diabetes are unable to fully utilize.

Assessment of gestational diabetes-calorie intake with gestational diabetes

Before giving you a meal plan and a list of foods to avoid, your health care provider will first assess your body weight, your total weight gain during pregnancy, and your eating habits before making recommendations on your diet. Remember, no two nutritionists will give you the same recommendations, since there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to a gestational diabetes diet. The food choices may vary, as long as you stick to the calorie intake recommended for you.

calorie intake with gestational diabetesYour eating habits will also make a large impact on your dietary recommendations. For example, if you are the type of person who gains weight quickly, then you might be asked to cut back on your caloric intake and to engage in exercises safe for pregnancy. If you have a sweet tooth, your doctor will recommend cutting back on those sugars and eating more fresh produce and lean proteins.

Calorie intake with gestational diabetics

For normal pregnant women, the recommended daily caloric intake is 2600 calories. Since you have gestational diabetes, doctors recommend having a slightly less caloric intake of 2000 to 2400 calories. It is only slightly lower than the normal recommendation because you are pregnant. As such, women are not advised to go on a restrictive diet during pregnancy, as this can adversely affect the health of your baby. Hence, doctors who recommend a lower calorie intake of 1500 to 1800 calories per day should know that they are putting both the mother and the baby in grave danger.

Although there is only a slight decrease in the daily caloric recommendation for women, what matters is how you distribute these calories into carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Breaking down the calories-Calorie Intake With Gestational Diabetes?

In general, you have to watch your carbohydrate intake, since too much carbs will lead to an increase in your blood sugar levels. Your total carbohydrate intake per day should make up less than half of your total caloric intake. This means around 175 grams of carbohydrates per day, evenly spaced out throughout the day into 15 to 30 grams per meal. Eat more vegetables, high-fiber foods, and whole grain carbohydrates. Ditch the sugary ones.

As for protein, you can have two to three servings per day. Protein-rich foods include meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and dry beans. Remember to trim all visible fat from the meat and, as much as possible, go skinless. For fats, limit your intake but do not totally remove them from your diet as they provide long-term energy for growth and brain development.

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My One Hour Glucose Tolerance Test Reading Was High

My One Hour Glucose Tolerance Test was High

Do I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Once you are suspected to have gestational diabetes, you will be subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test to determine whether or not you really have gestational diabetes. For most women who are going to undergo this test, this can be nerve-racking as they do not know what to expect. Hence, it is very important to educate yourself regarding the glucose tolerance test so that you know the preparation, the procedure, and the normal values for the test results. This will also prevent you from subjecting yourself to undue stress that might adversely affect your baby.

What is the one hour glucose tolerance test?

The oral glucose tolerance test, also known as the one-hour glucose challenge test, is administered between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy. This test will initially determine whether or not you are at risk for developing gestational diabetes. The results of this test are not conclusive, for a high value is still subject to a confirmatory test, the three-hour glucose tolerance test. A high value in this test means that you indeed have gestational diabetes.

How do I prepare for the one hour glucose tolerance test?

For the one-hour glucose tolerance test, there is no preparation required. You can take it right there and then since no fasting is needed. However, if you are going to undergo the three-hour glucose tolerance test, you need to fast for 10 to 14 hours before the test. You should also refrain from drinking or eating anything during the three-hour duration of the test.

What happens in the one hour glucose tolerance test?

one hour glucose tolerance testIn the one-hour oral glucose tolerance test, you will be asked to drink a sugary beverage that contains 50 grams of glucose. After finishing the drink, your doctor will wait for one hour before testing your blood glucose levels. During this one hour, you cannot eat or drink anything. After one hour, your doctor will extract a blood sample from you and compare your values with that of the normal range. If your blood sugar level is less than 130 mg/dl, this means that you do not have gestational diabetes and you will not be subjected to any more tests. However, once the value exceeds 130 mg/dl, you might have gestational diabetes, but the doctor needs to make sure first. Hence, you will be subjected to the three-hour glucose tolerance test. This means that the results of the one-hour glucose tolerance test only determine the possibility of having gestational diabetes, but they do not establish the fact that you really have gestational diabetes.

Once you are subjected to the three-hour glucose tolerance test, your doctor will first draw a blood sample after your 14-hour fasting. Next, you will be asked to drink a sugary liquid containing 100 grams of glucose, then have your blood samples taken one, two, and three hours after finishing the drink. This means that your blood sample will be taken for a total of four times. The normal values for this test should be 95 mg/dl for your fasting blood sugar, 180 mg/dl after one hour, 155 mg/dl for two hours, and 140 mg/dl for three hours. Any two values exceeding this range confirm your condition of gestational diabetes.

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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.

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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.