Gestational Diabetes Diet Menu For Safe Pregnancy

gestational diabetes diet menuGestational Diabetes Diet Menu

The gestational diabetes diet menu is an essential planning tool in order to ensure that women suffering from gestational diabetes can meet their protein and calorie needs. When the glucose level of a pregnant woman is disturbed, the condition is known as gestational diabetes. In most cases, gestational diabetes is a temporary phase that fades away once the baby is born. However, pregnant women who have suffered from gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes later in their lives.

By using the gestational diabetes diet menu, you eat the right amount and type of food in order manage the elevated glucose level and ensure that you have a healthy baby.

General guidelines for gestational diabetes diet menu

Take five small meals every day without skipping any meal.
Reduce carbohydrate intake in the morning.
Ensure consistency in the quantity of carbohydrates in each meal.
Increase your consumption of fiber rich foods.
Take at least one serving of vitamin C rich food, four servings of dairy milk products, and three servings of iron rich food.
Drink at least One and a half liters of water every day.
Restrict intake of foods and juices that are rich in simple sugars such as colas, sodas and fruit juices.

The main goal behind the diet plan is to provide the fetus and the mother the consistent and constant energy without elevating the blood sugar level.

Gestational diabetes diet menu sample

Breakfast
One hard-boiled egg
One slice of whole wheat bread
One teaspoon full of fat-free margarine
One-third pound of grapes or one cup of 100% pineapple or orange natural juice
One and a half cups of skimmed milk (Fat free) or low calorie yoghurt

This is meant to boost the glucose levels in the body since it is normally low in the morning.

Mid morning snack
One slice of whole wheat bread
Three teaspoon full diet jam
Three teaspoon full peanut butter
One cup of skimmed milk (fat free) or one cup cottage cheese

Lunch

Sample 1

One slice of whole-wheat pita bread
One cup of soup (beans)
Half cup of cooked black beans
Half cup of chopped tomatoes
Two cups of low fat cheese or cheddar cheese

Sample 2

Garden vegetable salad
20 raw almonds
0ne serving grain crackers
One cup of baby carrots
Three tablespoon salsa
Half tablespoon olive oil

Mid afternoon snack
One apple
Three teaspoon full peanut butter
Whole grain bagel
One and a half cups of skimmed milk (fat free)

Dinner
Three ounce chicken breast or six ounces of fish
Half a cup pineapple
Three teaspoon full sesame seeds
Three teaspoon full sesame oil
Two teaspoon full soy sauce
Half a cup of green beans
Half cup of cooked rice
Half cup of strawberries

Evening snack

Sample 1

Five cups of plain air-popped popcorn (no additives) and whole grain muffins
One cup of low calorie yoghurt

Sample 2

An apple and a few peanut crackers
One cup of skimmed milk

Frequent meals in small portions are very effective in stabilizing blood sugar and general glucose control as compared to one large meal. Therefore, it is vital to design the gestational diabetes diet menu while following these general guidelines in order to meet the caloric requirements of pregnant women with gestational diabetes.

Your next step is to find a complete gestational diabetes diet menu and follow the plan.

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Why Should I Care if I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Why Should I Care if I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Since gestational diabetes only occurs to pregnant women, most women have no idea what this means. Although many are familiar with what diabetes is in general, they do not know what to expect when it comes to gestational diabetes. Questions plague the mind of a woman who is newly-diagnosed with gestational diabetes: Is it the same as the common type 2 diabetes? What are its effects on me and my baby? Should I be alarmed? Should I even care? The answer to the last question is very simple: Yes, you should care. Just like any other types of diseases, you should take some precautionary measures if you are diagnosed with this condition. In order to help you understand the gravity to the situation, here are some information on what gestational diabetes is.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that manifests only during pregnancy. Just like the more commonly known diabetes type 2, gestational diabetes involves an increase in blood glucose or sugar levels. This is because the body cannot produce adequate amounts of insulin to match the glucose intake of the pregnant woman, since a pregnant woman’s insulin needs is multiplied to two or three times the normal insulin requirement. Moreover, a pregnant woman releases certain hormones that antagonize the action of insulin. Hence, control of blood sugar is important for women with gestational diabetes.

What are the effects of gestational diabetes?

So what if you have gestational diabetes? Remember that since you are carrying a child in your womb, this means that the effects of gestational diabetes might not only manifest on you, but also on your child. Glucose can cross the placental barrier since this is the main source of nutrients for your growing fetus. The child of a mother with gestational diabetes tends to be larger in size because of the amount of glucose that they get. This can pose some problems during delivery. If the baby is already too large before it becomes term, this might prompt the doctor to deliver the baby prematurely. If the baby reaches full term, s/he may be delivered via Caesarean section because s/he cannot fit inside the birth canal. Normal spontaneous delivery might injure the baby. Moreover, your baby can have periods of hypoglycemia during his/her first few days since his/her pancreas have gotten used to producing large amounts of insulin while still in the womb.

You can become affected as well. Those who have gestational diabetes have higher risks of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy because of the thick consistency of the blood. Hypertension during pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia, is a life-threatening condition for both the mother and the baby.

Based on the aforementioned effects, pregnant women should definitely care about their condition. Controlling blood sugar levels is of utmost importance to prevent any unwanted incidents. That being said, proper diet that is low in sugar and enough exercise should be practiced by women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you want to learn more about the dietary recommendations for gestational diabetes and other related information, sign up for our newsletter.

What is the Difference Between Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes?

What is the Difference Between Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes?

Diabetes is a very common condition among the older population. Almost all people are familiar with this condition and they know that in order to manage this disease, one has to cut down on his/her sugar consumption. However, did you know that there are actually three types of diabetes? Although all three of them involve high blood sugar in the body, they have distinct differences that call for classification.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Those who congenitally have diabetes are classified under type 1 diabetes. This is often dubbed as juvenile diabetes because it is most common among children. However, it can still be diagnosed among adults. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune condition that permanently destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing insulin. Hence, the body can no longer produce any insulin.

Symptoms for type 1 diabetes is the same as that of type 2—there is thirst, fatigue, and frequent urination. However, people with type 1 diabetes mellitus are usually thin as they tend to lose weight since glucose is not properly absorbed by the body.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves insulin therapy. People should also make permanent lifestyle changes, such as having a healthy diet and becoming physically active. If not controlled or treated, this condition can lead to several complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, retinopathy, and stroke.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

The most common and well-known type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes mellitus. It affects millions of people all over the world. Unlike type 1 diabetes, this type of diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors, such as being obese, having high blood pressure, and having high cholesterol. The beta cells of the pancreas still produce insulin, but this insulin is no longer effectively used by the body, thus resulting to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. It is only during the advanced stages of type 2 diabetes mellitus that the beta cells can become damaged, hence resulting to insulin deficiency.

Treatment starts with diet modification and physical activity in order to lose weight. Oral hypoglycemic agents will be prescribed, and, depending on the severity of the illness, you may be asked to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels at home. If the oral medications are no longer working, you might also need to subject yourself to insulin therapy.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, as its name suggests, happens only to pregnant women and is diagnosed during the second or third trimester. This is caused by the hormonal changes happening in your body. The hormones that are made by the placenta resist insulin, thus letting glucose stay in your bloodstream. This then causes high blood sugar. Moreover, your insulin needs as a pregnant woman increases by two or three times than the normal insulin needs because of the growing fetus inside your womb. All these factors pile up, giving you a condition known as gestational diabetes.

Women with gestational diabetes should control their blood glucose levels, as high blood sugar can have detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby. It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and to practice eating healthy and engaging in physical activities.

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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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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.

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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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.

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What Makes a Good Lunch for a Gestational Diabetic Diet?

Eating Lunch At Work?  Try To Make & Take Your Meals-lunch for a gestational diabetic diet

lunch for a gestational diabetic dietWomen with gestational diabetes should make some lifestyle modifications, and that includes modifying their diets. Although you can still eat whatever types of food that you want, the key is to limit the portions that you eat, especially foods that increase your blood sugar levels. In order to watch your diet, it is advisable to plan your meals accordingly. Here are some tips in creating a meal plan and lunch for a gestational diabetic diet that is suited for women with gestational diabetes.

How to Create a Meal Plan-lunch for a gestational diabetic diet

There are a few basic ideas that you need to keep in mind when making a meal plan. The first concept is the importance of carbohydrates in your diet. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates need to be included in your meals even though they are the main sources of glucose. Besides, it is hard to totally eliminate carbohydrates from your diet since all foods, more or less, contain a combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The only thing that you need to remember when it comes to carbohydrates is that you have to regulate your intake of carbohydrate-rich foods. Unlike fats and proteins that take a long time to affect the blood sugar levels, carbohydrates can cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, so that is why they need to be measured.

Another idea that you need to keep in mind is that you have to promote nutrition through a balanced diet. Healthy food choices are very important, since you are not just thinking about your health but also of your baby’s. Aside from good choices, you also need to consider the timing and portions of your meals, as everything has to be taken in moderation.

Controlling Blood Glucose Levels

Here are some helpful tips in meal planning that can help you control your blood sugar levels:

  1. Eat small, frequent feedings. You need to eat at least every 2 to 3 hours so as to spread the amount of glucose that you take throughout the day.
  2. Include proteins in your diet. Proteins help even out your blood glucose, plus it also gives you energy to last throughout the day.
  3. Eat high-fiber foods. Foods that are high in fiber include cereals, whole-grain breads, beans, and fresh and frozen vegetables. You can also include fruits in your afternoon or evening meals since these are also good sources of fiber.
  4. Avoid sugar and sweets. These can easily raise your blood sugar levels since these are composed of simple sugars. Although it is okay to take them every now and then, do so sparingly. Avoid fruit juices, soft drinks, and desserts.
  5. Limit fats. This is especially needed if you are watching out for weight gain. Choose only foods that are low-fat or fat-free.

Sample Lunch Meal Plan

In order to help you in your meal planning, here is a sample meal plan for lunch that you can also do one of these days:

  • 2 to 3 ounces of turkey (protein)
  • ½ cup of low-fat milk (protein and carbohydrates)
  • 1 small orange (vitamins and fiber)
  • Carrot sticks with lettuce and tomato (fiber and carbohydrates)
  • 2 pieces of wheat bread (starch carbohydrates)
  • 1 tablespoon of light mayonnaise (fat)

If you want to learn more on how to create a meal plan, you can subscribe to our newsletter on gestational diabetes and get 3 days of dinner meals and a great booklet about gestational diabetes.

Healthy Eating Out at Restaurants For Gestational Diabetes Moms

Wondering What You Should Do When Eating Out?

English: McDonald's Restaurant, Bermuda Park A...

Having gestational diabetes is not the end of the world for a pregnant woman. In fact, you can still enjoy much of the foods that you normally eat, but always in moderation. That being said, eating out at restaurants is not a total no-no for you, as it still remains one of your options. In fact, the choices that you have for eating out can still be the same choices that you have at home. As with eating at home, remember that you also need to have a balanced diet once you decide to dine out. Here are some guidelines that you need to remember to still keep healthy while eating out at restaurants:

  • Select the “right” restaurant. Before you go to whatever restaurant to eat out, you can research their menu beforehand so that you know what kinds of food to expect. Choose restaurant that have healthy food options, such as those with low fat and low sugar content. In fact, some restaurant websites contain nutritional and caloric information about their foods, so you can already plan what to eat even before you step into the restaurant. If such information is not available, you can instead opt for a restaurant where you can ask the chef to prepare low fat food for you.
  • Be mindful of the servings. There are some restaurants that offer large meal portions, so you need to control how much you eat by opting for smaller servings. You can also share with your partner if there are jumbo servings. Avoid supersizing your meals since this can lead to an exacerbation of gestational diabetes symptoms.
  • Avoid the freebies. Oftentimes, restaurants serve free bread, crackers, or chips while you are waiting for your meal. You can already skip these appetizers, especially since they are usually full of calories that will further increase your blood sugar levels. If you really want to have an appetizer, a safe choice would be a vegetable salad.
  • Use gravy and dressings sparingly. Both salad dressings and meat gravy are very high in fats, so you should not pour these over your meals like there’s no tomorrow. Instead, ask the waiter to serve it on the side so that you can control how much gravy or dressing you put into your food. If there is any low-fat dressing, that would be a good choice.
  • Substitute unhealthy foods with healthy ones. You can request from the chef or the waiter that instead of giving you fries as sides, they can just serve you garden salad instead. You can also substitute hash browns with fresh fruits.
  • Take note of what you drink. Your blood sugar levels might rise with sodas, fruit juices, shakes, tea, and coffee. While it is best to just drink plenty of water, you can still indulge in other drinks, provided that you only consume a little amount of those drinks.
  • Avoid fried foods. Remember that an average fast food restaurant serves food that have a lot of calories, fats, and salt, since the way that they cooked their food was almost always deep fried. Instead of eating fried foods, opt for baked or grilled foods instead.

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