Gestational diabetes is diagnosed during pregnancy as the placental hormones often inhibit the production of insulin in the body or inhibits its action to reduce glucose for energy. It occurs in about 3%-7% of all pregnancies and goes away just after the baby is born. The first step in treating this type of diabetes is to modify your diet using gestational diabetes diet along with moderate physical exercises.
Though gestational diabetes goes away just after pregnancy but sometimes you can develop type 2 diabetes after the birth of your child but it will not happen definitely. Carbohydrate is the main source of energy in our diet but it also turns into blood glucose in our body, therefore, you should maintain the amount of carbohydrates you intake using the gestational diabetes diet.
By following the gestational diabetes diet, you can eat a variety of healthy food and also make better choices when you shop. This can not only help you maintain your blood glucose level during pregnancy but following the diet can also keep it in check in later future. In general, you should follow:
- Choose complex carbohydrates:
Intake of complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates helps to keep the glucose level at normal as it takes more time to digest rather than simple carbohydrates which are easily digested.
- Maintain meals:
You should maintain the timings and the amount of food you are having on each meal. This helps to keep track on the rise in your blood glucose level as per the quantity of food taken.
- Avoid fruit juice:
Food juice contains a high glycemic index that is the quantity of simple sugar is high. Thus, you should choose high fibrous fruits over fruit juices which takes time to get digested and thus does not raises the sugar level at one go.
- Eat moderate:
As a healthy gestational diabetes diet intake of everything healthy is a must, therefore, you should have a moderate amount of proteins and healthy fats as well as have moderate amounts of whole grains and starchy vegetables.
Food items to avoid
Glucose is necessary for your body as well as your baby as it provides nourishment to the growing child but it is also necessary to keep the blood glucose level in check. There are a number of food items you should avoid in order to keep the sugar level in your body at normal. This includes:
Processed white rice, white flour, white bread, French fries, etc.
Canned veggies with lots of sodium, and veggies cooked with excess butter or cheese, etc.
Canned fruits with added syrup which is rich in sugar, jams, jelly, fruit drinks or juices, etc.
Deep fried fish, meat, pork bacon, high-fat meat, poultry with skin, regular cheese, etc.
Whole milk, regular yoghurt, cream cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, etc.
- Fats and oils:
Saturated fats and oils which come mainly from the animal. Oils like coconut and palm oil.
- Sweets and drinks:
Different kind of sweets as well as sweetened tea or coffee with sugar and cream, energy drinks, regular fruity mixed drinks, beer and wine.
An expert dietitian would offer you with the gestational diabetes diet that is devoid of the above-mentioned food items but in many cases these items could be occasional treats in small quantity. As far as these food items are concerned, they are not good for nutrition but can be eaten to improve the taste buds.
Gestational diabetes can be cured or it eventually goes away once the baby has been born but in few rare cases it cannot be prevented or cured. To gain a healthy pregnancy and the birth of a healthy child you must lower your chances of gestational diabetes in the first place. This can be done by eating healthy food following the gestational diabetes diet and avoid getting overweight before or during pregnancy.
Safe and moderate exercise plans also work wonder in losing weight in order to get the desired shape during pregnancy. This includes walking, swimming, etc. which can help you keep your blood sugar level under control. Thus, for a healthy life, you should always eat healthy and stay fit before, during, and after pregnancy not only for yourself but also for your baby.