Gestational diabetes is a variant in pregnancy that some non-diabetic women have. The expectant mother’s body is unable to produce enough insulin to convert starch to energy. Therefore, the glucose levels in the bloodstream spike, causing danger to the health of the mother and the unborn child.
This type of diabetes ceases to exist once the baby is born. Gestational diabetes, if not treated can lead to birth complications, premature delivery, or overweight babies. Hence, during pregnancy, it is essential to detect gestational diabetes early and to treat it with a combination of diet, exercise, and medication as per the doctor’s orders.
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Women suffering from gestational diabetes need to carefully watch and limit the number of carbohydrates they consume. While a pregnant woman needs 300 extra calories every day during the pregnancy, these calories should come through a balanced diet of carbs, proteins, fiber, vitamins, fats, and minerals. Expectant women suffering from gestational diabetes should take a lot of fresh vegetables, salads, nuts, and whole grains every day. This adds proteins and fiber to the diet and prevents constipation. As glucose levels vary throughout the way, 4 meals and 3 snacks should be taken in small portions and at regular timings throughout the day. Bottled condiments and fruit drinks should be avoided because of their high sugar content.
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An ideal gestational
A diabetes diet should be balanced, and rich in vitamins and nutrients that the growing baby requires. To keep the glucose levels even you can have small snacks all through the day and a low-carb breakfast.
A diet for a woman suffering from gestational diabetes amounting to 2200 calories can be prescribed as follows. The total nutritional requirements should be spread over 6-7 small meals at regular intervals throughout the day:
Starches: 6-10 servings of each of the following adding up to 15 grams of carbohydrate-
- 1 slice whole-wheat bread OR ½ cup cooked wheat pasta OR 1/3 cup cooked rice or beans OR ¾ cups cereal
- Fresh Fruit: 2-4 servings each day adding up to 15 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 small apple or orange OR ¾ cup fresh berries OR 1 kiwi fruit OR ¼ cup dry fruits OR 1 ¼ cup melon
- Milk products: 2 servings adding up to 12 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 cup fresh milk OR 1 cup sugar-free yogurt
- Vegetables: 2 servings of any adding up to 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 cup vegetable juice OR 1 cup fresh vegetables OR ½ cup steamed vegetables.
- Animal products: 2-3 servings each of any of the following:
- 1 egg on alternate days OR 2-3 ounces of cooked meat or fish
- 6 almonds OR 10 peanuts OR 1/8 avocado
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It is also necessary to avoid saturated fats like fatty meats, butter, cream, bacon, and whole milk cheese. In general foods with high levels of sugar must be avoided.