What is Gestational diabetes
Gestation refers to pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is one of the types of diabetes that develops in pregnant women. Gestational diabetes during gestation is characterised by increased and high level of blood sugar over the normal level due to improper secretion or lack of insulin production. Even though gestational diabetes tends to disappear automatically after delivering the baby, more than 50% of pregnant women are prone to develop diabetes.
Generally carbohydrates are converted into blood glucose, which is the major source of energy. Pregnant women need nutritious diet to maintain good health. When there is no production or lack of insulin production to use glucose in the body to convert into energy, there will be an increase in glucose levels, leading towards gestational diabetes. Hence, pregnant women need to take care about their health and include nutritious food in the diet because they can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy at any time, which affects the child.
Gestational diabetes diet
Pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes should plan for unique gestational diabetes diet and set goals for eating healthy food. Following is the simple gestational diabetes plan tips.
• Do not skip meals and eat meals in smaller portions
• Do not over eat foods with high carbohydrate in any meals and ensure to eat medium level of carbohydrate in all meals
• Opt for low carbohydrate diet in the morning, i.e breakfast
• Always avoid fatty and spicy foods in breakfast
• Drink minimum of 8 glasses of water or liquids in form of fresh juices or milk
• Include foods rich in fiber like organic vegetables and fruits, pasta, whole grains, etc
• Try to avoid or eat lesser portions of fatty and sugary foods.
• Ensure to include foods with vitamin and minerals everyday in the diet.
In addition to following above, pregnant women with gestational diabetes should follow the gestational diabetes guidelines to give birth to a healthy baby.
• Include calcium rich foods in the gestational diabetes diet, which are rich in dairy products, green leafy vegetables and in nuts.
• Gestational diabetes might lead towards anaemic condition, i.e iron deficiency in women, where anaemia makes the pregnancy too complicated. So pregnant women need to include three to four servings of foods rich in iron. Further, they can also take iron capsules prescribed by the doctor.
• Vitamin A and C are other important elements required by pregnant women. Carrot, spinach, beetroot, apricots, pumpkins, etc are rich source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C is found in abundant quantity in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, broccoli, etc.
• Pregnant women with diabetic condition should never try to shed their weight, as it might lead towards severe complications.
• If you are bored with a particular or standard gestational diabetes diet chart or food menu, you can go for plan for different combination of nutritious menu.
Generally pregnant women need to increase their weight gradually during the gestation. Unfortunately, gestational diabetes results in weight loss, which should be compensated by planning appropriate gestational diabetes diet menu. Ask your doctor or a nutritionist for a variety of gestational diabetes diet plan.
A sample diet for gestational diabetes.
Breakfast: A glass of milk, one full apple, one cup pasta or corns, one cup of cereals or boiled potato. Pregnant women with morning sickness can avoid milk and eggs in the breakfast and consider corns and cereals.
Snack Before lunch: Vegetable salad or a whole fruit with one glass of milk and peanuts
Lunch: A cup of rice or 2 – 3 bread slices, boiled vegetables like carrot, broccoli, etc or vegetable gravy, one tomato or tomato juice, one whole fruit of any choice, one cup of yoghurt
Post lunch snack – peanut butter or vegetable sticks with choice of fresh fruit juice, nuts.
Dinner – pasta, a choice of fruit or fruit salad, one cup of milk, vegetable roll or salad, brown rice or chicken breast, nuts.