Gestational Diabetes Meal plan and diet –Guidelines
Gestation diabetes is developed during pregnancy and is becoming a widespread problem because of the fact that the lifestyle and diet habits of pregnant women are not very good. When pregnant women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is important to monitor blood glucose levels, follow a balanced food plan, and engage in regular physical activity. The most important thing for pregnant women is to control their diet in every way possible and to eat only health food.
The following are some crucial factors to keep in mind each day:
Choose complex carbs over simple carbohydrates (such as whole grains and beans) (like white rice and white bread) – Simple carbs are not very healthy. But whole grains and beans are healthy. With complex carbs, pregnant women get more energy. These carbs are rich in fiber which is an essential element in the digestion. It keeps the digestive system healthy and protects from bloating, gas and constipation. It keeps a check on the sugar levels also. Pregnant women can consult doctors to know the best complex carbs that can be consumed in their condition.
Choose lean proteins over fatty proteins – It is important for pregnant women to choose proteins that are not full of fats. It is good to eat hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. An egg is a rich source of lean proteins and keeps sugar levels stable. Salmon-a rich source of lean protein and omega-3 and fatty acids can be consumed by women.
Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables can work wonders for pregnant women who have gestational diabetes. These help in removing the toxin from the bodies. It is easy to digest the fruits. We must eat enough green and leafy vegetables. However, pregnant women with gestational diabetes can avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes.
When feasible, choose dairy products that are fat-free or low-fat – Pregnant women must choose those dairy products that contain low-fat content. Low-fat milk is a rich source of calcium.
Snack frequently throughout the day (to maintain blood sugar level) – Gestational diabetic patients must take snacks after regular intervals, it will keep the sugar level stable.
Avoid sugars that have been processed – It is important for pregnant women to avoid processed sugar. Instead, they can opt for brown sugar.
Nuts and seeds – Pregnant women with gestational diabetes must eat maximum nuts and seeds. It includes almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. They are a very good source of proteins. They have fats also but that fat is healthy. They can help women in exercising control over the body weight.
Use olive oil – For cooking vegetables, it is good to use olive oil. It is a healthy and light option. It contains anti-oxidants. It reduces the risk of disease. It also protects the body against any kind of inflammation. It reduces the risk of stroke. For a diabetic patient, it is helpful in keeping the sugar levels down.
Lentils – These are legumes that pregnant women can eat. It is rich in protein and fiber. Lentils have abundant fiber that improves digestion and makes pregnant ladies active. It also contains calcium, iron, and potassium. Lentils are a healthier choice for the hearts as compared to meat.
Tofu – It is a good source of protein and has all the necessary amino acids. It has calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium also. It reduces bad cholesterol in our bodies. Tofu is obtained from soy.
Calcium and iron– Intake of those food items that give us calcium is necessary. In case of pregnancy, women can fulfill our requirements for calcium through supplements also.
Things to avoid in case of gestational diabetes
- Desserts – Desserts have high sugar contents. It is better to avoid them if pregnant women have gestational diabetes.
- Soda- It has carbon dioxide dissolved in it. It has some sugar dissolved in it also. That is harmful for a diabetic patient.
- Juice – Juices contain preservatives. Preservatives are not good for health. They have added sugar that can raise the levels of sugar in our bodies.
- White bread/pasta– white bread and white pasta has high sugar. Moreover, it does not digest easily. It takes time for digestion. So, for a diabetic it is bad.
- Refined grains – Consumption of refined carbohydrates has been related to a significantly increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, among other disorders. Refined carbohydrates should be consumed in moderation, according to almost every nutrition expert. However, in many nations, they are still the primary source of dietary carbohydrates.
- Highly processed foods – Added sugar, salt, and fat are all common ingredients in heavily processed foods. These substances enhance the flavor of our food, but too much of them can lead to major health problems such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Fried food – Fried food must be avoided as much as possible. It leads to obesity and can raise the levels of sugar. It causes obesity that directly affects our hearts.
It is always advisable to see a dietician who can help pregnant women with gestational diabetes in selecting the right diet and meal plan as per the requirement of the body and the baby.
A healthy eating plan will help pregnant women in the following ways:
- It will manage the blood sugar levels very well and keep it stable and in range.
- It will provide an adequate amount of nutrition for the women and the baby.
- Keep the weight of the body under control.
So, always follow a proper and healthy meal plan during pregnancy.