Nutrition for pregnant women during pregnancy is an important factor determining the development of the fetus. However, at present, many women suffer from gestational diabetes. At this time, the nutritional balance is not easy, pregnant women can refer to the menu below to have a scientificly gestational diabetes diet.
To have a healthy pregnancy, a reasonable diet is something you cannot ignore. Especially, for pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The problem “What should pregnancy eat and what not to eat?” is a top concern. By following a healthy diet and the right exercise, pregnant women can control blood sugar by gestational diabetes diet.
1. What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which the body has high blood sugar level during pregnancy. This condition is usually detected from the 4th month of pregnancy and usually resolves after birth about 6 weeks. So, how do you know if you have diabetes during pregnancy?
Just do a blood test, determine blood sugar levels. A woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes when the following two index are:
- Fasting blood glucose ≥ 150mg.
- Blood sugar 2 hours after taking 75g sugar ≥ 140mg.
Diabetes of pregnancy if not well controlled will cause many effects on the mother as well as the development of the fetus. The basic treatment of the disease is control of diet, exercise, and medication. In which gestational diabetes diet has important role to take control blood sugar level stable.
2. What do you eat when you have gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes has a much influence on the health of the mother as well as the development of the fetus in the womb and even after birth. Therefore, for women having from this condition should follow the treatment regimen of specialized doctors. Along with that, there should be a reasonable diet to both control blood sugar and provide adequate nutrition for the developing of fetus.
2.1. Foods that pregnant women should eat when they have gestational diabetes
A healthy diet is important for all pregnant women. For women with gestational diabetes, a diet with sufficient energy, a balanced diet of nutrients. The diet should consist of food groups of rice and cereals, milk and dairy products, fish meat, eggs; green vegetables; fruits, vegetable oils fats.
* Eating foods that have a low glycemic index (GI)
Foods with low glycemic index (GI) are rich in fiber, which is an important element of a healthy diet. Choosing foods with a low GI will help pregnant women control diabetes most effectively, because foods with low GI will stay longer in the body and will not cause a sudden rise in blood sugar.
- Foods with a low GI (<56): Pregnant women should eat much more to stabilize blood sugar.
Most vegetables have low carbohydates, so they don’t affect blood sugar: Lean meats, fish, tofu, yogurt, non-fat and sugar-free milk. Choose high-fiber carbohydrates like brown rice, sprouts and cereals.
Foods that cause less hyperglycemia such as beans (Red beans, soy beans, peas, lentils), brown rice, less sweet fruits, tubers, vegetables. Some fresh fruits (apples, oranges, pears, peaches, grapes, kiwi, bananas, plums), milk and dairy products, whole wheat noodles, oats, corn, taro, brown rice … are real groups Low-sugar products.
- Medium GI foods (56 – 69): Gestational diabetes should be limited these foods to avoid high blood sugar.
It includes foods like orange juice, rice porridge, cooked potatoes, etc. This food group will raise blood sugar at a moderate rate.
- High GI foods (> 70):
such as sticky rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread …. This is a food group that is able to quickly raise blood sugar. Gestational diabetes should eat alittle amounts in each meal.
Choosing foods with a low GI can help control blood sugar. However, that does not mean that you cannot have any high GI foods. Mixing high GI foods with low GI foods can lower the rate of glucose entering the bloodstream.
* Eating lots of healthy protein foods
Women with gestational diabetes should try to eat more lean, protein-rich foods, such as:
- Red meat like beef, lean meat
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, macadamia).
Although salmon is very good for pregnant health and fetal development, to avoid mercury poisoning, women should only eat 300gr of salmon per week. Need to clean and cooked is best.
* Choose unsaturated fats
Unsaturated fats are also part of any healthy diet when you have gestational diabetes, foods that are rich in unsaturated fats include:
- Olive oil
- Most nuts and seeds
- Chia seeds
A pregnant woman with gestational diabetes is often advised to divide meals about 6 meals a day (three main meals with less than usual food and three snacks) to avoid skyrocketing blood sugar after a meal.
2.2. Diabetes pregnancy should not eat?
Avoiding foods that can raise blood sugar is essential when a person is on a gestational diabetes diet.
* Avoiding much sugary foods:
Blood sugar levels rise when people eat sugary foods, especially those that are refined and processed foods. Women with gestational diabetes should avoid or limit sugary foods as much as possible. It is so bad for their health.
- Assorted and sweet candies
- Soft drink
- Fruit juice has added sugar
- Baked foods like muffins, donuts or cakes.
Milk and fruit contain natural sugars and can be taken in moderation.
* Avoiding foods high in starch
Starchy foods include bread, rice, sticky rice, noodles. These are all foods we eat every day but women with gestational diabetes are always advised by their doctors not to eat too much at each meal.
Let’s divide the diet into 4 parts including 1 part starch, 1 part protein, 2 parts vegetables. The amount of starch per serving is about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of rice.
* Cutting down on saturated fats
As with a normal pregnant diet, moms should use unsaturated fats, such as sunflower or olive oil, for cooking and salad dressings. When cooking foods should be baked, steamed, boiled instead of fried, fried.
Mom can also snack with nuts, rich in unsaturated fat, instead of milk chocolate. Limiting fat from animals to fish, especially salmon, is good for the fetus.
* Avoiding foods that contain sugar and hidden carbs
Some foods may not seem to be high in starches and sugars, but they are not good. They even contain lots of unhealthy sugars and starches, including:
- Fast foods
- Acoholic drink. Anyway, you still need to avoid taking them during pregnancy.
- Greasy fried food.
- Dried fruits: Despite containing fiber and nutrients, but have a lot of natural sugar, should be avoided.
* Some other foods to avoid from:
– Milk: contains fat that these components are not good for diabetics. Can be substituted with low-fat, sugar-free milk.
– Animal skin and organs: foods that people with gestational diabetes should avoid because they provide too much fat, which causes fat accumulation, making it difficult to control the blood sugar level of patients.
3. Meals help gestational diabetes for healthy mothers and baby
Principle “1 part 4”: Divide the plate into 4 parts, including 1 part starch, 1 part protein, 2 parts vegetables. The amount of starch per serving is about 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup.
Depending on the BMI (based on height, weight) of the mother before pregnancy, the amount of carbohydrate for meals can range from 30-60g, snacks from 15-30g. A healthy diet is one that is complementary and balanced with nutrients.
For regular foods, pregnant women should estimate the number of grams of carbohydrates based on the instructions below. Note that the amount of carbohydrates can vary in the same food according to its weight.
* Starch-1 serving is equivalent to 15g of carbohydrate in:
- 1/3 bowl of white rice, pasta 1 slice of bread (25g)
- 1/2 piece of Hamburger
- 1/2 cup noodles, noodles
- 1/2 cup corn or green peas, black beans
- 1/2 ounce sweet potato.
* Fruit group: Pregnant women should eat fresh fruit daily, for snacks. 1 serving is equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate in:
- 1 medium apple, orange, kiwi, medium sized peaches
- 1/2 banana, mango or pear
- 1/2 cup fresh grapes
- 1 slice of watermelon (15 g).
* Milk group: Mom should also drink milk and eat yogurt daily. Equivalent to 15g of carbohydrate found in:
240ml skim or low-fat milk, white yogurt (made from whole fresh milk).
* The group has little effect on blood sugar:
Include green vegetables, protein and fat. Mothers can eat non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, vegetables, celery, broccoli, carrots … fiber.
For protein, pregnant women should eat protein-rich proteins such as pork, chicken, beef .., eggs, beans and dairy products, avoiding foods containing high levels of saturated fat such as: chains, bacon.
4. Checking your blood sugar daily
Pregnant mothers’ efforts to adjust their diets to achieve their goals or not which is reflected in blood glucose measurement results.
Blood glucose goal level for women with gestational diabetes before meals is less than 5.3 mmol / l, less than 1 hour after meal is below 7.8 mmol / l and 2 hours after eating is less than 6.7 mmol / l.
Please record your diet and blood sugar results daily, visit a doctor and dietitian for advice if you don’t reach your goals.
A book you can refer to make plan diet for gestational diabetes which is Kachin Diabetes Solution book. It will guide you how to eat to loss weight, to stabilize blood sugar, and which foods need to avoid. I see this book is useful for diabetics, special gestional diabetes. Let you learn more at here: