Diet Tips for Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disorder in which the blood sugar levels are very high due to inadequate production of insulin by the pancreas (insulin deficiency) or resistance to the action of insulin (insulin resistance). There are two major types of diabetes; Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. In addition to these forms of diabetes, Gestational diabetes is another common form of diabetes found in woman during the period of pregnancy.
Women are more prone to pregnancy related complications due to many reasons. In most cases, women are not aware of Diabetes during pregnancy. The condition causes high blood sugar levels that can adversely affect the health of the woman and her child.
Gestational Diabetes is often a phase and a woman’s blood sugar level returns to normal post the pregnancy. However, this also puts a woman at the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that breaks down the food into sugar or glucose. The glucose is then used as energy. The way your body uses insulin changes during pregnancy because you become insulin resistant, in order to provide your baby with more glucose. However, in some women their body stops producing insulin or doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of insulin, resulting in excess amounts of sugar in the blood, hence causing gestational diabetes.
Pregnancy is a phase when women generally tend to read a lot about ways to keep the body healthy and have a healthy pregnancy. On being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a lot of questions regarding what to eat and what not to eat may put you in a dilemma.
In gestational diabetes, the calorie requirements remain the same but you may need to plan small and frequent meals, usually a 6-7 meal pattern can be considered. The calorie intake should focus majorly on complex carbohydrates from germinated pulses and legumes, lean meat and dairy which are best options for good quality proteins and food satisfaction. Healthy choices for fat come from mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Restrict consumption of some calorie dense, particularly starchy fruits and vegetables. Total avoidance of empty calorie foods is the best decision to make.
Proper educational counseling is very essential as during pregnancy, women deal with various concerns. Stress is another issue we can reduce with good counseling and interactive sessions.
Dietary Tips to keep in mind:
- Eat small and frequent meals. Do not skip any meals; as all meals are equally important.
- Include all food groups in your daily diet plan. Consider in small portion throughout a day.
- Choose healthy nuts as a part of healthy fat and source of DHA (docosahexonoic acid).
- Select a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure good source of fiber and sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals. Soluble fiber comes from fruits and vegetables that gives satiety to the meals.
- Inclusion of wholegrain cereals and germinated pulses are a good source of B complex vitamins and energy which helps in maintaining ideal blood sugar level.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated at all times.
It is always advisable to visit a specialist who would be able to create a customized diet plan for you. During the course of your pregnancy, there may be changes made to your diet plan basis your blood sugar levels.