‘Gestational Diabetes’ means high blood sugar (glucose) count during pregnancy. In most of the cases of such diabetes, the blood sugar level drops down to normal after delivery. However, gestational diabetes may sometimes adversely affect the growth of the foetus. Therefore, regulating blood sugar during pregnancy is imperative for ensuring the birth of a healthy baby. Normally, the most effective way of keeping blood sugar in check is by following a nutritious diet plan and a regular exercise regimen. Furthermore, the food plan should be so formulated as to incorporate all the essential nutrients required by a pregnant woman. Given below is the meal plan that diabetic pregnant women should follow.
Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan
Apart form eating a nutritious diet, a woman with gestational diabetes must also keep a check on the amount of carbohydrates consumed. Generally, eating too much carbohydrate will trigger increase in the glucose level. However, cutting off carbohydrates totally from your diet chart will lead to fall in the blood sugar, which is equally unhealthy. Therefore, the meal plan should be so prepared as to slot in the adequate amount of carbohydrate required by the body. Go through these bulleted points to get an idea regarding a diet that is to be followed by women with gestational diabetes.
- Steer clear of sugars, sweeteners and concentrated sweets. Do not consume pies, pastries, cakes, chocolates, cookies, jam, marmalade, soft drinks, table sugar, honey and fruits juices. Food containing sucrose, fructose, dextrose, honey, molasses, corn starch, corn syrup and sweet concentrated fruit juices are strictly to be avoided.
- Cut off junk food and packaged meals, like instant noodles, hot dogs, burgers, french fries, potato crisps, tinned fish, tinned soups and frozen foods, from your diet. You should avoid consuming any of these items even in small quantities.
- Make sure to eat a very small, but healthy breakfast, comprising of proteins. Do not drink juice or eat fruits and corns. Avoid eating pastas, rotis and paranthas. Instead, opt for eggs, lentil broth, skinned chicken or brown bread spread with peanut butter.
- Instead of eating large meals, divide your meals into small portions and eat after every three to four hours. Increase the intake of lean proteins and see that you include a rich protein source, like meat (low fat), fish (skinned), eggs, cottage cheese, nuts, peanut butter, etc, in each meal.
- Introduce high fiber and lots of green foods in your diet. Fresh and leafy vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, pulses, beans and fresh fruits should be consumed in large quantities. Ensure that you eat fruits only for lunch or dinner and do not have them for breakfast.
- Refrain from eating deep fried and fatty foods. Cooking oil should be sparingly used, possibly avoided. Instead of frying foods (even fish and meat), bake, boil or steam them. You can also eat barbequed meat and fish. Avoid meat with high fat content, like pork.
- To reduce the intake of fat, use only skim or low-fat milk and dairy products. Thick cream, butter, cheese, mayonnaise, margarine and sour cream are to be replaced with low-fat foods and proteins.