The right diet for gestational diabetes

The right diet for gestational diabetes

The right diet for gestational diabetes

test for gestational diabetes
Pregnant woman giving blood sample for gestational diabetes

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that just affects pregnant women. This means that gestational diabetes can only occur during pregnancy. High blood sugar that develops or is first diagnosed during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. The way your body utilizes insulin changes during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone that permits your cells to accept and utilize glucose (sugar) as an energy source.

When you’re pregnant, your body naturally becomes more insulin resistant to deliver more glucose to your baby. In other people, the process goes awry, and their bodies cease reacting to insulin or don’t produce enough insulin to provide them with the glucose they require. You’ll have too much sugar in your blood if this happens. Gestational diabetes results from this. Hence gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and normally goes away once the baby is born.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes:

In most cases, gestational diabetes has no symptoms. The majority of cases are first found when your blood sugar levels are checked during a pregnancy diabetes screening. If the blood sugar levels get too high (hyperglycemia), some women may have symptoms such as:

  • Increased thirst
  • The urge to urinate more frequently than normal
  • Fatigue

Some of these symptoms, however, are typical throughout pregnancy and are not always indicative of gestational diabetes. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, talk to your gynecologist.

The effects of gestational diabetes on pregnancy:

Many women with gestational diabetes have healthy infants and have normal pregnancies. But, gestational diabetes can create issues such as

  • The baby becomes larger than usual, which can cause complications during birth and raise your chances of having induced labor or a cesarean surgery.
  • Polyhydramnios is a condition in which there is too much amniotic fluid in the womb, which can lead to preterm labor or delivery complications can also occur.
  • Delivery before the 37th week of pregnancy that is known as preterm birth can occur.
  • Pre-eclampsia is a disorder that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and, if left untreated, can result in pregnancy difficulties and can also be a complication of gestational diabetes.
  • The loss of a baby (stillbirth) can occur – though this is uncommon.

If you have gestational diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.

Gestational Diabetes Diet:

Gestational Diabetes Diet

You must be wondering about the gestational diabetes diet. Here is the diet that you should eat when suffering from gestational diabetes. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can help you control your symptoms without taking medication if you have gestational diabetes. In general, your diet should consist of protein as well as a balanced combination of carbs and fats. Blood sugar levels might surge if you consume too many carbs. If you’re wanting carbs, make sure they’re the right kind: legumes, whole grains, and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Ask your doctor about working with a registered dietitian who specializes in gestational diabetes or nutrition throughout pregnancy. We also offer free consultationBook your appointment today. A nutritionist can assist you with meal planning and developing an eating plan that will keep you and your baby healthy.

Gestational diabetes diet must follow the following:

  • Every meal should include protein.
  • Consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
  • Processed foods should be limited or avoided.
  • To avoid overeating, pay attention to meal proportions.

Nutrients Intake:

Protein, healthy fats, and fiber should be the foundation of your meals. Limit your intake of processed meals and eat a lot of fresh foods. Cravings for french fries can be difficult to ignore, so keep healthy alternatives on hand for when they strike. Furthermore, eating satiating foods like protein-rich foods will help you feel full, reducing your desire for less healthy foods. Although carbohydrate tolerance varies widely among pregnant women with gestational diabetes, a new study suggests that a diet with fewer than 40% total calories from carbs is typically best for maintaining optimal blood sugar management.

Keep in mind, though, that your carb requirements and tolerance are unique to you. They are affected by a variety of circumstances, including medication use, body weight, and blood sugar management. Work with your health professionals, including your doctor and registered dietitian, to develop a strategy that meets your specific needs for promoting optimum blood sugar management throughout pregnancy.

Healthier Snack Options For Gestational Diabetes Patients:

Healthy snacks

Snacks are excellent for maintaining blood sugar levels. If you have gestational diabetes, here are some healthier snack and meal options:

  • Vegetables, fresh or frozen Raw, roasted, or cooked vegetables are all delicious. Pair raw vegetables with a protein source like hummus or cheese for a healthy snack.
  • Whole eggs or egg whites are used to make veggie omelets. Whole eggs are high in numerous nutrients, but egg whites are primarily protein.
  • Steel-cut oats with berries, pumpkin seeds, and unsweetened coconut.
  • A handful of nuts or a teaspoon of nut butter with fresh fruit.
  • Breasts of turkey or chicken. Eat the skin if you want to!
  • Baked fish, particularly fatty fish such as salmon and trout.
  • Toast with sweet potatoes, mashed avocado, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and sliced apple are sprinkled over plain Greek yogurt.

Hence these are the snacks that can be included in the gestational diabetes diet.

Can fruits be eaten when having gestational diabetes?

If you have gestational diabetes, you can still consume fruit. All you have to do is consume it in moderation. Consult a certified dietitian if you have any concerns or need assistance keeping track of the carbohydrates in the fruits you intend to consume. Berries are a fantastic choice since they are low in sugar and high in fiber, so stock up and add them into a smoothie, over yogurt, or over whole grain porridge. For added crunch, freeze them. Following are some fruits that can be the best option to be included in the gestational diabetes diet:

  • Oranges
  • Avocados
  • Banana
  • Berries
  • Apples

Remember, that moderation is necessary.

Foods to avoid when having gestational diabetes:

Junk food

It may be difficult to give up some of your favorite meals, but there are plenty of delicious alternatives. You should not add   highly processed meals like white bread and anything with a lot of sugar in general to your gestational diabetes diet plan. For example, you should stay away from the following:

  • Fast food
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Muffins, donuts, and cakes or other  baked foods.
  • Fried cuisine
  • Sugary drinks.
  • Candy
  • White pasta and white rice 
  • Cereals with added sugar

If you’re unsure, talk to your doctor about the items you eat regularly. They can help you figure out what to avoid and provide alternatives that will keep you happy.

Treatment for gestational diabetes:

metformin tablets

Your gestational diabetes therapy is based on your blood glucose levels. Diet and exercise are often enough to control gestational diabetes. To reduce your blood sugar, you may need to take metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza) or injectable insulin in some cases.


If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant, remember that you may have a healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery with the appropriate diet and activity. To keep yourself and your child healthy and strong, talk to your doctor about the perfect balance of nutritious diets, physical exercise, and suggested treatments.

I lead a team of professional nutritionists and dietitians. We provide our consulting services in different areas of nutrition.

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