Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Having gestational diabetes means that your body has trouble processing and producing insulin a hormone that you need to turn glucose into usable energy. This leads to high blood glucose levels. Of course, diet is always extremely important during pregnancy, but it's even more so for women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. What do you need to know about the foods you need to eat if you have gestational diabetes, and what foods to stay away from?
Let's take a look at how gestational diabetes is diagnosed first. High blood glucose levels are obviously detected though a blood test. But these blood tests are not done just like that the notorious glucose test is a routine part of prenatal care for nearly every woman, and most cases of gestational diabetes are diagnosed with the help of this test. You can read more about this in our article about what to expect from a glucose test. There are pills available to keep gestational diabetes under control, but many cases of diabetes during pregnancy can be controlled very effectively through the proper diet. You can discuss meal plans with your doctor or midwife, but you will probably need the help of a dietitian or nutrition expert too.
The secret to keeping gestational diabetes under control with diet is not exceeding the amount of calories you need, and balancing your diet with the right amounts of foods from each food group. Cutting out trans fats and refined sugars is very important. You do need fats, carbohydrates and protein. Increasing your levels of physical activity can also help, and making sure to eat at regular intervals can help your diabetes stay under control. Eating a good, balanced breakfast also helps. How gestational diabetes is managed does vary from patient to patient though, so you will need to discuss all of this in detail with your healthcare providers.