Women who are pregnant usually need a new routine, both when it comes to food and when it comes to body care. When we talk about food, for example, it is always important to be aware that the woman is eating for two and to know what is healthier and what should be avoided during this period.
However, it is sometimes inevitable that diseases such as gestational diabetes will appear. And when that happens, care needs to be further elaborated. That is why today we are going to talk about food for those who have gestational diabetes . But first of all, we need to talk about what this disease is.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is nothing more than a type of diabetes that accuses a pregnant woman of high blood sugar, called hyperglycemia . It happens in women who do not have diabetes before they are pregnant and that disappears after delivery.
It usually appears in the third trimester of pregnancy and about 7% of women experience this problem, and the chances of the woman developing diabetes after childbirth are increased.
This disease is caused by problems with the production of the hormone insulin in the pancreas. This hormone is important for allowing sugar to be used as an energy source and for its excess to be stored.
When there is a problem with the production of this hormone, a person becomes diabetic. In the case of pregnant women, this may be directly related to some specific pregnancy hormones that end up preventing the pancreas from producing insulin in the correct way.
There are some risk factors for this disease to occur, such as obesity or the woman’s age, that the older she is, the more likely she is to develop this disease. Other factors include family history and intolerance to sugar in the body, also called pre-diabetes.
Gestational diabetes can be a dangerous disease if it is not treated correctly, offering several risks to the health of both mother and baby. Among the main risks are obesity, malformations of the baby and even his early death. For this reason, it is necessary to have the appropriate treatment and follow medical recommendations to the letter.
And many of these recommendations are directly related to the diet of the pregnant woman. And that is why it is so important to talk about food for those who have gestational diabetes.
Why Is Food Important?
Before we talk about what are the best foods to eat, we need to talk about why this is so important. The main reason is due to high blood sugar levels , which can cause symptoms such as tiredness, fatigue , blurred vision, among other things.
Therefore, the diet for those who have gestational diabetes has to be thought so that the sugar levels are balanced. And for that to happen, not only must the right foods be eaten, but also in the right amount and at specific times of the day. This is the best way to take care of yourself and not let gestational diabetes affect you or your baby.
What to Eat in Gestational Diabetes?
The best thing is to eat foods that have a low glycemic index, that is, foods that have little sugar. In addition, it is also important to eat foods that cause carbohydrates to be broken down more slowly by the body, thus facilitating sugar control. Fiber-rich foods are also great options to help with this diet.
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish like salmon, sardines and tuna
- Fruits with peel and bagasse so that the sugar is reduced
- Oats and various types of cereals
- Skinless chicken
- Vegetables and greens such as spinach, carrots, cauliflower, chayote and eggplant, preferably raw
- White cheese
- Skimmed milk
- Low-fat yogurt
All of these foods can be combined into a healthy diet that must be followed strictly so that the woman does not have any type of problem with the disease.
How many times a day should I eat?
When we talk about a diet for those who have gestational diabetes, it is not enough to just talk about what are the best foods, but it is also necessary to explain how these foods should be eaten throughout the day. A good diet is done as follows:
Breakfast – Fruits, which can be fresh, frozen or dried, yogurt, boiled eggs, milk, cheese, cereals and nuts.
Morning Snack – Wholemeal bread, white cheese, yogurt, cereals.
Lunch – Various types of vegetables both in the main dish and in the salad, lean meats such as chicken or fish, eggs. For dessert, a fruit with peel.
Afternoon Snack – It can still look like the morning snack, with variations of nuts, cereals, whole grain breads and white cheese.
Dinner – Brown rice, whole-grain pasta, meat, vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes. Do not forget the salad always with raw vegetables.
Supper – A fruit or a glass of milk
Of course, the options for each menu can vary, as long as you follow the rule of sugar control in the body. Even so, it is always important to keep yourself well fed so that neither your health nor that of your baby are harmed.
What Not to Eat in Gestational Diabetes?
It is also extremely important to talk about what should not be eaten when you have gestational diabetes, as these are foods that should be avoided at all costs and that can be harmful to the mother and baby. Some of them are:
- Sweets, especially industrialized ones, but not only
- Soft drinks
- General fried food
- Whole milk and yogurt
- Alcoholic beverages
- Fatty meats
Other Ways to Control Gestational Diabetes
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, physical exercise also helps women to control their blood sugar levels. Of course, the exercises must be specific for pregnant women so that no other problems occur, but they are a great option nonetheless.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend specific medications to be taken along with diet and exercise. It is never good when you get a disease while pregnant, especially if the disease appears exactly because of the pregnancy.
But this is often unavoidable and what should be done is to take the utmost care so that the disease does not become a headache and cause for much concern during this period. Gestational diabetes can be dangerous, but it can also often be controlled , especially when eating properly. So, if you have the disease, follow your diet in the best possible way so that nothing more serious happens in your pregnancy.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.