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Gestational Diabetes Diet

Emma | September 14th, 2012

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Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops and is diagnosed during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can be dangerous for both mother and child, as it may lead to high birth weight, emergency c-section, premature birth, and other risks. The good news is that a healthy gestational diabetes diet will help women control their blood sugar levels without the need for medications or insulin.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman’s blood sugar, or glucose, rises to unhealthy levels (generally, more than 130-140 mg/dL). Approximately two to five percent of pregnant mothers suffer from gestational diabetes, which is diagnosed with a glucose challenge test (GCT) between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. For most women gestational diabetes can be controlled with exercise and a healthy diet.

The Center for Medical Weight Loss is one of the largest groups of nutrition and weight loss doctors in the United States. The Center’s staff of physicians are experts in gestational diabetes diet information, and can tailor a nourishing diabetic diet to the needs of a pregnant woman, helping nurture her body and growing child while lowering glucose levels naturally.

Many women are able to completely control gestational diabetes through diet and exercise, and will never have to take insulin.

Gestational diabetes diet information

The cornerstone of the gestational diabetes diet is healthy food choices. Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily and limit carbohydrates at breakfast, when insulin resistance is greatest. Limit intake of high-sugar or high-fat foods like fruits, sweets, and fast food. Eat at least three small meals and two snacks throughout the day, and never skip a meal, as this can affect insulin levels. Regular exercise is also an important part of the gestational diabetic diet.

A gestational diabetes diet depends on balance for success:

  • Carbohydrates: Carbs should account for less than 50% of the day’s calories. Stick to whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat bread, as they take longer to digest.
  • Vegetables and leafy greens: Down 3-5 servings a day of cooked or raw veggies or vegetable juice. Leafy greens are also high in iron, and are a great choice for pregnant women.
  • Fruit: Choose 2-4 servings of fruits – defined as one medium fruit, 1/2 cup chopped, or 3/4 cups of juice – each day. Fresh fruits are best, and eating a piece of fruit is preferable to drinking juice.
  • Dairy: Low-fat or nonfat dairy products are full of protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and other nutrients. Eat 4 servings of dairy everyday.
  • Protein: Choose 2-3 daily servings of lean sources of protein, including chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, eggs or beans, to feel full and fuel the body.

Control blood sugar with a doctor-supervised diet

It is important to speak with a medical professional before going on any diet, and this is doubly true when eating for two. The doctors at The Center for Medical Weight Loss can give pregnant women diabetes diet information, including how to supply their bodies and babies with proper nutrition while lowering blood sugar. They will also suggest belly-friendly exercise plans, such as daily walking, swimming or other activities that are easy on pregnancy but high on health.

To learn more about The Center for Medical Weight Loss and the gestational diabetes diet, or to hear testimonials of successful weight loss, contact a Center near you. Just enter your zip code into the box at the top right, and make sure to inquire about special introductory offers for new clients at select locations.