Gestational diabetes is a term used to describe diabetes that has its onset during pregnancy. While diabetes and indeed pregnancy are rarely convenient, experiencing both at the same time can be particularly problematic and result in many difficulties regarding the best course of action.
In diabetes a patient will suffer a reduced ability to utilize the glucose in the blood. This is caused as result of the mother not having enough insulin to convert the sugar to energy. This insulin is required in high quantities for parents who need ‘energy for two’ and who are eating considerably more, the problem thus occurs as the mother is unable to produce the amount necessary. The good news is that for most parents the diabetes will subside over pregnancy, though they may also find that they are more likely to develop it again in future, and as such they will need to be careful to manage their weight and diet to reduce this likelihood.
The Best Diet for Gestational Diabetes
It is highly important during pregnancy for the mother to maintain healthy levels of blood glucose in order to help keep the baby healthy in the womb. This then requires the mother to alter her diet and in some cases to take additional medication such as insulin injections.
For both the pregnant and the diabetic, diet is highly important – but for those with gestational diabetes it is doubly so. Fortunately the ‘diabetic diet’ is no different from any normal healthy diet and simply involves the reduction of simple carbs in the diet. Simple carbs are those that have readily available sugar in high quantities and that result in a sudden sugar rush to the blood when consumed followed by an insulin spike. By avoiding these it is easier to maintain healthy blood sugar. Completely avoiding all carbs of course is not a healthy strategy as it will result in severely low energy levels at a time when the mother needs energy more than ever.
Your diet should also avoid foods high in fat and should steer toward fiber and fruits and vegetables. This way you can help to maintain a healthy weight and limit the strain on the heart which is positive for both you and the baby.
Foods to Avoid
- Cake, sweets and chocolate
- Saturated fats and processed foods
- Other foods high in cholesterol
- Sweetener (these ‘fool’ the body into thinking you have consumed sugar resulting in an insulin spike that exhausts your supply and that leaves you with very low energy levels)
Most important is to monitor your blood sugar levels. By doing this you will be able to moderate your diet in response to what works and you will be able to increase and decrease your blood sugar levels as needed.