Diabetic Diet Plan For Pregnancy

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Diabetic diet plan for pregnancy is important because women with DM are at higher risk of developing complications during and after pregnancy. The risk increases if the woman has high blood glucose levels, poor control of the disease and if kidney function is affected.

Gestational diabetes diet

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that starts during pregnancy. Eating a balanced, healthy diet can help you manage gestational diabetes. The diet recommendations that follow are for women with gestational diabetes who do NOT take insulin.

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women, even if they didn’t have diabetes before pregnancy. It’s routine for doctors to test for it between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy. Any woman can get gestational diabetes; however, you may be at increased risk if you are overweight, have had gestational diabetes before or have relatives with diabetes. And, having gestational diabetes during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean a diagnosis of diabetes after giving birth.

Like other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes impacts how your cells use glucose. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in your bloodstream. Insulin is then released from the pancreas to take glucose to your cells for energy. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can cause insulin resistance, meaning glucose levels stay high in your blood instead of being taken to your cells for energy. The risks of gestational diabetes can include complications for mom and baby, such as a larger baby, which can increase the risk of needing a cesarean section. Uncontrolled blood sugar can also lead to high blood pressure in the mother.

The good news is that you can keep your blood sugar levels in check through proper nutrition, physical activity and working closely with your doctor to coordinate prenatal care.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms

Some women may notice gestational diabetes symptoms before being tested by their doctor. Some of the typical symptoms include increased thirst and urination, blurred vision, and fatigue (which can be masked by normal pregnancy fatigue). However, most women will experience no symptoms at all, which is why it’s important to go to all of your prenatal appointments.

How to Prevent Gestational Diabetes

There are a few things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes, but it’s important to remember that if you do get diagnosed, it’s not your fault. If you are overweight or obese, you can lower your risk of gestational diabetes by making dietary changes that keep your blood sugar levels normal and help you gain less weight throughout pregnancy (you still want to gain weight when you’re pregnant). But for women who are at a healthy weight before pregnancy (BMI 18.5-24.9), dietary changes haven’t been shown to prevent gestational diabetes. Exercising from the start of pregnancy may lower your risk of gestational diabetes.

Recommendations

For a balanced diet, you need to eat a variety of healthy foods. Reading food labels can help you make healthy choices when you shop.

If you are a vegetarian or on a special diet, talk with your health care provider to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet.

In general, you should eat:

  • Plenty of whole fruits and vegetables
  • Moderate amounts of lean proteins and healthy fats
  • Moderate amounts of whole grains, such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice, plus starchy vegetables, such as corn and peas
  • Fewer foods that have a lot of sugar, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, and pastries

You should eat three small- to moderate-sized meals and one or more snacks each day. Do not skip meals and snacks. Keep the amount and types of food (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) about the same from day to day. This can help you keep your blood sugar stable.

CARBOHYDRATES

  • Less than half the calories you eat should come from carbohydrates.
  • Most carbohydrates are found in starchy or sugary foods. They include bread, rice, pasta, cereal, potatoes, peas, corn, fruit, fruit juice, milk, yogurt, cookies, candy, soda, and other sweets.
  • High-fiber, whole-grain carbohydrates are healthy choices. These types of carbohydrates are called complex carbohydrates.
  • Try to avoid eating simple carbohydrates, such as potatoes, french-fries, white rice, candy, soda, and other sweets. This is because they cause your blood sugar to rise quickly after you eat such foods.
  • Vegetables are good for your health and your blood sugar. Enjoy lots of them.
  • Carbohydrates in food are measured in grams. You can learn to count the amount of carbohydrates in the foods that you eat.

GRAINS, BEANS, AND STARCHY VEGETABLES

Eat 6 or more servings a day. One serving equals:

  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1/2 cup (105 grams) cooked rice or pasta
  • 1 English muffin

Choose foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. They include:

  • Whole-grain breads and crackers
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Whole grains, such as barley or oats
  • Beans
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Starchy vegetables, such as corn and peas

Use whole-wheat or other whole-grain flours in cooking and baking. Eat more low-fat breads, such as tortillas, English muffins, and pita bread.

VEGETABLES

Eat 3 to 5 servings a day. One serving equals:

  • 1 cup (340 grams) leafy, green vegetables
  • 1 cup (340 grams) cooked or chopped raw leafy vegetables
  • 3/4 cup (255 grams) vegetable juice
  • 1/2 cup (170 grams) of chopped vegetables, cooked or raw

Healthy vegetable choices include:

  • Fresh or frozen vegetables without added sauces, fats, or salt
  • Dark green and deep yellow vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, carrots, and peppers

FRUITS

Eat 2 to 4 servings a day. One serving equals:

  • 1 medium whole fruit (such as a banana, apple, or orange)
  • 1/2 cup (170 grams) chopped, frozen, cooked, or canned fruit
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) fruit juice

Healthy fruit choices include:

  • Whole fruits rather than juices. They have more fiber.
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.
  • Fruit juices without added sugar.
  • Fresh fruits and juices. They are more nutritious than frozen or canned varieties.

MILK AND DAIRY

Eat 4 servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy products a day. One serving equals:

  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) milk or yogurt
  • 1 1/2 oz (42 grams) natural cheese
  • 2 oz (56 grams) processed cheese

Healthy dairy choices include:

  • Low-fat or nonfat milk or yogurt. Avoid yogurt with added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Dairy products are a great source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus.

PROTEIN (MEAT, FISH, DRY BEANS, EGGS, AND NUTS)

Eat 2 to 3 servings a day. One serving equals:

  • 2 to 3 oz (55 to 84 grams) cooked meat, poultry, or fish
  • 1/2 cup (170 grams) cooked beans
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) peanut butter

Healthy protein choices include:

  • Fish and poultry. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Lean cuts of beef, veal, pork, or wild game.
  • Trim all visible fat from meat. Bake, roast, broil, grill, or boil instead of frying. Foods from this group are excellent sources of B vitamins, protein, iron, and zinc.

SWEETS

  • Sweets are high in fat and sugar, so limit how often you eat them. Keep portion sizes small.
  • Even sugar-free sweets may not be the best choice. This is because they may not be free of carbohydrates or calories.
  • Ask for extra spoons or forks and split your dessert with others.

FATS

In general, you should limit your intake of fatty foods.

  • Go easy on butter, margarine, salad dressing, cooking oil, and desserts.
  • Avoid fats high in saturated fat such as hamburger, cheese, bacon, and butter.
  • Don’t cut fats and oils from your diet entirely. They provide energy for growth and are essential for baby’s brain development.
  • Choose healthy oils, such as canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil. Include nuts, avocados, and olives.

OTHER LIFESTYLE CHANGES

Your provider may also suggest a safe exercise plan. Walking is usually the easiest type of exercise, but swimming or other low-impact exercises can work just as well. Exercise can help you keep your blood sugar in control.

7-day gestational diabetes healthy meal plan

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Your body cannot produce enough insulin to handle the effects of a growing baby and changing hormone levels. Insulin helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. If your body cannot produce enough insulin, the amount of glucose in your blood will rise. Higher blood glucose levels during pregnancy may result in health problems for you and your baby.

This 1,800 to 2,000-calorie 7-day gestational diabetes healthy meal plan is nutritionally balanced and delicious. Carbohydrates are balanced throughout each day. Each meal contains 45-60 grams of net carbohydrates, and snacks contain around 15 grams of carbohydrate each. Net carbohydrates are the carbohydrates found in food that you can digest and use for energy. Net carbohydrates are calculated by taking the total carbohydrates and subtracting the fibre. Depending on your goals and lifestyle, your calories and carbohydrates may be different; adjust the serving sizes or number of snacks accordingly.

Day 1

Breakfast: 1 serving (1 cup/250 mL) butternut squash probiotic yogurt bowl and 1 medium-sized apple (362 calories, 60 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 53 g net carb)

Lunch: 3 oz. (90 g) grilled chicken breast with mixed green- leaf salad (lettuce, cucumber, and tomato)* with 1 tbsp (15 mL) light salad dressing, and ¼ cup (60 mL) croutons and 1 cup (250 mL) plain, low-fat probiotic yogurt, with 1 medium-sized fruit (such as apple or pear) and dash of cinnamon (574 calories, 56 g carbohydrates, 9 g fibre, 47 g net carb)

Dinner: 3 oz. (90 g) baked salmon with drizzle of lemon juice and herbs, 1 cup (250 mL) brown rice, cooked (measured after cooking), steamed green beans* and 1 tsp (5 mL) soft margarine (465 calories, 54 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 48 g net carb)

Day 2

Breakfast: 2 slices whole- grain or rye bread, 2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut or almond butter and 1 cup (250 mL) berries (443 calories, 60 g carbohydrates, 11 g fibre, 49 g net carb)

Lunch: 2 servings (1 cup/250 mL) quinoa, black bean & mango salad and ½ whole-wheat pita (8 inch/16 cm), 2 tbsp (30 mL) hummus (457 calories, 68 g carbohydrates, 12 g fibre, 56 g net carb)

Dinner: 1½ servings (¾ squash) wild rice & apple stuffed acorn squash (save other half for tomorrow’s lunch) and 6 oz. (180 g) grilled or baked pork loin chop (save 3 oz./90 g for tomorrow’s lunch) with steamed carrots* (480 calories, 60 g carbohydrates, 12 g fibre, 48 g net carb)

Day 3

Breakfast: 1 serving (1 cup/250 mL) butternut squash probiotic yogurt bowl and 1 medium-sized apple (362 calories, 60 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 53 g net carb)

Lunch: 1½ servings (¾ squash) wild rice & apple stuffed acorn squash, 3 oz. (90 g) grilled or baked pork loin chop and carrots, steamed* (480 calories, 60 g carbohydrates, 12 g fibre, 48 g net carb)

Dinner: Grilled chicken wrap with 1 whole-grain tortilla (8 inch/16 cm), with 3 oz. (90 g) grilled chicken breast, 2 tbsp (30 mL) salsa, ½ cup (125 mL) vegetables (onion, pepper, or other vegetable of your choice), and 1 oz. (30 g) cheddar cheese, shredded with a side of 1 medium-sized fruit (such as peach or plum) and 1 cup (250 mL) low-fat milk (641 calories, 54 g carbohydrates, 8 g fibre, 46 g net carb)

Day 4

Breakfast: 1 large egg, scrambled with ½ cup (125 mL) vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, or other vegetable of your choice), 2 slices whole-grain or rye bread, 2 tsp (10 mL) soft margarine, 1 cup (250 mL) low-fat milk and ½ cup (125 mL) melon (480 calories, 54 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 49 g net carb)

Lunch: 1 serving Mediterranean roasted vegetables and chickpeas and ½ cup (125 mL) whole-grain pasta, cooked al dente (measured after cooking) (452 calories, 64 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 54 g net carb)

Dinner: 3 oz. (90 g) grilled chicken breast, ¾ cup (175 mL) roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli with
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice, 1 whole-grain (3½ inch/9 cm) dinner roll and ¼ cup (60 mL) plain 0% probiotic yogurt (431 calories, 61 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 51 g net carb)

Day 5

Breakfast: ½ cup (125 mL) steel-cut oats, uncooked, ½ medium-sized banana, 2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut or almond butter and 1 cup (250 mL) low-fat milk (461 calories, 53 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 47 g net carb)

Lunch: 1 serving lentil burritos with mixed green- leaf salad (lettuce, cucumber, and tomato)* with 1 tbsp (15 mL) light salad dressing (412 calories, 59 g carbohydrates, 13 g fibre, 46 g net carb)

Dinner: 2 servings (2 cups/500 mL) soba noodles with mushroom, spinach & tofu, mixed green- leaf salad (lettuce, cucumber, and tomato*) and 1 tbsp (15 mL) light salad dressing (455 calories, 56 g carbohydrates, 9 g fibre, 47 g net carb)

Day 6

Breakfast: BELT (bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato) sandwich with 1 whole-wheat English muffin, 1 large fried egg, 4 slices of turkey bacon, and ½ cup (125 mL) vegetables (lettuce and tomatoes, or other vegetable of your choice), on the side ½ cup (125 mL) melon (510 calories, 57 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 51 g net carb)

Lunch: Avocado-chicken sandwich with 2 slices whole-grain or rye bread, with ¼ medium-sized avocado (mashed), 2 tbsp (30 mL) hummus, and 3 oz. (90 g) roast chicken breast, topped with lettuce, cucumber and red pepper slices, on the side 1 serving vegetable soup and 1 small fruit (such as apple or pear)(584 calories, 60 g carbohydrates, 14 g fibre, 46 g net carb)

Dinner: 3 oz. (90 g) baked salmon with drizzle of lemon juice and herbs, 1 cup (250 mL) brown rice, cooked (measured after cooking), steamed green beans* and 1 tsp (5 mL) soft margarine (465 calories, 54 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 48 g net carb)

Day 7

Breakfast: ½ cup (125 mL) steel-cut oats, uncooked, ½ medium-sized banana, 2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut or almond butter and 1 cup (250 mL) low-fat milk (461 calories, 53 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 47 g net carb)

Lunch: 1 serving lentil burritos, mixed raw vegetables (carrots, cucumber and celery)* and 3 tbsp (45 mL) green goddess dip (451 calories, 62 g carbohydrates, 13 g fibre, 49 g net carb)

Dinner: 2½ servings (1¼ cups/310 mL) spinach and mushroom barley pilaf, add 4 oz. (125 g) firm tofu, fried in 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil to recipe (552 calories, 62 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 52 g net carb)

Diet Tips

Blood sugar control during pregnancy is important for your health and the health of your baby. The following tips will help you control your blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Carbohydrates in food turn into sugar (also called glucose) when digested. Glucose is important for you and your baby, but too much glucose in your blood can lead to problems. It is important to eat the right amount of carbohydrate and to choose healthy foods. Carbohydrates are found in starches, fruits, vegetables, milk and yogurt so these food portions should be measured. Sweets and desserts should be avoided as they may lead to high blood sugar levels.

1. Eat 3 meals and 2–3 snacks per day

Eating too much at one time can cause your blood sugar to go too high. Eat smaller meals and have snacks. You have increased nutritional needs during your pregnancy, and your baby is counting on you to provide balanced nutrition.

2. Measure your servings of starchy foods

Include a starch choice at every meal. A reasonable serving size is about 1 cup of cooked rice, grain, noodles or potatoes, or 2 pieces of bread, per meal.

3. One 8-ounce cup of milk at a time

Milk is a healthy food and it is an important source of calcium. Because it is a liquid, milk sugar is absorbed quickly. Having too much milk at one time can lead to high blood sugar. It is best to limit milk to one cup at a time.

4. One small portion of fruit at a time

Fruits are nutritious, but because they have natural sugars, eat only one serving at a time. A serving of fruit is one small piece of fruit, or ½ large fruit, or about 1 cup of mixed fruit. Avoid fruit that has been canned in syrup. Do not drink fruit juice.

5. Eat more fiber

Try whole grain bread, brown rice, wild rice, whole oats, barley, millet or any other whole grains. Include split peas, lentils and any type of bean: pinto, red, black, or garbanzo. These foods are high in fiber and help to keep your blood sugar levels lower than when you eat refined grains such as white bread and white rice.

6. Breakfast Matters

Blood sugar can be difficult to control in the morning because that is when pregnancy hormones are very strong. These hormones can cause your blood sugar levels to rise even before you eat.

Dry cereals, fruits, and milk are not the best choices for breakfast because they are digested very quickly and can cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly.

A breakfast of whole grains plus a protein food is usually best.

7. Avoid fruit juice and sugary drinks

It takes several pieces of fruit to make a glass of juice. Juice is high in natural sugar. Because it is liquid, it raises blood sugar levels quickly. Avoid regular sodas and sugary soft drinks for the same reason. You may use diet drinks and Crystal Light.

8. Strictly limit sweets and desserts

Cakes, cookies, candies, and pastries are high in sugar and are likely to raise blood sugar levels too much. These foods often contain a lot of fat and offer very little nutrition.

9. Stay away from sugars

Do not add any sugar, honey, or syrup to your foods.

10. These artificial sweeteners are safe in pregnancy

  • Aspartame; Equal, NutraSweet, NatraTaste
  • Acesulfame K; Sunett
  • Sucralose; Splenda
  • Stevia; Truvia, Purevia

11. Look out for sugar-alcohols in sugar-free foods

Sugar alcohol is often used to make sugar-free desserts and syrups. These products can be labeled “sugar free” but may contain the same amount of carbohydrate as the versions made with regular sugar. Look at food labels to see the grams of total carbohydrate.

Sugar alcohols may have a laxative effect, or cause gas and bloating. The following are examples of sugar-alcohols: mannitol, maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, isomalt, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysate.

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