Diet plan for diabetic pregnant. Diabetes is a complex disease that causes serious difficulties in the performance of all organs and systems of the body, including pregnant women. The problem is especially acute at conception and during pregnancy in women with diabetes. Women often have problems with control of blood sugar levels. Therefore, the prevention of the disease is not only healthy lifestyle and balanced diet, but also timely diagnosis, regular monitoring and efficient changes in diet during pregnancy.
Diabetes During Pregnancy: 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.
What to Eat in Pregnancy With Type 1 or 2 Diabetes
When you’re pregnant or planning to be, it’s time to pay special attention to what you eat. That’s especially true if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Eating a variety of wholesome foods, working with a dietitian, and skipping unsafe foods and drinks will help you keep yourself and your baby healthy.
Have a Plan
See a dietitian if you’re thinking about getting pregnant. They can help you come up with a meal plan with the right nutrients that will work with your lifestyle. Planning your meals and eating at the same times every day can help keep your blood sugar from getting too high or too low.
But remember: “Eating for two” doesn’t mean you should eat twice as much. You only need about 300 more calories each day when you’re pregnant. Focus on getting foods that are more nutritious instead of just eating more.
What to Eat
All the rules of a good diet apply during pregnancy. Choose a balanced mix of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and healthy fats to get all the nutrients you need.
But you also need a plan to control your blood sugar throughout the day. A good way is to follow a daily plan of three meals and three snacks.
At each one, eat at least one serving of protein and one serving of carbohydrates.
Protein can include:
- Lean meat or fish
- Nuts or nut butter
Carbs can include:
- Starches, like bread, cooked or dry cereal, rice, pasta, popcorn, or pretzels. (Choose whole grains over processed ones.)
- Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
Just like before pregnancy, you’ll need to count your carbs to make sure you keep your blood sugar under control. How many you need depends on things like your height, weight, how active you are, and your current blood sugar control. Your dietitian will tell you the right number of carbs to shoot for. They can also tell you how many calories to eat. It might range from about 1,700 to 2,700 a day. You will probably need more calories as your pregnancy goes on.
Also, make sure you’re getting the nutrients that every woman needs for a healthy pregnancy, including:
- Folic acid. It protects against problems with a baby’s spine and brain. Pregnant women need 400-800 micrograms of folic acid every day. You can get it from supplements or foods like spinach, nuts, and beans, as well as fortified foods like breads and cereal. Ask your doctor if there are other vitamins you should take.
- Calcium, from foods like dairy products and broccoli
- Vitamin D, in foods like salmon and fortified milk
- Iron, from sources like lean red meat or beans
One easy mealtime rule to control your blood sugar: fill a quarter of your plate with meat or other protein foods, another quarter with whole grains or starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, corn), and the rest with non-starchy vegetables, like greens, tomatoes, or squash. Add a serving of milk, fruit, or yogurt to your meal or have it as a snack.
What to Skip
- Don’t drink alcohol. It raises the odds of miscarriage and fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Avoid foods that could be unsafe during pregnancy. Don’t eat raw seafood, like sushi or oysters, or high-mercury fish like swordfish. Skip unpasteurized milk products, juices, and soft cheeses, like Brie and feta, unless they are labeled as pasteurized. Only eat meat, eggs, and poultry that are fully cooked. Heat hot dogs and lunch meats until they’re steaming, or don’t eat them at all.
- Don’t drink more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day — about 1 1/2 8-ounce cups of coffee. Although many herbal teas don’t have caffeine, scientists aren’t totally sure how some of them affect growing babies. So ask your doctor before you drink them.
- There’s no evidence that artificial sweeteners aren’t safe during pregnancy, but it’s a good idea to limit yourself to the occasional diet soda or sugar-free treat. Check product labels for ingredients like aspartame and saccharin, and ask your doctor for more advice on how much is OK.
- Go easy on sweets and desserts. They add carbs without nutrients and can spike your blood sugar.
What is the best diet for gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes develops when pregnancy hormones make a person resistant to the action of insulin. Without treatment, it can lead to a range of complications. It is possible to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes by following a healthy diet and maintaining a moderate weight.
- Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy when blood sugar levels are too high.
- Prompt treatment of gestational diabetes can ensure a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.
- Having gestational diabetes does not mean a person had diabetes before or will have diabetes after pregnancy, but it does increase a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.
Insulin is a hormone that helps to control blood sugar levels. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make the body resistant to insulin, leading to an increase in blood sugar. A pregnant person may be able to produce more insulin to compensate, but some cannot, which results in gestational diabetes.
This article explains the diet that people can follow during pregnancy if they have gestational diabetes, including which foods to eat and avoid.
It will also outline other treatment options for gestational diabetes, possible complications, and tips for a healthy pregnancy.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gestational diabetes affects 2–10% of pregnancies each year in the United States.
This type of diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin during pregnancy. The pancreas produces insulin, which helps the body’s cells use sugar from the blood as energy.
The body will produce more hormones during pregnancy, and people may gain weight. These changes can result in cells using insulin less efficiently than previously, known as insulin resistance.
Becoming resistant to insulin means the body needs more insulin to handle sugar, or glucose, in the blood. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to keep up, this can lead to high blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar levels can be harmful to both the pregnant person and the unborn baby.
Insulin resistance is also related to carrying extra weight before pregnancy and physical inactivity.
The symptoms of gestational diabetes may include:
- being unusually thirsty
- urinating frequently
- frequent bladder infections
- blurred vision
- sugar in the urine that is detectable with testing
Foods to eat
It is important to eat a healthy diet if a person has gestational diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends using the diabetes plate method to help a person eat the right balance of nutritious foods.
To use this method, a person should fill half of a 9-inch plate with nonstarchy vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with a carbohydrate, such as a whole grain or starchy vegetable.
Examples of each of these foods are below.
- Brussels sprouts
- salad greens
- lean cuts of red meat
- nut butters
- tofu and tempeh
- brown rice
- bulgur wheat
- sweet potato
- butternut squash
- fruits and dried fruit
- dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and milk substitutes
A person can consult a doctor or dietitian about a healthy diet plan during pregnancy.
Foods to avoid
Avoiding foods that cause a spike in blood sugar levels is important if a person follows a gestational diabetes diet.
Blood sugar levels increase when people eat sugary foods, particularly refined or processed ones. People with gestational diabetes should avoid or limit foods with added sugar as much as possible.
Sugary foods to avoid include:
- sweet pastries
- ice cream
- fruit juice or sugary drinks
Although milk and whole fruits contain natural sugars, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) still recommends that people with diabetes include them as part of a balanced diet.
Starchy foods are high in carbohydrate, which can cause a rise in blood sugar. It is best to avoid or limit very starchy foods with a higher glycemic index, such as:
- white potatoes
- white bread
- white rice
- white pasta
A person may want to switch from white, refined carbohydrates to whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, or oats.
Hidden sugars and carbohydrates
Some foods and drinks are not obvious sources of sugar or carbohydrates. However, they may still contain high levels of both. Examples of these products include:
- highly processed foods
- some condiments, such as dressings and ketchup
- some fast foods
- sugar-sweetened soda
- french fries
A pregnant person should avoid drinking alcohol throughout pregnancy as there is no known safe amount. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause a range of serious health problems for a baby.
Healthy eating tips
To help manage blood sugar levels and eat healthily, the CDC give the following tips:
- Eat at regular times and avoid skipping meals.
- Keep track of food, drinks, and physical exercise, to understand their effect on blood sugar levels.
- Choose foods lower in saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, salt, and calories.
- Drink water rather than juice or soda.
- Choose fruit as a sweet treat, instead of processed, sugary foods.
- Make simple swaps, such as switching foods high in saturated fats, including butter and fatty cuts of meat, to unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and fish.
- Look for foods labeled “low in sodium” and avoid processed or packaged foods such as pizzas and deli meats to help reduce salt intake.
- Add lemon, herbs, or spices to food for flavoring instead of salt.
- Steam vegetables for meals, or add half a cup of beans or peas into a salad to add extra fiber.
- Aim for colorful meals with a range of dark green and brightly colored vegetables and fruits such as berries.
It can help to space meals and snacks evenly throughout the day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that people with gestational diabetes consume three meals and two to three snacks per day. Doing this can reduce high blood sugar spikes after eating.
A person with gestational diabetes can monitor and log their blood sugar levels at different points during the day and keep a food and activity diary. This can show them how foods and activity affect their blood sugar levels.
Staying healthy during pregnancy
The NIDDK recommends the following tips for staying healthy during pregnancy:
- Consume foods and drinks that are high in iron, folate, calcium, and protein.
- Talk with a healthcare professional about taking prenatal vitamin supplements.
- Eat breakfast every day and meals or snacks as necessary throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water and eat foods high in fiber to help prevent constipation.
- Avoid food and drink that could be harmful to a growing fetus, such as alcohol, raw or undercooked fish and seafood, fish containing high levels of mercury, undercooked meat or poultry, and soft cheeses.
- Exercise regularly with moderate levels of aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes each week.
- After giving birth, slowly reintroduce regular, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise to gradually regain a healthy weight.
Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal, but gaining too much or too little can pose health risks for a pregnant person and the unborn baby. A healthcare professional can give a person advice about ideal weight through pregnancy stages.
Following a healthy diet and exercising can help a person control their blood sugar levels and manage gestational diabetes. However, this may not be enough to control the condition in some cases.