When you have Gestational Diabetes, making healthy food choices is one of the best ways you can manage your blood glucose while providing enough nutrients to you and your growing baby.
This doesn’t mean you have to go on a boring, uninteresting diet. In fact, you are not to ‘diet’ when you are pregnant. Healthy food choices for your diabetes management are about total carbohydrates, portion sizes, and including lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
When you meet with your diabetes care team, you’ll be shown how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in a wide variety of foods such as: breads, cereals, pastas, and whole grains; fruits, vegetables and beans; dairy products; candy, desserts and sweetened beverages.
Carbohydrates provide your body with the energy it needs to do its work, so healthy carbohydrates shouldn’t be cut out altogether.
When you have gestational diabetes, too much carbohydrate may cause your blood glucose to rise out of your target range. So it’s important to be aware of how much carbohydrate is in the food and beverages you eat. Talk to your diabetes care team about how much carbohydrate is recommended for each meal and snack.
Choose healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. They are high in fiber and nutrients and tend to fill you up, while not raising your blood glucose too fast, a benefit when trying to manage your diabetes.
At the same time limit carbohydrates that are high in refined sugar like soda and sweetened tea.
It’s also very important to control your portion sizes. If you often choose foods high in sugar, or eat large portions, you may find you’re not satisfying your appetite, nutritional needs, or weight goals.
Learn what portion sizes are best for you to help control your blood glucose. Use measuring cups to accurately measure your portion sizes.
Including protein, like skinless chicken breast, peanut butter or cheese, in your meals and snacks can help you feel full and give your baby all the nutrients he needs to grow.
When you are pregnant and making food choices, remember you are feeding your baby the nutrients he needs to grow and develop. When you have gestational diabetes, make these food choices healthy by watching your carbohydrates and portion sizes. Your baby will grow and thrive.
Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, March 2020