Foods to Eat With Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results in increased amounts of sugar in the blood stream because the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. As you eat daily your body metabolizes the food into simple sugars.
These sugars are transported into the cells using insulin so the cells can use the sugars for energy. When the body becomes resistant to insulin the extra sugar floats around the blood stream and causes complications to both the mother and the developing baby.
One of the factors in treatment are the foods to eat with gestational diabetes. These foods determine how high your blood sugar rises and how much insulin is needed to accommodate the increase in simple sugars. The foods to eat with gestational diabetes are a factor in the treatment along with exercise, rest and possibly injected insulin.
One of the largest contributors to simple sugars in the metabolism of food is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come from starchy foods such as rice, pasta, bread or potatoes. They are also found in sweets, fruits, dairy and some vegetables. The quality of carbohydrate does make a difference so the carbohydrates that originate from fruits or vegetables are more easily accommodated in the body than those from processed foods such as breads or pastas.
In order to adequately nourish the new baby you need an appropriate amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats. This must be balanced with the correct amount of exercise and insulin to manage your blood sugar. Although it sounds complex, once you’ve begun managing your gestational diabetes you’ll find that it can be accomplished with just a little bit of learning.
A few of the simple rules are to:
- *Eat three meals plus 1-3 snacks each day. Your dietitian will help determine how many snacks are necessary to support the development of the baby and maintain your blood sugar levels.
- *Once your program is developed eat at the same time each day and don’t skip snacks or meals. Skipping can lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels.
- *Avoid foods that have added sugar or syrups or are processed foods as much as possible.
- *Use high fiber foods to fill you up, keep your bowels regular, and give you calories without the added carbohydrates.
- *If your cholesterol levels are too high incorporate a low fat diet as well.
- *Talk with your dietitian about your exercise plans after you’ve cleared this with your doctor. Your doctor must clear you to exercise and your dietitian must incorporate the exercise into the management of your blood sugar.
When you are considering foods to eat with gestational diabetes you must have a good understanding of serving sizes. They are really smaller than you might think. For instance, 3 oz of meat or fish is a serving and it also the size of a deck of cards. That’s definitely much less meat than most of us are used to eating.
Consult with your dietitian before finalizing your dietary intake. The following are guidelines: If you are eating approximately 2100 calories you’ll eat about 245 grams of carbohydrates (47% of calories); 123 grams of protein (23%) and 72 grams of fat (30%). You’ll need 300 more calories each day than you were eating before to support the appropriate amount of weight gain for your developing baby. This would assume that you were eating an 1800 calorie diet prior to your 2nd trimester.
Foods to eat with gestational diabetes can change depending upon the diet you follow. You and your registered dietitian will determine if the diet from the American Diabetic Association or a vegetarian diet or a combination of both will best suit your needs and your lifestyle.
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