There are several recommended diets for Gestational Diabetes patients. However, keep in mind that even though this plan below is a good start to make up a Gestational Diabetes Diet, you should always consult a registered dietitian or your doctor for approval. This Gestational Diabetes Diet can help to manage a mother’s blood sugar while she is pregnant.
The body runs on sugar. Almost everything you eat or drink is converted by the body into glucose. Glucose is essentially sugar. This sugar is what gives you energy for everything you do – breathing, walking, and primarily to keep your heart beating. In order for your body to use the glucose, it produces insulin. Insulin is like a key that unlocks cells to let the glucose in. When you don’t have enough insulin, or the insulin doesn’t work, the blood sugar (glucose) will rise. This condition (high blood sugar/glucose) is diabetes and if it happens during pregnancy will then be called as Gestational Diabetes. Because the concept behind the disease deals with how the body uses up glucose which comes from the food that the mother eats, a Gestational Diabetes Diet should be vitally planned out.
Gestational diabetes is when a woman has high blood glucose during pregnancy. Before pregnancy, her blood glucose levels were generally normal. Gestational diabetes is caused by hormone fluctuations that come with all pregnancies. Some women are more susceptible to the disease than others. Sometimes hormones that come from the placenta can inhibit glucose’s capability to unlock the cells and get the sugar out of the blood stream. When insulin does not work properly, a person is said to have “insulin resistance”. In normal women, the pancreas offsets the actions of the placenta hormones, but if not, a woman will develop high blood glucose and she may get gestational diabetes. For these reasons, a Gestational Diabetes Diet should be considered in order to manage the disease process itself.
High levels of sugar in the mother’s blood can be harmful for the baby, and put him or her at risk for birth defects, obesity later in life, grow too much (difficult delivery), and some other health problems. After a woman gives birth, the high blood sugar generally goes back to normal. Unfortunately these women are at risk of being stricken with type 2 diabetes in the future.
Here are some recommendations of a good Gestational Diabetes Diet:
- Like we said earlier, the body runs on sugar. Carbohydrates are converted directly into sugar, so for a Gestational Diabetes Diet, it is important to avoid eating carbohydrates alone.
- Women need food sources of folic acid, such as beans, fruits, dark green leafy veggies, and fortified whole grains.
- Vitamin A is important. Good sources are usually orange (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, but also spinach, dark leafy greens, and cantaloupe).
- Make sure you get enough iron (lean meats, dark leafy greens, eggs).
- Get enough calcium and dairy (nuts, yogurt, milk, dark green leafy vegetables).
If you follow this Gestational Diabetes Diet, you will be able to manage the symptoms well and reduce your risk.
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