For a healthy woman to have normal pregnancy, she just needs to have a nutritionally balanced diet. A pregnant woman suffering from gestational diabetes, however, needs to be extra careful in her diet. Her diet needs to take into consideration her diabetic condition as it is probably the only way she can control her blood sugar level without having to resort to insulin injections. Thus her diet is very important to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery of the baby.
How To Eat During Pregnancy
To maintain a proper gestational diabetes diet, the diet should keep the mother's blood sugar as normal as possible and at the same time, it has to provide all the required nutrition to both the mother and growing fetus. This includes larger amounts of minerals and vitamins which can be taken in the form of more low fat diary products, whole grain cereals and breads, fruits and vegetables. If the doctor prescribed additional prenatal vitamins, they should be taken in conjunction with the proper gestational diet. These prenatal vitamins can be taken at night before bed or early in the morning so that the iron can be easily absorbed on empty stomach.
During pregnancy, the caloric increase is around 300 calories per day during the second and third trimesters. This means that the daily calorie intake is around 2100. When in doubt, always consult your doctor.
Foods To Avoid
All food high in sugars should be avoided at all cost. This includes pies, ice creams, sweets, cakes, cookies, soft drinks, commercial yogurt, jams and jelly. Eating such high sugared food will cause spikes in the blood sugar level which are dangerous. A gestational diabetes diet must be designed to keep the blood sugar at a normal level and thus cannot include food that contains high amount of sugar. Even fruit juices should be taken sparingly as it contains high level of sugar naturally ( even without additional sugar added ). Tomato juice is probably the best choice for fruit juice in the diet as it contains the lowest level of sugar.
Foods To Take
There are some types of foods which should be taken in order to help decrease the amount of insulin required to keep the blood sugar at normal range. Food such as vegetables, cereal, grains, beans, peas and other starchy foods or complex carbohydrates are excellent. In the gestational diabetes diet, dietary fiber must be included too as they are crucial in helping with the digestive process. This includes whole grain cereals and breads, fruits, vegetables and legumes.
However do not cut out all the fats in the diet. Some fats are required in the diet to complete the nutrition as they are required in the absorption of certain vitamins by the body. However, this should be kept at a minimum in the gestational diabetes diet and if possible try to go for unsaturated fats and oils.
Diabetes and pregnancy can be controlled and monitored through a healthy gestational diabetes diet. This will ensure a healthy pregnancy and a normal successful delivery.
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