Gestational Diabetes Meal Planning
Approximately 3 to 5 percent of all pregnant women in the United States are
diagnosed as having gestational diabetes, making it one of the top health
concerns related to pregnancy. Without care and treatment, mothers with
gestational diabetes could have very large babies known as “macrosomia”.
These mothers may have a harder time with labor and natural delivery.
You will hopefully be able to control gestational diabetes with diet and
exercise without resorting to medication or insulin injections. Your
dietician will be able to help you customize this plan to fit your specific
situation. With care and dedication, gestational diabetes can be controlled
and the pregnancy will suffer no ill effects. The following is a sample 5-6
daily meal plan for gestational diabetics. Tracking your sugar at home with
a glucose monitoring system and keeping a detailed log of meals and blood
sugar readings can be invaluable in helping you and your doctor tailor a
plan to your specific needs.
Sample Diet For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes Diet
||When you first wake up
in the morning, your blood sugar will normally be low. If you eat a
breakfast that is high in starch and sugar (like pancakes and syrup,
or sugared cereal with fruit) your glucose levels will skyrocket.
However, skipping breakfast is not a solution! A small, high protein
meal that includes a meat serving, a complex carbohydrate such a slice
of whole wheat toast, and a glass of milk or cup of low calorie yogurt
will start your day off smoothly.
||A common mistake is
waiting too long for lunch and dinner, then overeating. If your sugar
level dips too low, it will tend to bounce higher when you finally do
eat. A snack of vegetable sticks with low calorie dip, cottage cheese
with a small serving of fruit, or whole wheat crackers with peanut
butter can help get you through until lunchtime. Keep a tray in the
fridge with healthy snacks you can eat on the go.
Gestational Diabetes Meal 3
||A serving of protein,
one of vegetables and one or two of carbs - try whole grain pasta or
pita bread for variety. Avoid white processed bread. Water or
unsweetened 100% fruit juice is much better than soda, but if you
can’t resist, make any soda you drink diet. If you can plan on some
physical exercise after each meal you can eat two bread servings at a
time for energy, or indulge in two bites of your favorite dessert!
||Another snack to help
you coast till dinnertime. Again, pick a serving of fruit and or
vegetables to help you meet your minimum for the day. Vegetable /
fruit juice blends are a great way to help you get enough of both of
these important foods. Combine such a drink with a few tablespoons of
soft cheese on a whole grain bagel for a quick easy snack on the road.
Gestational Diabetes Meal 5
||This is possibly the
trickiest meal of the day. If you eat late and are inclined to crash
into bed shortly afterward, you will need to guard against overeating.
A whole grain wrap stuffed with chicken and salad trimmings is a good
quick meal when you are beat. Drizzle some dressing over it, or follow
up with a sugar free cookie to provide a little fat. This will break
down in the early morning hours and help you make it to breakfast
without your glucose levels bottoming out. If you eat earlier, and
like a larger dinner, make sure you will be active enough to burn off
some of the calories before relaxing. Try catch up any missing
servings of vegetables and fruit at dinnertime; these are the most
often overlooked throughout the day.
||When you are up for
more than three hours after dinner and your sugar level starts to dip,
a light snack may be in order. This can be as simple as an apple or a
small whole grain muffin. If you go to bed early, and constantly wake
with drastically low levels in the morning, consider a wee hours foray
to the kitchen to boost yourself. A half sandwich of chicken salad on
whole wheat or a few peanut butter crackers with a cup of milk will be
enough to keep you from crashing.