Diabetes is a serious health issue which affects thousands of people in the country. There are several types of diabetes that affect a person’s health. One of them is gestational diabetes. It is a type of diabetic problem that occurs mostly in women. This is caused because of lack of insulin hormones in the period of pregnancy. This health condition can lead to serious complications and problems. However by taking appropriate diet and monitoring your diet well, you can prevent this condition from happening. We have Ms. Sarika Kesarwani, Senior Consultant in Nutrition Department, Ivory Healthcare Hospital, Greater Noida, who will help us for this issue.
How can Gestational Diabetes be controlled from Diet?
Nutritionist explains that gestational diabetes happens because of lower levels of insulin in the body. During pregnancy, women produce lower levels of insulin that it needs, this leads to high blood sugar level resulting to gestational diabetes. This condition may be harmful for the women and her baby. By taking adequate diet and avoiding few food products, you can control your blood sugar levels and hence prevent gestational diabetes.
Monitoring of gestational diabetes include having proper amount of carbs, frequency of food intake, dairy items and other types of food that are necessary during this stage for a woman. If all these factors are given proper importance, then there will be minimal chances of you falling for this disease.
Dietary Changes Required to Control Gestational Diabetes
1. Monitoring Carbohydrates in the Diet
This is one of the most important steps to control your blood sugar. Carbohydrates contain majority of calories which we consume during all day. Most of the food we eat has some amount of carbs in it; hence regulating carbs in the diet is very important so that there is space for snacks and all the meals properly. Doing this can reduce blood sugar levels in the diet. You can monitor and control it by doing the following-
- Avoid skipping meals
- Eating protein rich and fibre rich diet, it is more likely to have less carbs
- Combine carbohydrates with healthy fats
- Refrain yourself by eating something which has too many carbohydrates in it
- Stick to food with complex carbs or switch for those types of alternatives.
2. Eating Low Glycemic Index Foods
Glycemic index is also used to monitor carbohydrates in your diet. It can play a important role in controlling gestational diabetes. It can give you a chart or table which you can choose and follow with help of your dietician for reducing your blood sugar levels in the body. Glycemic index measures growth of blood sugar level after having a particular food. It includes-
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Peas and carrots
- Beans and lentils
- Fruits such as apples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches and pears
3. Have protein rich diet
Protein rich diet is helpful for functioning of body. It can be had alongside carbohydrates which control blood sugar levels in the body. Women who suffer from gestational diabetes can have nutritious protein diet with some complex carbohydrates that will help to regulate this serious condition. Women can add these protein rich foods to their diet to control gestational diabetes-
- Fish, chicken
4. Avoid Highly Starchy foods
Foods that have a lot of starch in them affect the blood sugar level adversely. This is because it is important to eat them in small quantity to avoid health hazard. These have high calories and it is best to avoid them if possible. These foods includes-
- White potatoes
- White bread
Apart from these brown rice and wheat pasta etc are nutritious and better for health, but they are still high in carbohydrates. Thus it is better to stick with fibrous foods and protein diet.
5. Avoid Hidden Sugars and Carbohydrates
It is quite obvious that gestational diabetes is caused because of increase in sugar levels in blood. There is already some natural sugar present in the food, taking excessive sugar or carbohydrates can worsen the situation. Therefore any women who are going through gestational diabetes should monitor their sugar and carbohydrates. They should avoid highly processed food, fast food, alcohol and food dressing materials such as ketchup etc.
6. Choose Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats are better for consumption than saturated fats or saturated carbs. One can opt for healthy options in cooking oil, and additional ingredients instead of refined oils etc. Some examples for saturated fats are-
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
- Most nuts and seeds
- Chia seeds
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