The prevalence of diabetes is no new thing in the world. Every day more and more people are diagnosed with diabetes and does not spare pregnant women as well, even in India. Diabetes is a critical disease, in which the blood sugar or glucose levels are too high, and your body is unable to make or adequately use insulin. This phenomenon leads to a rise in blood glucose levels in the blood. The term Gestational Diabetes is also same diabetes that occurs to women for the first time when they are pregnant. It is here, that such Indian women should be aware and made available with the Indian diet for gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a different and unique kind of diabetes that occurs to a female when she is pregnant, and it happens when a women’s body is unable to make proper use of the insulin when she is pregnant, and this leads to her blood sugar levels soaring high. It is unique because such kind is diabetes usually occurs when a woman is in her second trimester, and often disappears after childbirth. But, if such a condition during pregnancy is not attended to in time, it may lead to harmful impacts on the fetus as well as on the mother.

Gestational Diabetes Diet: The Way Forward to Control Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes Diet
Gestational Diabetes Diet

Gestational diabetes is one of the most complex conditions that can occur to any woman during her pregnancy, and hence her diet, as can be termed a ‘diet for gestational diabetes is all the more important because it provides the would-be mother with all the nutrients she and her baby in her womb need to develop properly.

Gestational diabetes is considered a metabolic disorder and controlling it is extremely important for the health of the mother and her baby. High blood sugar levels are harmful to both – the pregnant mother and the unborn child. You can look for the following symptoms to find, whether you are affected or not:

  • Feeling of tiredness
  • Being unusually thirsty
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Bladder infections
  • Blurry vision
  • Urine sugar test that confirms the presence of sugar in your urine

It has been observed that many women with gestational diabetes have been able to control their blood sugar levels with diet alone. The diet suggests keeping the right amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that keep the blood sugar levels within their normal range. One serving of carbohydrate food should contain around 12 grams of carbs, the amount necessary to cure gestational diabetes. Carbohydrates from the veggies should contain only 5 grams per serving. Foods high in fiber help in weight management and also keeps your bowel movements regularized. Fruits, beans, and cereals should a part of your daily meals.

In general, you should eat the following:

  • Plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  • Moderate amounts of healthy fats and lean proteins.
  • Moderate amounts of whole grains like bread, pasta, rice, and cereal, along with starchy vegetables like peas and corn.
  • Eat less of foods that are high on sugar – aerated and sweetened drinks, fruit juices, pastries, cakes, and alike.

A typical pregnancy sugar diet chart suggests that carbohydrates are critical with gestational diabetes. the diet suggests:

  • A little less than half the calories you consume should be from carbohydrate sources.
  • Opt for high fiber and whole-grain carbohydrate choices, also called complex carbohydrates.
  • Avoid eating simple carbs like potatoes, fries, white rice, soda, candy, and sweets. These will cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly.
  • Enjoy a variety of vegetables. They are great for your health and blood sugar as well.

List of foods to eat with gestational diabetes

It is important to eat healthy with gestational diabetes. eating the correct balance of healthy and nutritious food is the key. Eat the following:

1. Carbohydrate:

Brown rice, oats, quinoa, sweet potato, chickpeas, fruits and dried fruits, dairy, and dairy products like milk and yogurt.

2. Non-starchy foods:

Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, greens, eggplant, cucumber, and celery.

3. Lean protein sources:

Chicken, eggs, salmon, tuna, beans, lentils, nuts, nut butter, and tofu and tempeh.

Along with eating healthy, a pregnancy diabetes diet emphasizes following some healthy eating tips for better results and keeping your blood sugar levels under control:

  • Avoid skipping meals and eat at regular intervals.
  • Keep a close watch on your food, drinks, and physical activities to ensure and understand the effect of all of them on your blood sugar levels.
  • Opt for foods that are low on saturated fats, trans fats, salt, sugar, and calories.
  • Drink more water and prefer it over juices and sodas.
  • Instead of sugary treats and processed foods, choose fruits to satisfy your sugary tooth.
  • Make some simple swaps like choosing olive oil and fish over saturated fats including butter and meats.
  • Reduce your salt intake. Choose foods that are low in sodium and avoid consuming processed and packaged foods.
  • Flavor your foods with herbs and spices instead of adding extra salt.
  • Eat steamed vegetables. Add a cup of peas or beans for the extra fiber.
  • Make your meals more colorful with a range of dark green and brightly colored vegetables and fruits like berries.
  • Staying healthy during pregnancy is critical, and you could do so by:
  • Consume more foods rich in iron, calcium, folate, and protein.
  • Seek advice from your doctor about taking prenatal vitamin supplements.
  • Make sure that you eat your breakfast.
  • Drink plenty of water all through the day and eat lots of foods high in fiber to avoid constipation.
  • Food and drinks like raw and uncooked meats, seafood and fish, foods with mercury, uncooked poultry, soft cheeses, and alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Exercise moderately every day and continue the same after childbirth even.

Gestational diabetes and your diet: Diet chart for a diabetic pregnant lady

Eating well – eating healthy is an important aspect of managing gestational diabetes and also staying healthy all through your pregnancy days. Making appropriate changes in your diet will help you manage your blood glucose levels efficiently and reduce all kinds of probable complications during your pregnancy.

A well-applied diet chart for diabetic pregnant ladies takes care of all the aspects efficiently. It suggests:

1. Eat Regularly

Eat all your regular meals in time with healthy snacking in between.

2. Be wary of your portion sizes

What is eaten during your meals is important, but also important is how much you eat. You do not need to eat extra food just because you are pregnant and you are eating for two.

3. Keep a check on your GI (Glycemic Index)

GI is a rating system that quickly carbohydrate foods you eat affect your glucose levels. The diet chart for a diabetic pregnant lady is all about replacing certain foods with others that help control your blood glucose levels.

4. The appropriate foods

With gestational diabetes, you are allowed low or medium GI foods like fruits and vegetables, lentils, pulses, whole-grain foods, and oats, to raise your glucose levels slowly.

5. Check what you drink

As it is important to keep a check on what and how much you eat; it is equally important to keep a check on what you drink. Sugary drinks can harm your efforts.

6. Check all low-fat options carefully

Low-fat options are great, but you should check for their ingredients too. low -fat options often have more sugar than high-fat options.

7. Choose foods with natural fats

Eggs, milk, olive oil, avocado, seeds, and Greek Yoghurt are foods with natural fats, as these foods help slow down the release of sugar from carbohydrates, and this helps the glucose levels from rising high.

Indian diet for gestational diabetes

A pregnancy Indian diet for gestational diabetes is a very uncommon diet for pregnancy and consists of quite a few uncommon parts. Many women suffering from gestational diabetes can gain from this diet and exercise, however, some may require medication besides the two. It is always better to get a gestational diabetes diet prepared by an expert dietician based on the health condition, height, weight, age, and the growing needs of the baby, in addition to the glucose level intolerance. 

A gestational diabetes diet calls for dietary changes that pregnant women may not be used to, however, controlling such type of diabetes is very important. A gestational diabetes diet along with additional treatment and medicines controls the problems caused by it like having abnormally large size babies, that women with such problems often have.

Example of a typical Indian diet for gestational diabetes

  • Early Morning: One cup of black tea + ½ cup boiled chickpeas
  • For Breakfast              : 2 slices of whole-grain bread toast + 1 cup fresh paneer with a chutney.
  • Mid-morning Snacks   : 1 green apple + 1 glass of buttermilk.
  • For Lunch                    : 1 bowl of dal with methi + 2 millet rotis + ½ cup spinach and carrot salad + ½ cup raita.
  • Evening Snacks            : 1 glass lime juice + 1 cup upma with roasted peanuts.
  • For Dinner                   : 2 rotis + ½ cup dal + ½ cup mixed vegetables + ½ cup soya chunks gravy.
  • Before Bed                  : 1 small glass of low-fat milk.