During pregnancy, if the blood sugars are higher than the normal levels, chances are, the would-be mother has gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is caused by interference of the placental hormones on the pancreas, resulting in non-secretion of insulin. This is the “contra-insulin” effect that happens during the 20th to 24th week of pregnancy and ends until childbirth. The symptoms for diabetes, gestational and the type 2 kind are very similar. There would be an increase in thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, excessive hunger, weight loss and irritability. In dire cases where the disease goes untreated, it would result to abnormal weight loss and blurred vision. Hence the importance of pregnant mothers to adhere to a gestational diabetes diet.
The nemesis of every diabetic is carbohydrate, that is why that is the first thing that should be crossed off the gestational diabetes diet. When one talks about refined carbohydrates, one is referring to sugar, white flour, regular pasta and white rice. It is better to stay away from cookies, cakes, soft drinks, coffee, crackers, tortillas and bread. Consumption of these carbohydrates will lead to an alarming increase in blood sugar level. With elevated blood sugar levels, complications like pre-eclampsia and having a big baby is a big possibility.
Gestational diabetes diet focuses mainly on whole grains and natural carbohydrates. Brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, beans, fruits and vegetables are examples of natural carbohydrates. One should take this in moderation and in consultation with a physician or a nutritionist. They would compute for the number of servings the diabetic should take basing it on the diabetic’s weight and other factors.
Now that one has determined the foods that one should avoid and one should consume, it is time to discuss the daily gestational diabetes diet. Pregnant women should take in the following food with their measurements, everyday, 6 to 10 servings of bread and grains, 2 to 3 servings of fruit, 4 or more servings of vegetables, 3 to 4 servings of dairy products and 3 servings of meat or other proteins such as fish, nuts and eggs.
Refined sugar, if it cannot be avoided, should be taken sparingly. It is better to spread out the meals over the course of the day, eating around five to six times will surely keep the blood sugar levels even.