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Diabetes During Pregnancy
A balanced and nutritious diet is important for everyone especially pregnant women to avoid developing and to control diabetes during pregnancy. Diabetes including Type 1, Type 2 and GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) can negatively affect the health of both mother and babies.
If you’re wondering what are the differences between Type 1, Type 2 diabetes and GDM, here’s a little explanation about them.
Type 1 diabetes: This is when the body doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is responsible for transporting blood sugar into cells to be used as energy.
Type 2 diabetes: This happens when the body produces insulin but is unable to use it well.
GDM: GDM is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after delivery. This happens when the body can’t produce enough insulin needed during pregnancy.
Whatever the cause, you can definitely work something out with your doctor to come up with a plan to have a healthy pregnancy journey.
When it comes to your diet during pregnancy, we get it, sometimes you can’t help but satisfy your pregnancy cravings. However, it is truly important that you take steps to control your sugar intake. To help you get started, here’s what you need to know!
1. Eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day
Have smaller portions of meals and healthy snacks in between as eating too much at one time may cause your blood sugar level to spike up. Make sure your meals are balanced and nutritious as it’s crucial for you as well as your baby to get sufficient nutrients. Remember, do not skip your meals as this might cause your blood sugar level to drop too low.
2. Choose healthier carbs
Carbs affect your blood sugar levels so it’s important that you pay more attention to the type and amount of carbs you are consuming. Choose healthier carbs. Little changes you make to your diet makes a difference! For instance, try swapping white bread for multigrain/wholegrain bread instead.
3. Eat one small portion of fruit at a time
Fruits are healthy to consume, however, it is recommended to eat a small portion at a time because fruits have natural sugars and some can contain a high amount of sugar. If you love eating canned fruits, perhaps you should avoid having them, especially when there is syrup as these canned fruits have lots of sugar which can spike your blood sugar levels!
4. Strictly cut down on sugar
Cutting down on excess sugar might be one of the hardest things to do while you’re pregnant, especially when you have a sweet tooth. What you can do is limit your intake of sweet desserts like cakes, doughnuts, pastries and ice cream. Opt for cakes and ice cream that are less sweetened instead.
You can also slowly swap foods like having dark chocolate instead of your regular milk chocolate. Avoid adding sugar, syrup or honey to your foods and drinks!
5. Eat foods with more fiber
Eating more fiber helps to stabilize your blood sugar level. Not only do they stabilize your blood sugar level but the also prevent or ease up on constipation. Try eating whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice and not forgetting to include lentils and beans as all of these are packed with fiber.
6. Plan for snacks in between your meals
If you need to snack in between meals, be sure to prepare healthy snacks such as plain Greek yoghurt, unsalted nuts, seeds and fruits. Remember, that everything you eat should be in moderation.