Answer: When you have gestational diabetes it is important to manage your diet. This will help you to control your blood glucose levels.
Here are some important points that you need to follow:
1. All carbohydrate foods turn to glucose when your body digests them. The more carbohydrate you eat at one time, the higher your blood glucose level will rise.
Carbohydrates include starchy foods such as bread, cereals, flour products i.e. biscuits as well as some vegetables
such as potato, corn and legumes i.e. peas, baked beans, lentils. They also are in foods with natural sugars such as
fruit, milk and yoghurt and lastly added sugars such as lollies, sugar, honey, jam, cordial and soft drinks.
2. Eating smaller meals and snacks regularly will help keep your glucose levels more stable. You should wait 2.5-3hrs after your meal before you have a snack. Likewise do not have a snack too close to your next meal (leave at least 1.5 hours).
3. Do not skip meals or try to avoid carbohydrate foods- this will usually mean you will end up very hungry and often would eat more than you usually would at your next meal and generally leads to more unstable blood glucose levels.It is also unhealthy for you and your baby if you eat too little carbohydrate as your baby is relying on a certain amount of glucose energy from you.
4. Eat more vegetables. Salad and other cooked non-starchy vegetables give you lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre-but very little carbohydrate. Include them at your meals and snacks, or eat them as an extra whenever you are hungry!
5. Protein foods don’t turn into glucose and help you to feel full. You can include protein foods (meat, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, cheese, nuts + nut butters, seeds and tofu) in sensible amounts at meals and snacks or occasionally as an extra. They will not cause your glucose level to rise.
6. Watch your fats! It is important not to gain too much weight in your pregnancy. Eating too much fat makes it easy to gain excess weight. Reduce added fats such as oil and margarine, choose low fat dairy products, choose lean meats and avoid fried foods and high fat snack foods and takeaways. Fat doesn’t directly raise your glucose levels but can make it harder for your insulin to work if you eat high fat foods.