Gestational diabetes diet is meant to help women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Their blood sugar level goes back to normal once they give birth to the baby. Gestational diabetes diet is aimed at helping control the blood glucose level of a pregnant woman by guiding her to eat a healthy diet during her pregnancy in order to prevent health complications that may harm her and her unborn baby. Many times diet regulation alone is not sufficient to check blood sugar increase. In such cases it may be necessary to give insulin and incorporate a suitable exercise regimen along with dietary control to keep blood sugar within proper levels. This will ensure healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Every woman with gestational diabetes must always eat a healthy diet containing carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the right amounts suited to her condition. When she eats food, proteins, fats and especially carbohydrates cause a natural increase in her blood sugar level. Therefore it is necessary for her to eat a balanced diet that can make her blood glucose remain within safe limits. It is also important to avoid eating too much carbohydrate at any one time else her blood sugar may shoot to a dangerous level.
The correct amount of carbohydrates, vitamins, fat, protein and nutrients varies for different individuals including a pregnant woman. A gestational diabetes diet plan recommended by a registered dietician takes into account various factors like the height, weight, and daily activities of a pregnant woman for determining what she should eat and in what quantities that would be ideal for her condition. The dietitian can use different meal planning methods like carbohydrate counting or diabetes exchanges for choosing a diet that will work best for a specific patient.
Eating the same amount of carbohydrate every day helps to control blood glucose. Usually the proper way to control daily carbohydrate intake is to spread it evenly over many small meals. Eating three small/medium-sized meals and three or four snacks, including a post dinner snack can help accomplish this target easily. The last snack is to help avoid low blood glucose during nighttime. Generally, a blood sample shows a higher sugar level in the morning and eating carbohydrates at breakfast leads to a further rapid increase in blood glucose. It is therefore advisable to take a lesser amount of carbohydrate at breakfast as compared to other meals/snacks during the day. Instead of carbohydrates it is better to add chicken, meat, eggs etc. in the breakfast menu to make a filling meal.
Gestational diabetes diet strictly rations sweets, candy, desserts, regular soft drinks etc. These things are high in sugar and carbohydrates and have low nutritional value. The best way is to avoid sweets containing added sugar altogether.
However, it is important to know that carbohydrate is a vital part of the gestational diabetes diet and must never be excluded from the diet. What is required is regulated carbohydrate intake. Meals must never be skipped or carbohydrates avoided as this may lead to very low levels of blood glucose which is dangerous to the health and safety of both the patient and the unborn baby.
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