A gestational diabetes diet menu is designed not to be rigid or strict. It allows you to enjoy food you prefer eating. It does not consist of expensive, special diabetic food that is no more effective at controlling your blood sugar than the ordinary food you eat daily. By adopting a gestational diabetes diet menu you will be able to control your blood glucose through eating regular food items in a regulated manner sharing the same meal with others though with some controls.
The gestational diabetes diet menu should on an average consist of 2200 calories although there may be slight variations for different pregnant women depending on their height, weight and daily activities. These variations exist because the intensity of the problem of individual high blood glucose level and body requirements for energy is different.
The right calorific content in the gestational diabetes diet menu is provided from a correct balance of carbohydrates, starch, proteins, minerals, vitamins and iron in the recommended diet. A pregnant woman’s daily diet plan should contain food chosen in a way that provides these essential ingredients in such proportions that 45% to 60% of the total calorific requirement is met by carbohydrates, 15% to 25% by proteins and the balance from fat content in the diet.
The type of food to cover carbohydrate intake can be
(1) Bread and grains to be taken in 6 to 11 servings and can include pancakes, crackers, cooked cereals, rice, corn pasta, baked potatoes etc.
(2) Fresh fruits should be plentiful in the diet especially citrus fruits like grapes, oranges, melon etc. and 4 to 6 servings should be eaten everyday. Unsweetened canned fruit in limited quantities can also be taken.
(3) Vegetables are high in fiber content and should form a substantial part of the diet. As they contain much less sweetness than fruits, more number of servings should be eaten every day as compared to fruit servings. Recommended daily servings are three to five, whether raw or cooked, or as juice or soup. Large quantities of leafy vegetables especially those that are dark green and deep yellow in color are the best.
(4) Dairy products are also important parts of gestational diabetes diet menu. 2 to 3 servings of low fat, unsweetened milk, cottage cheese and yogurt should be taken daily.
Non- carbohydrate food covers poultry, meat, fat and sweets.
(1) 3 to 4 servings of meat and poultry can be taken every day. However, care should be taken to avoid fried meat/poultry. Peas or peanut butter can substitute meat/fish/poultry.
(2) Fats are also necessary in limited quantities and should be eaten in the form of margarine, peanuts and olives in 1 to 3 servings daily.
(3) Sweets need not be excluded totally. However, it is necessary to ensure that only the low sugar or sugar free variety is eaten in strictly limited quantity.
There should be a snack between each meal. The total calories required every day should be spread over all meals and snacks. This type of gestational diabetes diet menu will help a pregnant woman remain healthy throughout her pregnancy with controlled blood glucose levels and will let her easily deliver a healthy baby.
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