A condition in which the level of blood sugar increases in pregnant women is called gestational diabetes. This increase in blood sugar is due to the hormonal changes which impair insulin from its normal functioning. During pregnancy placenta produces hormones and with the development of placenta the hormonal production also gets increased.
These hormones produced by placenta block the production and functioning of insulin and this condition is called insulin resistance. This condition is not good for the baby and hence should be treated urgently. The best alternative to control the blood sugar level is proper diet along with exercise.
As the carbohydrates get broken down to glucose, its consumption must be controlled and the affected woman must take equal quantity of carbohydrate coupled with some protein and fat during each food intake. While planning the diet care should be taken to include almost all the nutrients required during pregnancy. There fore include foods that supply vitamin C,
vitamin A, folic acid, calcium, iron and those foods which are rich in fibers. Increase the frequency of meals but reduce the quantity served each time. The blood sugar level can be thus maintained easily. Also avoid alcohol, smoking, caffeine products, fatty foods, fried foods etc and drink as much as water one can.
Foods that can be Included in the Diet
Milk products or milk include protein, calcium and vitamin D and can include 4 serving of milk products per day. 1 cup low fat or skim milk, 1 cup reconstituted powdered non fat milk, one and half ounce low fat cheese, 1/3 cup powdered non fat milk etc and each items is equivalent to a serving.
Bread or cereals like one slice of whole grain bread, five crackers, one pancake, biscuit, muffin, waffle, ¾ cup dry and unsweetened cereals etc are also ideal. These are high complex carbohydrates, hence use fortified or enriched or whole gram products.
Meat, fish, poultry or meat substitutes that are rich with vitamins, iron and protein can also be included in the diet. One ounce of cooked fish, poultry or lean meat, 1 egg, ¼ cup cottage cheese of low fat, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, ½ cup cooked dried lentils or beans etc can be served as a meal.
Fruits which are rich with vitamins and fibers like ½ banana, 1 apple, 1 orange, ½ cup grape fruit, 1 cup strawberries, ½ cup fresh apricots, cantaloupe, purple plums etc are good. Similarly vegetables such as 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked spinach, broccoli, carrots, 1/3 cup mixed vegetables are also good for gestational diabetes diet.
Fats like 1 teaspoon butter, oil, mayonnaise, regular salad dressing or 2 tablespoon low calorie salad dressing, ¼ cup seeds or nuts can also be included in the diet.