Before we go over the gestational diabetes meal plan let us cover some basics. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes (high blood sugar) encountered by some women during pregnancy (gestation). Under conditions that usually occur in the second half of pregnancy, some women don’t produce sufficient insulin to control blood sugar. The condition affects one of every 25 pregnant women – that’s about 100,000 women per year in the United States.
A Healthy Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan is Important
The condition is serious because without treatment it increases the chances of a still birth and/or diabetic conditions in the child. However, the primary complication of the condition is a large infant, which can increase childbirth complications. Symptoms in the mother include thirst, increased urination, blurred vision, nausea, fatigue, increased appetite combined with weight loss, and a variety of infections. The condition, a form of type II diabetes, is treated by reducing consumption of dietary carbohydrates to control blood sugar and body weight.
Women diagnosed with this condition should consult a physician or dietitian for a detailed and individualized gestational diabetes meal plan. Keep in mind that your dietary plan is for both you and your baby. Nonetheless, there are some general guidelines for gestational diabetes meal plans.
An important goal of a gestational diabetes meal plan is to control blood sugar. From a practical standpoint, this means that sufferers eat less food more often. A gestational diabetes meal plan will thus usually comprise small meals with between-meal snacks. In general, all gestational diabetes meal plans avoid “bad” high sugar foods like candy and chocolate, but they also avoid fruit juice, which some perceive as “good.”
Gestational diabetes meal plans focus on low fat foods. Choose low fat dairy products and lean meats, especially tuna and chicken. In addition to low fat meats, eggs and nuts, especially peanut butter, are important sources of protein.
Non-starchy vegetables are another focus of a good diabetic diet meal plan. Green vegetables and lettuces in particular are low in fat and starch, but most peppers, radishes, and mushrooms fit also fit the bill. These are considered “free” or uncounted calories in some diets.
Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan for Pregnant Women
Here’s a possible gestational diabetes meal plan for a single day.
• One egg
• One slice whole wheat bread or a quarter of a bagel
• Half cup of canned or fresh fruit
• Skim milk.
(mid-morning / mid-afternoon)
• One slice of whole-wheat bread
• Tbsp of peanut butter
• Quarter cup of fruit
• Skim milk
• Half of a bagel
• Half a cup of canned or fresh fruit
• Skim milk
• Two small cookies
• 6 oz. baked chicken
• 1 cup rice
• Half cup diced tomato
• Half cut lightly fried zucchini
• Skim milk
Most women cope reasonably well with the disease by using a gestational diabetes meal plan, but others are prescribed drugs and even insulin. Many women’s comments reflect more anxiety about possible problems than the problems themselves. Some women, when prescribed drugs or insulin, report the “feel as though [they] have failed” even though they’ve followed through on dietary treatments.
Although many variations in treatment are common, a gestational diabetes meal plan will produce good outcomes for most women.