Diabetic Diet During Pregnancy - Everything You Need To Know

Diabetic Diet During Pregnancy

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Diabetes can be a concerning condition, and is often difficult to control. High blood glucose can pose several health risks, particularly during pregnancy. If you’re diabetic and expecting, or are planning to have a baby, there are certain diet essentials you may need to keep in mind.

Keep reading to know more about the right diabetic diet during pregnancy that you should follow.

Foods To Eat:

If you’re diabetic and pregnant, you may need to change your meal plan with the help of a nutritionist to get the best out of your food and avoid spikes in blood glucose levels. During pregnancy, it is important to focus on the quality of food and keeping blood glucose levels in check, and at the same time, get the right nutrients for your baby.

Certain foods that you may particularly want to include in your pregnancy diabetes diet plan are:

  • Whole grains
  • Lean meats
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Non fat dairy products
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beans etc

The basic recommendation for all pregnant women is t

o include 300 extra calories per day to meet the baby’s requirement. All you have to do is plan the 300 extra calories in the right way to make sure that the needs are met without a spike in blood sugar levels. (1)

[ Read: Nutritional Foods To Eat During Pregnancy ]

Foods To Avoid:

Even if you’re not diabetic, it is best to control your consumption of sugary foods. Cookies, cakes, pastries and candies tend to contain large amounts of carbohydrates and fats, and have little or no nutritional value, which is why, they need to be avoided during pregnancy.

Other foods you must consider avoiding during pregnancy are sugary drinks and beverages that contain sugars that tend to raise blood glucose levels. You could consider adding foods that contain artificial sweeteners (after your doctor’s recommendation) or choose natural sweetening agents such as honey instead.

You may be tempted to pick up products that say ‘sugar free’ on the packaging to satisfy your sweet cravings during pregnancy, but look closely. Make sure you check the total carbohydrate content of the product that you purchase, and avoid those that contain sugar alcohols such as isomalt, sorbital, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol etc (2)

Carbohydrates In Food:

Diabetic patients need to focus more on their carbohydrate intake to stay healthy. The general rules you must follow if you’re diabetic and pregnant are:

  • Choose more of whole grain, high fiber carbohydrates.
  • Less than half of the calories that you consume throughout the day must come through carbohydrates. (3)

The best way to know more about the ideal diabetic diet in pregnancy is to have a talk with your nutritionist and set out a healthy pregnancy diabetes diet meal plan.

Important Points To Note:

Apart from knowing about the foods you must be adding to your diet, there are some other factors you may want to pay close attention to if you’re diabetic and pregnant.

  • Include a reasonable amount of starch in your diet.
  • Avoid consuming too much of milk together in one go- limit the intake to a cup at a time.
  • Never skip your morning breakfast. Choose a breakfast that contains starch and protein to best keep your blood glucose levels in check.
  • Avoid fruit juices- most of them contain sugars and lack out on the fiber. Choose fresh fruit instead and limit the portions to one at a time.
  • Have short meals spread out throughout the day as opposed to 2-3 full meals. (4)

Also make sure you monitor your blood glucose levels regularly to check your dietary progress.

Did this article help you understand how to handle diabetes during pregnancy? Got your own tips on diabetic diet during pregnancy to share? Let us know in the comments box below.

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