Based on statistics, 3 percent to 5 percent of pregnant women suffer gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes is related to the insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes as far as the need for proper diet and exercise is concerned.
Due to her pregnancy, the pregnant woman is less mindful of her dietary intakes and has more tendencies to be inactive owing to her condition. It simply means that a well-placed gestational diabetes diet plan should be on hand to prevent this disease from developing.
On 5th to 6th month of pregnancy, the placenta generates a lot of hormones which block the functions of insulin. More hormones are produced when the placenta becomes bigger resulting to more blockage and greater insulin resistance. When the insulin could no longer neutralize the placenta hormones, this gives rise to gestational diabetes.
In some cases, other causes of gestational diabetes can be related to family history of diabetes, obesity, previous delivery with birth defect, previously giving birth to a large infant, or having too much amniotic fluid (a slight yellowish fluid that covers the fetus).
Gestational diabetes disappears upon giving birth since the placenta is already removed. However, 40 percent of these women are likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The need for a gestational diabetes plan is important because an uncontrolled blood sugar level can lead to the incidence of birth defect or miscarriage. Some may even require insulin injection but are never prescribed with oral medication to preclude any unknown side effects.
It is important that the diet plan be created with the gestational diabetic patient in mind. This should be a well-balanced diet to support the pregnancy of gestational diabetic women.
Care should be given not to include a drastic reduction of carbohydrate intakes since this will prove to be an unhealthy practice for pregnant women. In view of this, hereunder are the do’s and dont’s to be observed in formulating a gestational diabetes diet plan:
Proper Gestational Diabetes Foods
1. Small breakfast that includes protein foods like eggs, skinned chicken, brown bread with peanut butter or lentil broth.
2. Small meals after 3 to 4 hours comprising of high protein products, e.g. skinned fish, low fat meat, eggs, nuts, cottage cheese, peanut butter etc.
3. Fruits, green and leafy vegetables; fruits should be eaten only during lunch or dinner but never at breakfast.
4. Milk low in fat or skim the milk before drinking.
Improper Gestational Diabetes Foods
1. Sugar, sweetener and sweets; Examples are chocolates, pies, cakes, pastries, cookies, soft drinks, marmalade, cookies, jam, fruit juice, table sugar, honey, molasses corn syrup and cornstarch.
2. Junk foods and packaged meals such as burgers, instant noodles, hot dogs, potato crisps, French fries, frozen foods, canned fish and canned soups.
3. Fatty and deep fried foods; Instead of using cooking oil, try to bake, steam, grill or boil. Grilled lean meat and fish are good but not pork.
4. Butter, cheese, mayonnaise, thick cream, sour cream and margarine.
The best gestational diabetes diet plan your dietitian can come up with is one that is done with proper consultation with your doctor. The above food groups merely serve as reference because there is no universal diet plan for gestational diabetes.
By: Alvin Hopkinson