Dining Out With Gestational Diabetes
Sticking with your diet plan in restaurants doesn’t have to be difficult. Learn how to order healthy foods when you go out to eat.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs for the first time when you become pregnant. As in other kinds of diabetes, gestational diabetes leads to too much sugar in your blood.. If you have gestational diabetes, you will need to control your blood sugar with exercise, a gestational diabetes diet, and sometimes with medication.
But just because you have gestational diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t go out to eat. You just need to follow the same rules as you would at home and make healthy choices. “We generally recommend a diet for a woman with gestational diabetes that gets about 50 percent of calories from carbohydrates,” says Kelly O’Connor, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “Good sources of carbohydrates are whole-grain breads and cereals, fresh fruits, low-fat dairy products, potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice. We try to have the women consume as close to the same amount of carbohydrates each day as possible,” says O’Connor.
Some Tips for Dining Out With Gestational Diabetes
“In terms of eating out, your choices do not have to be very different from your choices at home. The best choices are a balance of lean protein, carbohydrate, and a small amount of fat,” says O’Connor. You need to count your calories when you go out the same as you would at home.
Expert Recs From Someone Who’s Been There
As an OB-GYN who’s had gestational diabetes herself during two pregnancies, Dr. Conti has a quick list of foods you may want to add to your grocery list to help with managing the condition:
- Lactose-free milk with reduced sugar levels
- Frozen Greek yogurt bars
- Cane sugar-free and corn syrup-free cereal
The Best Way To Lose Weight Is:
- To keep a better balance of foods at meals.
- Look at your portion sizes.
- Limit snacks.
- Limit fatty and sugary foods.
- Avoid sugary drinks and excessive alcohol intake.
It is also helpful to increase the amount of physical activity you take. If you can, be more active. Build up to 30 minutes walking or other activity each day.
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Breakfast Ideas For Gestational Diabetes
Spinach Onion Swiss Omelet And Toast With Almond Butter
Omelets are a great choice for breakfast with gestational diabetes. This is the nutrition information for the omelets I make but you can put whatever veggies or cheese that youd like in yours and it wont change the carb and calorie content too much.
2 Eggs: Carbs 0 Calories 140
1/2 Cup Spinach: Carbs 0 Calories 5
1 Tbs. Chopped Red Onion: Carbs 1 Calories 4
2 Slices Swiss Cheese: Carbs 2 Calories 140
1/2 Tbs. Butter: Carbs 0 Calories 50
1 Slice Whole Wheat Bread: Carbs 17 Calories 90
1 Tbs. Almond Butter: Carbs 3 Calories 105
Causes: Why Does Gestational Diabetes Occur
Insulin resistance causes gestational diabetes. Diana Gariglio-Clelland says, Pregnancy hormones can cause an increase in the amount of sugar in the mothers bloodstream, and pregnancy can reduce insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone necessary to lower blood sugar levels, and when the body is resistant to insulin, it makes blood sugar levels rise.
However, not all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. Being overweight or obese, gaining weight during pregnancy, PCOS, high blood pressure, diabetes in the family, and late pregnancy increase the risk of gestational diabetes , .
So, how do you know if you have gestational diabetes? Are there any symptoms you can look out for? And, how do you diagnose gestational diabetes? Scroll down to find out.
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Can Gestational Diabetes Affect My Baby
If gestational diabetes is not well looked after it may result in problems such as a large baby, miscarriage and stillbirth. A large baby can create the risk of injury at delivery, caesarean delivery, forceps delivery and a need for the baby to be looked after in special care until the glucose level stabilises after delivery. Other complications may include pregnancy loss and premature delivery. If any problems occur, the hospital will care for you and your baby.
Why Is It Important To Follow A Special Diet During Pregnancy
A healthy diet can help protect you and your baby from gestational diabetes. For a pregnant woman, a normal diet consists of 2,200 to 2,500 calories per day. If you are overweight before you get pregnant, you will need fewer calories than other women. It is important to pay attention to what you eat and when you eat.
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Avoiding Hidden Sugars And Carbohydrates
Some foods and drinks are not obviously sources of sugar or carbohydrates. However, they may still contain potentially harmful levels of both. Examples of these products include:
- highly processed foods
210% of pregnancies each year in the United States.
This type of diabetes occurs when a womans body cannot make enough of the hormone insulin. The pancreas produces insulin, which helps the bodys cells use sugar from the blood as energy.
When a woman is pregnant, her body will produce more hormones, and she may gain weight. These changes may result in her bodys cells using insulin less efficiently than they did previously, which is called insulin resistance.
Becoming resistant to insulin means that the body needs more of this hormone to handle the sugar in the blood. Sometimes, the body cannot produce enough insulin to keep up, and this leads to a buildup of sugar in the blood.
The symptoms of gestational diabetes may include:
Dinner Ideas For Gestational Diabetes
Turkey Burger And Sweet Potato Fries
I absolutely love sweet potato fries and the nutrition information for this is based off of making them homemade using this recipe. One serving is about 1/2 a sweet potato.
1 Burger: Carbs 0 Calories 190
1 Slice Swiss: Carbs 1 Calories 70
Sweet Potato Fries: Carbs 13 Calories 56
2 Tbs. Ketchup: Carbs 10 Calories 40
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp, Brown Rice, And Broccoli
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp: Carbs 7 Calories 254
1/2 Cup Brown Rice: Carbs 22 Calories 108
1 Cup Broccoli: Carbs 11 Calories 55
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Follow The Plate Method For Easy Portion Control
The plate method lets you eyeball appropriate portions without having to actually pull out a measuring cup or count calories, which makes plating out a balanced, healthy meal simple and easy. Aim to make half your plate nonstarchy vegetables, a quarter of your plate lean protein, and a quarter of your plate whole grains at each meal. It’s important to eat a consistent amount of carbohydrates at each meal.
What To Eat With Gestational Diabetes
Disclaimer: This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Check out the video I created talking about everything I cover in this post on my Youtube channel.
In the world of gestational diabetes being diet controlled seems to be considered the golden standard. I want to stress though, that it is not going to be possible for everyone and thats okay. Having to go on medication, whether oral or insulin is not a failure on your part, its simply how your body is responding to the hormones created by your placenta. Someone who is considered diet-controlled is not working harder or eating less than someone on insulin, its all about the hormones.
Its all about the numbers
We cant talk about diabetes and diet without talking about the numbers. Your dr. will give you the exact numbers they want you aiming for but a general rule of thumb is Overnight fasting: 4.0 5.3 One hour after meals < 7.8Two hours after meals < 6.7
You should consider your blood sugar levels like a wave. You want to keep it relatively steady with gradual rises and falls rather than steep spikes and drops.
So, what can I eat, and what cant I eat
VIDEO: How and what to eat with gestational diabetes
Choose Whole Fruit Over Fruit Juice
Fruits contain natural sugars . Whole fruits also contain dietary fiber. Fruits can be included in your meal plan, but because they contain carbohydrates, you should be mindful of portion sizes, eating only one serving at a time. Generally, a small piece of fruit or one-half cup of fruit or fruit juice counts as a serving size.
Fruit juice counts as fruit, but it usually doesnt contain the fiber found in whole fruits. For this reason, its recommended to choose whole fruit over fruit juice, as the fiber found in whole fruit will help keep your blood sugar levels from rising too high too quickly.
Aftercare: What Should You Do Post
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases recommend the following :
- Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding provides your baby the nutrients required for proper development and preventing metabolic disorders later in life. It also helps the mother shed weight.
- Change Lifestyle: Eating healthy and staying active has to become your new lifestyle. Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Work out at least 3-4 hours per week. Make diet and exercise an enjoyable family activity.
- Monitor Glucose: Monitor your and your kids blood glucose levels intermittently to keep a check and prevent developing diabetes.
- Medication: Talk to your doctor to treat PCOS and diabetes with medication.
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Other Ways To Keep You And Your Baby Healthy With Gestational Diabetes
Asterino-McGeean recommends keeping your doctor in the know as your pregnancy progresses. Continue with your scheduled appointments. Since your pregnancy is considered high risk if you have gestational diabetes, your obstetrician may also have you see a high-risk specialist for the remainder of your pregnancy, she says.
Managing gestational diabetes is ultimately a team sport and you are the quarterback. Self-monitoring blood glucose levels at home is important for a healthy pregnancy and baby, adds Asterino-McGeean.
Heres how to do it:
- Monitor your sugar four times a day. After fasting and one to two hours after each meal.
- Keep a written log of your blood sugar levels. Send it to your doctor every one to two weeks or as they recommend.
The most important thing is preventing high blood sugar levels to keep you and your baby safe, says Asterino-McGeean.
How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect My Baby And Me
Most women with gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. Problems may develop if you have gestational diabetes that is not treated. Gestational diabetes can cause you to have a large baby. Giving birth to a large baby may hurt you or the baby. You may need a cesarean section if your baby is too large to be born naturally.
Gestational diabetes also can affect babies after they are born. Some of these babies have low blood sugar levels or jaundice . These problems are treated in the hospital. A baby with a low blood sugar level is given sugar water. A baby with jaundice spends time under a special light.
After delivery, you probably will not remain diabetic. However, you will be at higher risk for getting diabetes later in life.
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Looking At Your Diary
A few questions to think about:
- Did you find it more difficult to make helpful choices and control your portion sizes at a particular type of day?
- Did your eating behaviours change if you went too long between eating and got overly hungry?
- Was there a difference in your eating at times when you had planned and prepared what you were going to eat beforehand?
Whats The Best Diet Plan For Gestational Diabetes
The Mediterranean diet has been clinically proven to help with diabetes . It contains the type of eating patterns recommended previously.
One study found that there was an 83% lower risk of diabetes among those who closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet .
The Mediterranean diet is a plan that encompasses all the points made above and is highly regarded within the scientific community as a heart-healthy diet to follow. It was ranked the number 1 diet according to the U.S. News & World Report.
It comes out on top when it comes to its healthiness and how easy it is to follow. This makes it a perfect diet to follow if you want to reduce inflammation long-term and find a sustainable way of eating.
Various credible organisations recommend following a Mediterranean diet to help with diabetes, including:
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 150g / ¾ cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
- handful pitted black kalamata olives
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- 50g / ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- small bunch mint leaves, chopped
- juice and zest ½ lemon
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Life After The Meal Plan
Find more recipes on our site
Your journey doesnt end after 7 days of Mediterranean recipes for gestational diabetes. Its about finding recipes that can become staples in your household and creating eating habits that actually last.
We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.
Choosing A Healthy Diet
Since your diet will impact you and your baby, it’s important to find the right balance.
Start by asking your doctor for a referal to a registered dietician for guidance. It’s also good to eat low-glycemix index foods . To keep your blood sugar as stable as possible, spread your eating over 3 meals and 2-3 snacks.
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Fast Food For Gestational Diabetics
Is it safe to eat fast food when pregnant and diagnosed with gestational diabetes?
Ideally one of two things would happen in life – 1. fast food would be healthy and there would be no concern about eating it, or 2. everyone would have the time and energy to cook every single meal and there’d be no need for fast food. Since neither of those is true, we have to adjust.
It’s not practical to expect anyone, especially a gestational diabetic, to cook every meal. But because healthy and low carb options in fast food are so few, you should be familiar with what items are safe choices at your favorite eateries, or how to make your favorite choices lower carb.
Knowing your options in advance will prevent panic and frustration in the moment, and empower you to eat what you like without breaking the diet or fear of spiking your glucose. It’ll also relieve you of the pressure to always have a prepared meal or snack.
This series covers popular places like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway, Wendy’s, IHOP, Starbucks and more, and each review has a printable sheet of menu items within carb limits that are appropriate for diabetics.
BUT if you want to minimize your chances of having to grab fast food, PLAN! A plan doesn’t have to be followed exactly rather, it’s a fail-safe. A few gestational diabetic meal plans are already done for you with recipes, nutritional information and shopping lists included!
Be Consistent With Meals And Snacks
Whichever eating plan you choose to follow, make sure to eat regular meals and snacks. In other words, eat at around the same time each day and about the same amount at each meal and snack. Your body will respond to this consistency, helping your blood sugar levels be more stable in turn.
This might be three regular meals with two or three snacks in between, or it might be five to six small meals throughout the day. Find what works for you, and stick to it.
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Day Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan
Gestational diabetes causes high blood pressure that can cause pregnancy complications.
It occurs due to changes in the way your body uses insulin. Insulin helps absorb and convert glucose into energy.
Gestational diabetes causes either not enough insulin to be produced during pregnancy, or makes the body more resistant to insulin. Both of these issues mean that not enough sugar gets converted into energy, causing high blood sugar levels. This eventually causes gestational diabetes.
However, one of the most effective ways to manage and prevent gestational diabetes is with a healthy diet.
This article will cover everything you need to know about a following a gestational diabetes diet plan and offer a sample 7 day plan to follow.