Obesity in a pregnant woman is a significant risk factor for developing gestational diabetes mellitus, and an increasing number of pregnant women are overweight or obese. Dietary habits have an impact on both obesity and the onset of gestational diabetes mellitus.
The mother-child study conducted at the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Finland examined the connection between dietary intake and onset of gestational diabetes in 351 overweight or obese women.
These healthy eating tips for women with gestational diabetes are general. Your care team should talk to you about making changes to your diet and refer you to a dietitian for the individual advice that’s right for you.
All carbs affect your blood sugar levels, so you need to know which foods contain carbs.
We know cutting down sugar can be really hard at the beginning, so small practical swaps are a good starting point.
this will help you manage your blood sugar levels and avoid too much weight gain during pregnancy. your weight may be monitored closely while you’re pregnant.
If you do need to snack when you have gestational diabetes, you snack on plain or low sugar yogurt, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruit, and veg. But watch your portion sizes still – it’ll help you keep an eye on your weight.
They don’t have any special health benefits, they’re expensive, could still affect your blood sugar, and may cause an upset stomach.
The glycaemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly foods containing carbs affect your blood sugar levels after you eat them. Some foods affect sugars levels quickly and so have a high GI, and others take longer to affect blood sugar levels and so have a low GI.
If you gain too much weight in pregnancy it can affect your health and increase your blood pressure. However, evidence suggests that pregnancy isn’t the time to be on a really strict diet and you shouldn’t aim to lose weight. Making changes to your diet and physical activity levels can help you avoid gaining too much weight. It’ll also help you to keep your blood sugar within a safe range.
Try to eat fish regularly, as it’s good for you and the development of your baby. The advice is to eat at least two portions a week, including at least one portion of oily fish – like mackerel, sardines, salmon, herrings, trout, or pilchards. Oily fish is really good for heart health, but don’t have more than two portions a week because it contains low levels of pollutants (toxins). A portion is about 140g.
Several methods were used in the study to examine dietary intake in early pregnancy. These analyses revealed that a diet comprehensively promoting health is associated with a smaller risk of developing gestational diabetes.
“Eating vegetables, fruit, berries, and wholegrain products, as well as unsaturated fats, is particularly important. These nutrients and foods reduce inflammation in the body and therefore also the risk of gestational diabetes. Mothers who are overweight or obese already before the pregnancy would most likely benefit from dietary guidance in early pregnancy,” says Associate Professor in Nutrition Kirsi Laitinen from the University of Turku, the PI of the Early Nutrition and Health research group that conducted the study.