Gestational diabetes is fairly common, occurring in 3-5% of all pregnancies. To put that into perspective, 1 in every 20 pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy, so if you are one of them, then you are not alone.
What Is Gestational Diabetes?
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it simply means that you have high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) during your pregnancy. Gestational diabetes tends to develop in the later stages of pregnancy, typically between 24 and 28 weeks in the third trimester. In most women, gestational diabetes can be managed through diet and exercise during their pregnancy and will disappear on its own after the baby is born.
What Should You Eat If You Have Gestational Diabetes?
If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, then your doctor will likely manage your condition by recommending a healthy diet and gentle exercise rather than using medication. This means trying to eat protein with every meal, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting processed foods, and trying not to overeat. Snacking is also an important way to manage gestational diabetes as it can help to keep your blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day.
Healthy Snacks For Gestational Diabetes
Snacking is a great way to keep your blood sugar levels stable between your meals and can also help to prevent overeating at mealtimes. Some healthy snacks to consider include:
Vegetables are a great snack on their own but become even better when paired with a protein-rich dip such as hummus. Hummus is a great dip for veggies because it contains chickpeas, which are high in fiber and protein.
Swap out sugary cereals for wholesome oatmeal made with rolled oats and cooked with berries for some natural sweetness. For extra protein, why not top your oats with a sprinkling of seeds?
If you’re a fan of regular potato chips, then swap them out for healthier vegetable chips. Vegetables like sweet potato, carrot, and butternut squash are processed differently within the body and are better for diabetics than regular potatoes.
Lastly, for a plant-based protein-packed snack, grab a handful of your favorite nuts. Nuts are one of the most highly recommended snacks for diabetics because they do not spike your blood sugar levels and have even been found to reverse type-2 diabetes. Although all nuts are beneficial in their own way, it is best to avoid salted nuts where possible and to stick to plain raw or roasted varieties.
Can You Eat Fruit With Gestational Diabetes?
It’s a common misconception that you can no longer eat fruit if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The key to eating fruit without spiking your blood sugar levels is to moderate your portions and to stick to varieties with less sugar. Berries are a great choice because they are quite low in sugar and high in fiber, whereas grapes or bananas are higher in sugar and so should be eaten more sparingly. When it comes to dried fruit, once again, moderation is key, and it is important to remember that dried fruit contains the same amount of sugar as fresh fruit, just in a much smaller package. Some dried fruit is also dried with extra sugar for more sweetness, so try to stick to unsweetened varieties and weigh out your portions to prevent you from eating too much.