Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects a very small percentage of pregnant women. Due to the rarity of the condition, it can sometimes be a little difficult to find reliable information about what you can and cannot do while treating your condition. For example, what foods are the best to eat with gestational diabetes?
What you eat has a huge impact on the outcome of your everyday life with gestational diabetes. Your blood glucose level is not just an arbitrary number; it is a value that determines your health and comfort. Eating right is the best way to treat gestational diabetes, and in fact is often the only necessary treatment.
What to Look For
The best foods for gestational diabetes will have a few things in common. These are the health factors you should look for when choosing the most healthful foods to eat.
Protein: Protein is an important dietary need for everyone, but especially for pregnant women. This goes double for pregnant women with gestational diabetes, as protein is needed to help balance blood sugar levels.
Fiber: Fiber is important for a gestational diabetes diet for two main reasons. The first is to help keep blood glucose levels stabilized. The other reason is that fiber can help keep you full longer, which can help sustain you between meals.
Nutrients: There are, of course, other nutritional factors to consider for a healthy gestational diabetes diet. Any healthy pregnancy needs lots of vitamins and minerals (such as iron), and even a healthy amount of healthy fats, natural sugars, and carbohydrates.
Calories: Calories provide your body with energy to burn throughout the day. Pregnancy does not mean you should go overboard, however. Pregnant women typically need to consume just 150 to 300 extra calories per day.
Great Gestational Diabetes Foods
Beans: Full of protein and fiber and good with almost every meal. There are many varieties of beans so this option rarely gets boring.
Avocado: Avocados are high in healthy fats and omega 3 fatty acids, not to mention tons of vitamins.
Yogurt: Yogurt is great for your digestion as well as a good source of calcium and vitamins. Be careful not to choose high sugar versions and stick to light or plain options. Add extras like berries, honey, granola, nuts, and more to unsweetened yogurt for a delicious and healthy snack or breakfast.
Bananas: Bananas are almost a perfect food. They are high in potassium as well as many other nutrients, and are a great source of natural sugar.
Greens: Dark, leafy greens are a great source of iron and antioxidants.
Broccoli: Full of calcium, fiber, and antioxidants. Not to mention delicious and filling.
Lean Meats: Great sources of protein come in the form of lean meats such as fish and poultry. Be careful about what kinds of fish you choose and stick to low mercury options.
Eggs: Eggs are another almost perfect food. They are an excellent source of protein and can be cooked multiple ways so almost everyone can find a recipe they enjoy.
Nuts: A handful of nuts is a great snack, full of vitamins, nutrients, healthy fats, and tons of protein.
A healthy gestational diabetes diet is easy when you know what to look for. Include plenty of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and nutrients into each meal and you will find that controlling your gestational diabetes is not as difficult as you might have thought. All of these foods are easy to find and easy to incorporate into any meal, so your job is as easy as chewing. For more information about gestational diabetes foods, click here.