Some people eat three meals a day and stop there. Others prefer to graze throughout the day. Most doctors recommend that five to six small meals be eaten during the day, or three meals with small snacks in between. This is especially recommended for gestational diabetes pregnancies, which is good news for snackers.
Snacking is good for you, especially when you are working to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized throughout the day. Unfortunately, you can’t just eat whatever you want whenever you want. You need to know how to snack smart and healthy.
Here are some solutions for gestational diabetes snacking:
Planning: A lot of people know that meal planning can be a strong tool for healthy dieting. What many people do not consider, however, is including snacks in their plans. It is all too easy to get hungry and find yourself at a vending machine between meals, where bad decisions are so easily made. Avoid letting yourself make poor decisions and get all of the decisions out of the way ahead of time. Plan and prepare for snacks so you are always ready. As a good rule of thumb, always pack one or two extra snacks just in case. Especially during pregnancy, hunger happens, so you want to be ready.
Variety: Planning everything has the potential to get boring. Adding a little variety to your snacks will keep your taste-buds satisfied, and keep your mind off that vending machine. Especially when pregnancy cravings hit, a little variety can go a long way.
Balance: As always, gestational diabetes is about achieving the right balance to keep your blood sugar stable. Your meals and your snacks are a reflection of this. To keep your glucose stable and your hunger satiated, balance your snacks accordingly. Look for complex carbs, protein, and dietary fiber to help keep you full and stable.
Fruits: Fruit absolutely has the potential to raise your blood sugar, but making the best choices and doing a little balancing can help you keep these sweet treats in your daily diet. First of all, know that not all fruit is created equal, and so some choices are better than others. Great fruits for gestational diabetes include apples, berries, and bananas. Balance out your fruity choices with proteins like peanut butter or yogurt for a great and filling snack.
Vegetables: You can pretty much never go wrong with fresh vegetables. Eat baby carrots, raw broccoli and cauliflower florets, cucumber slices, and more. Pair your favorites with cheese, guacamole, or hummus for a delicious and filling treat.
Nuts: A handful of nuts make a great snack anytime you are feeling hungry could not be easier. Keep a bag of unsalted or lightly salted nuts in your desk drawer and/or purse so you always have an easy and perfectly nutritious snack at the ready.
Snacking is a healthy and important part of a gestational diabetes diet. Using these tips, you can snack smart and healthy to keep your blood sugars stable and your stomach full. For more information about gestational diabetes click here.