Maintaining a healthy diet with gestational diabetes can sometimes be a challenge. At first, there seem to be so many rules to follow and things to remember about what you can and cannot eat. There’s a lot of medical jargon that gets thrown around regarding blood glucose levels and exactly how much protein you’re supposed to eat per day. It can all be very overwhelming.
Eating with gestational diabetes does not have to be so confusing or difficult. In fact, you can do much better with your healthy, gestational diabetes friendly diet by following one simple rule: Think of eating with gestational diabetes as a balancing act.
Here is how you balance your meals with gestational diabetes: For every starch or carbohydrate, there should be a protein.
Here is a day’s menu as an example:
• Breakfast: Pair your toast or biscuit with scrambled eggs or an omelet. Eggs are an excellent protein source. You can even include a serving of fruit.
• Mid-Morning Snack: Unsweetened yogurt with honey, granola, and nuts stirred in. Both the yogurt and the nuts provide balance for the sugar and carbohydrates in the honey and granola.
• Lunch: A sandwich is an easy balanced meal: Whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and homemade chicken salad. To make chicken salad, shred cooked chicken breast and stir in mayonnaise and a little bit of apple cider vinegar with chopped onion, celery, and even some halved grapes or dried cranberries.
• Afternoon Snack: A sliced apple with your favorite nut butter. This high protein snack is great for an afternoon energy boost. The sweetness of the apple pairs perfectly with any kind of natural nut butter.
• Dinner: A serving of rice (brown, preferably) with a turkey breast that is lightly dusted in bread crumbs and grated Parmesan and then lightly pan fried in a small amount of olive oil. Fill the rest of your plate with lots of fresh steamed vegetables such as a medley of carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
• Dessert: Mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and blackberries, topped with granola and slivered almonds and baked until warm.
Nighttime Snack: Whole wheat crackers paired with slices of cheese.
Whenever you are eating rice, crackers, bread, or pasta, choose whole wheat versions. These more complex carbohydrates will help you keep your blood glucose stable.
Keep track of the carbohydrates you eat per day. Your doctor will give you an idea of how much carbohydrate you should be consuming.
Stay hydrated. As a general rule, pregnant women need to drink more fluids than the average woman.
Eating with gestational diabetes is much easier than many people think. Considering your diet a balancing act is one way to simplify your eating plan. Remember to always discuss any changes to your diet or lifestyle with your doctor before making changes. For more information on gestational diabetes, check out my sister site.