A carbohydrate-controlled (CCD) diet is defined as a meal that contains carbohydrate-rich foods in equal amounts. This means that the amount of carbohydrates that you eat during breakfast is the same as the amount of carbohydrates you eat during lunch and dinner. This consistency allows for better control of blood sugar levels – a most essential thing for women with gestational diabetes. Unlike most low carbohydrate diets, the goal of CCD is to keep your blood glucose levels in acceptable levels, and not primarily to lose weight. Hence, you get to have balanced meals in CCD, with food from all the food groups included in every meal.
What is the Difference Between CCD and Low Carbohydrate Diets?
Low carbohydrate diets are very popular for people who want to lose weight, since that is the foremost goal of this kind of diet. It encourages a fat-burning state because it deprives your body of carbohydrates, regardless of whether they are good or bad carbs. If continued for a long time, it can be detrimental to your health because constant burning of fat can lead to ketone formation, making the body acidic.
On the other hand, CCD focuses on making healthy food choices rather than just reducing the consumption of carbohydrates. It recognizes that some kinds of carbohydrates, such as complex carbohydrates, are still important in the normal functioning of the body. Moreover, they can also promote weight loss and good nutrition. Those with gestational diabetes can largely benefit from CCD because it allows variety of food choices without compromising nutrition.
What Do I Need to Remember in CCD?
On a CCD, you need to keep in mind the following guidelines in selecting your foods:
Avoid drinking sugary drinks. Most sugary beverages contain empty calories, that is, they have little to no nutritional value. Instead of drinking soda and other carbonated beverages, you can just drink water or tea instead. Fruit juices are also not advised because they have high sugar content and can spike up the blood sugar levels of gestational diabetics.
Eat more vegetables. Vegetables contain a lot of nutrients that are essential for body functions. If you have gestational diabetes, you should eat more non-starchy vegetables, such as avocados, mushrooms, cauliflowers, and other green, leafy vegetables. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn, should be avoided.
Include fats in your diet. You have been brought up with the notion that fats are not good for the body. However, there are those called good fats or heart-healthy fats that should be included in your diet. These mono-unsaturated fats include canola oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts, natural peanut butter, and seeds do not raise your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In fact, they even help control blood glucose elevation after eating.
Include protein in your diet. A good example of protein-rich food is fish, such as tuna, sardines, and salmon. They are very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the heart.
Eat small portions at regular times each day. It is very important never to skip your meals and snacks, since consistency of food intake is important in blood sugar control. Moreover, you should take note of the portions that you eat, because even though you are eating lots of healthy foods, that does not mean that they will not cause a rise in blood sugar levels if servings are uncontrolled.
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