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What Snacks Are Good for Gestational Diabetes?

by Owen Clarke 8 Sep 2022

Gestational diabetes is an issue that is, we believe, not discussed enough with those who plan their pregnancy. It may occur out of nowhere when the woman is expecting, so it is crucial to go through all required medical exams on time and keep track of the results; if anything seems odd, we recommend informing a doctor right away to make sure nothing threatens a mother-to-be or a baby. However, let’s talk about gestational diabetes; what is it, and what are the best snacks safe for keeping healthy blood glucose levels? Are there any dietary rules that should be followed to preserve one’s well-being? In today’s article, we will tell you all about this health condition and eating plans for it.

We understand that diabetes-related issues can rarely be taken under control with the help of well-planned diets. That’s why we want to emphasize the importance of consultation with a medical professional during which they will probably recommend insulin medications. To save money on the medicines, we offer you to buy Canadian insulin from a reliable supplier like Insulin.Store. We only have your best interests in mind, so check out available brands on the main page of this website!

The Definition of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a health issue typical for pregnant women, making it hard to manage blood sugar levels naturally without additional supplements. It affects a future mother and a baby, so it is crucial to take this condition under control on time and get medical help as soon as possible.

Note: It’s not gestational diabetes if a patient had it before getting pregnant. To know all the issues you should deal with, go through all recommended medical examinations before getting pregnant. 

Typically, gestational diabetes disappears naturally after giving birth; however, having this condition means a patient tends to develop type 2 diabetes in the future, so it is better to be careful and have regular checkups in the hospital. Following a healthy diet and exercise program is also important to prevent this problem.

Risks of Gestational Diabetes

As you may have guessed, blood sugar control during pregnancy is not an option if you want to keep both mother and child safe; it is a necessity. If left untreated, it may even cause trouble during labor or cesarean section delivery. The most common risks include:

  • The higher weight of a baby (and, as follows, more problematic delivery);
  • Preterm birth (as a complication of high blood sugar levels);
  • Trouble breathing (if born too soon, babies may suffer from respiratory distress syndrome);
  • Low blood sugar levels (as a result, risk for seizures);
  • Type 2 diabetes and obesity (70% of women who had gestational diabetes develop these conditions later in life);
  • Stillbirth (even though it’s rare, it is still worth mentioning that some babies don’t survive if GD is not treated on time).

Dietary Recommendations for Patients

After a person is diagnosed with GD, they should follow a specially developed gestational diabetes diet. A professional dietician should calculate the number of carbohydrates that can be safely consumed during the day, as well as teach a person how to count carbs correctly.

The most effective tips that will help keep one’s blood sugar levels stable are:

  • Distribute food evenly and try not to overeat at one sitting;
  • Divide everything that should be consumed to come up with three full meals and two-three snacks per day;
  • Eliminate the consumption of starchy foods (but don’t exclude them completely, try to add a little bit to every meal);
  • Don’t drink more than one cup of milk at a time because it has a high level of carbohydrates, which can lead to the unwanted rise of sugar in the blood;
  • Be careful when eating fruits (better to eat one serving at a time);
  • Try not to skip breakfast.

While doing regular grocery shopping, be careful with “fat-free” or “sugar-free” labeled products; even though they contain less amount of sugar, the presence of carbohydrates and sugar alcohols is still possible. We recommend going through your usual grocery basket with a licensed dietician and seeing what foods are safe and what should be replaced with healthier options.

Meal Plan Example for One Day

  • 8 a.m. Breakfast: 1 cooked egg (hard-boiled, scramble, etc.), 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked oatmeal.
  • 10 a.m. Snack: 1 small apple (tennis ball-size), 30 grams of nuts, 6 whole-wheat crackers.
  • 1 p.m. Lunch: 60 grams of turkey slices, 2 slices of whole-grain bread, pickle, tomato, 1 cup of salad (may add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and oil), 170 grams of sugar-free greek yogurt.
  • 4 p.m. Snack: 1/2 banana, 30 grams of cheese, 1 tortilla.
  • 7 p.m. Dinner: 380 grams of baked chicken, 1 small potato (tennis ball-size), 1/2 cup of corn, 1 cup of plain soy milk, 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli, garlic.
  • 10 p.m. Snack: 1 to 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, 1 slice of whole-grain bread, 1 cup of nonfat milk.

List of the Best Gestational Diabetes Snacks

Snacking is a normal part of everybody’s daily routine; however, for those who have trouble keeping their blood sugar stable, it may cause more harm than good. So, we prepared the list of the best snacks which are not only delicious but also won’t affect one’s glucose levels in the blood dramatically:

  • Nuts. It is possible to choose either their natural form or salted and flavored version (however, it is important to pick ones where the salt content is not too high). Almonds, brazils, peanuts, pecan, walnuts – go for whatever you like more. However, don’t eat cashew often because, among other nuts, they contain the highest amount of carbohydrates;
  • Seeds. Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and many others will work;
  • Cheese. It is possible to pick among various kinds of cheese, including cheddar, cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, etc.;
  • Yogurts. It doesn’t matter what type you prefer until it’s fat-free and natural;
  • Crackers. Add toppings to make it more interesting. Almond butter, nut butter, smashed avocado, etc. would work well;
  • Fruits and vegetables. Berries, apples, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, and other variants would work well. However, it is better to talk to a doctor about the proper amount, as sometimes raw vegetables and fruit may contain natural sugars that can raise blood sugar levels. Dry fruits won’t work because they include a high level of sugar in the composition.

A kind reminder that all an individual’s eating habits and diet plans should be discussed with a doctor to create the safest and most beneficial schedule that will not only allow satisfying all the cravings but also be healthy and won’t affect blood sugars.

Bedtime Snacks for Gestational Diabetes

Choosing bedtime snacks wisely is very important for those who try to deal with gestational diabetes. The thing is, most people experience a phenomenon called The Somogyi effect during the night; between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., glucose levels drop significantly, so the body releases more hormones to get them back to an average level. It can be quite problematic for individuals with GD. That’s why it is recommended to have a snack before bed to prevent blood sugar from dropping too low. The most beneficial variants should be high in proteins, including healthful fats, as well as very few carbohydrates.

Here are a few popular options recommended by dieticians:

  • Low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers. These two products combined provide decent level of protein and fiber, as well as have lower glycemic index scores compared to other foods, so they don’t impact blood sugar levels that much;
  • A hard-boiled egg. Because of fewer amount of carbohydrates and optimal level of proteins, this simple snack may keep glucose score on the normal level for a longer time;
  • A handful of nuts. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and other kinds of nuts contain an excellent amount of vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals, so this variant is perfect for a mother-to-be;
  • Celery sticks with hummus. This low-calorie snack provides minerals and vitamins, not to mention that many people find this combination pretty delicious. However, we recommend avoiding highly processed hummus and making one at home out of tahini, chickpeas, and lemon;
  • Sliced apple with peanut butter. If a person is not a big fan of this dip, almond or cashew butter will work as well;
  • Sugar-free Greek yogurt. To make it more flavorful, it’s allowed to add some barriers or the drizzle of honey;
  • Non-starchy vegetable plate. It includes baby carrots, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, etc. They are incredibly low in calories, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as quite rich in vitamins and minerals. Not to mention their beneficial effect on the gut and heart health. You may also add some low-fat cheese or hummus to make the snack more “interesting.”

To Sum Up: About Gestational Diabetes Snacks

Gestational diabetes is a health condition experienced by women during pregnancy. It may noticeably affect their blood sugar levels and, as a result, lead to certain complications regarding a baby’s health and general birth-giving experience if not treated on time.

To avoid this problem, we recommend going through all important medical examinations before trying to get pregnant and doing regular checkups while pregnant. In order to control this problem, healthy lifestyle habits and a correctly planned diet may be enough, so talk to a dietician to explain your current well-being statement. To keep blood glucose on a decent level, you should eat snacks that are recommended by a professional. Hopefully, after reading this article, you understand some of the nuances of eating habits much better. Thank you for visiting our blog!

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