What to Take Care During Gestational Diabetes? - Diet Advice and Recipe
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on May 25, 2021
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which is characterized by high blood sugar levels. This occurs due to a deficiency or reduced effectiveness of the hormone insulin, which controls the normal levels of sugar in our blood. Insulin is also responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates breaking it down to sugar in our body.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
When diabetes is detected for the first time during pregnancy or there is a history of diabetes during previous pregnancies, it is generally referred to as gestational diabetes. If you are having symptoms like excessive urination especially at night, excessive thirst, increased appetite or a tingling sensation in hands and feet, it is recommended you visit your doctor for a checkup for GDM.
How to Diagnose?
the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test can confirm whether you have developed diabetes or not. Similarly, HbA1C-Glycosylated Haemoglobin test reflects how well you have managed your sugar levels in the past 3 months.
What to Do in Gestational Diabetes?
You need to be under medical and dietary supervision for this. Generally, the fluctuating glucose levels can be controlled with diet regime and exercises. If not, then insulin treatment is given. Oral hypoglycemic drugs should not be given as they can cross placenta freely and enter the foetal circulation.
If your weight gain in pregnancy is more than the desirable weight gain, you need to follow a proper diet schedule to control any further undesirable weight gain. This helps to avoid any diabetes-related complications both for you and the baby. Read More: How to Manage Gestational Diabetes in Winter & Responsible Factors etc?
Gestational Diabetes Diet Advice -
- Small and frequent meals every 2 1/2 hours, help in maintaining normal blood sugar levels.
- Fixed time – meals should be eaten at fixed time, to help control sugar levels.
- Protein rich foods- like skimmed milk, curd, soybean, whole dals, egg whites, chicken and fish should be included in the daily diet. You can take green salad with a dressing of hung curd, paneer schezwan, black chana salad.
- High fiber – do include green leafy vegetables ,salads and some fruits (other than those which your doctor advises you to avoid due to their high sugar content).
- Fluid intake- should be ample, have at least 2 litres. You can include plain lime water, clear soup, buttermilk etc.
- Avoid- starchy vegetables like potato, sweet potatoes, corn, arbi, yam, etc. Fruits like mango, banana, cheeku, grapes and dates should also be avoided.
- Avoid all types of sugar and its products like sweets, chocolates, cakes, and any desserts.
- Limit the intake of fat and oil and avoid ghee, butter.
It can be made at home to increase fiber in your diet and limit any sugar peaks after meals. For this, mix wheat flour with either soy flour/Bengal gram flour/stalks of green leafy vegetables in the ratio of 3:1.
Sweet Cravings/Hunger Pangs
Generally, a well-planned diet helps in curbing any sweet cravings. But, if still there are any such cravings or you generally feel hungry between your meal times, the best foods to be taken for that are nuts (almonds/walnuts) or a fruit (the ones which are allowed). Fruits ideally should be taken between two meals and not with meals for better glucose management.
Role of Exercise If Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy
Exercise helps increase insulin sensitivity and results in better insulin utilization. During pregnancy, it is generally recommended to go for walks as a safe mode of exercise. Ask your doctor for more. Read: What if Vomiting in last month of Pregnancy?
Gestational Diabetes Risks Factors During Pregnancy
Uncontrolled GDM may lead to a certain complication like low levels of blood sugar in newborn, birth injuries, still births etc. 17%-63% of GDM may develop type-2 diabetes later in life found a study published in the Genetics of Medicine. Read: Is It Possible to Have Vaginal Birth with Gestational Diabetes?
Few Recipes for Person with Gestational Diabetes
#1. Paneer Schezwan -
Home-made paneer is suggested for its high protein content.
- 50 grams homemade paneer
- 40 grams green onion with stalks
- 40 grams tomato
- 40 grams Yellow/green capsicum
- 1 tbsp Schezwan sauce
- Black pepper/ mixed herbs
- Coarsely chop the vegetables and crumble the paneer.
- Heat a non stick pan and grease with few drops of olive oil.
- Add the chopped vegetables and stir for few minutes.
- Add crumbled paneer, schezwan sauce and seasoning and mix well.
- This can be taken as snack and can be enjoyed with a cup of clear soup.
#2. Dahi Ke Kebab -
Dahi is a good choice for its high protein content. This makes for an easy snack too.
- 1 cup Hung curd (made with toned milk and no water remaining)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- Green chillies, chopped to taste
- Salt to taste
- Grated cheese for binding
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- Tsp chopped ginger
- ¼ cup roasted besan
- Chilli flakes to taste
- 50 grams home-made paneer
- Mix grated cheese, a little coriander powder, pepper powder, green chillies, onions, ginger and salt.
- Take hung yoghurt in a bowl, add red chilli flakes and the rest of the coriander and pepper powder.
- Bind with besan, paneer and corn flour.
- Put in the cheese filling and shape into kebabs. Shallow fry on non-stick tawa and eat hot with green chutney.
Disclaimer - Do take advice of a diabetologist/clinical dietitian, if you have been detected with GDM.