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Food for Diabetes During Pregnancy
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
There are several things that an expecting mother has to look after. The body’s magical transformation while becoming a mother requires several lifestyle changes. During this time, expecting mothers are always asked to monitor their health and be on alert to prevent any possible complications. And if these weren’t enough things to worry about, there is a special kind of diabetes that is custom-made for pregnancy. If an expecting mother has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it will ease their worries to know that it is easily manageable. Another good news is that most women see their way through gestational diabetes without the need for any medication.
Several doctors state that with lifestyle changes and a good gestational diabetes diet plan, it becomes much easier to manage the condition. However, to not put the cart before the horse, let us first understand what gestational diabetes is.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
When a pregnant woman is diagnosed with diabetes, it is called gestational diabetes. According to data gathered from several high-income countries, it was revealed that about 5% to 7% of pregnancies could be complicated by gestational diabetes. And while gestational diabetes is a problem afflicting the world closer to home, as many as five million women are affected with gestational diabetes annually.
Essentially, gestational diabetes develops when the hormones created by the placenta keep the insulin in your body from doing its job. Since insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, the deterring hormones cause the blood sugar to rise. When this sugar is not controlled, it can prove to be dangerous for the health of the baby as well as the mother. Gestational diabetes can also affect future pregnancies.
The condition usually develops in the second half of the pregnancy when a woman is 24 to 32 weeks pregnant and disappears soon after the baby has been delivered. Although uncommon, it is also possible to develop gestational diabetes prior to or following this time frame.
The first step in treating gestational diabetes is developing a gestational diabetes diet that will help regulate the blood sugar levels in your body. Without further ado, let’s look at the gestational diabetes healthy diet.
Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan
Following gestational diabetes healthy diet helps prevent complications that may arise during pregnancy and delivery. The diabetic diet during pregnancy not only helps manage blood sugar levels but also ensures that the expecting mother is consuming a nutrient-rich diet. Moreover, pregnancy sugar control food does not have to be boring, especially because there are so many options. Here is the recommended diet for gestational diabetes for expecting mothers:
- Lean Proteins
Proteins are an important inclusion in a gestational diabetes diet for two important reasons: firstly, they ensure you feel full, and secondly, they form important building blocks for the growth of your baby. It is recommended that proteins are consumed at the time of breakfast so that the hunger is stabilised for the day and, in some cases, may also help reduce morning sickness. Lean proteins that you can consume as part of a diabetic diet during pregnancy comprise lentils, dry beans, peas, eggs, low-fat dairy, fish, etc.
- Non-Starchy Vegetables
Since non-starchy vegetables are very low in carbs and rich in the necessary minerals, vitamins, and fibres, they are an important element of every pregnancy sugar control food. It is recommended to have at least three to five servings every day, but when it comes to consuming these vegetables, the more, the merrier. Some non-starchy vegetables to include in your regular diet are cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and other vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, etc.
Fresh fruits consumed in moderation are important for a pregnancy diabetes diet. Berries such as strawberries and raspberries are recommended as they are high in fibre, low in sugar, and rich in antioxidants. Some other fruits that gestational diabetics can include in their diet are citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges and tangerines, and fibrous fruits such as apples. It is always recommended to consume fresh fruits and not fruit juices since the former can better supplement the body with fibre.
- Low Glycaemic Foods
Because low glycaemic foods release sugar slowly, they are great pregnancy sugar control foods. Foods with low glycaemic index break down slowly in the body as opposed to high glycaemic foods. It is because of this property that these foods are considered ideal for gestational diabetes because it is important that the sugar from foods consumed is released slowly. Some of the foods with a low glycaemic index are fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, apples, peaches, and pears. Some other low glycaemic foods are chickpeas, lentils, beans, etc. As all these foods release sugar slowly in the body, they help in maintaining and stabilising blood sugar levels.
- Healthy Fats
Just as with lean proteins, healthy fats also help you feel full when you include them in your meals. Moreover, because healthy fats are recommended for a healthy heart, they become imperative for a gestational diabetes healthy diet. These heart-healthy foods also help with the development of the baby’s vital organs. Some heart-healthy foods that every expecting mother must include in her diet are avocado, nuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, etc.
- Plant Protein
All vegan moms-to-be who are looking for a gestational diabetes plant-based diet will be happy to know that since every form of protein is considered safe, plant-based proteins are also a great inclusion in the pregnancy diabetes diet. For vegan mothers-to-be, gestational diabetes plant-based diet comprises soya milk, seeds, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, and quinoa.
In addition to following the recommended diet for gestational diabetes, to-be mothers can further fortify their wellness by investing in health insurance.
Why Should Expecting Mothers Invest in a Health Insurance Plan?
By making a sound investment in medical insurance, to-be mothers can do away with the worry of expenses. There are several health insurance plans that are specifically designed for expecting mothers. These medical insurance plans not only cover the expenses of delivery but also provide cover for pre-existing health conditions such as PCOD, diabetes, and more.
In addition to covering expenses, insurance holders can also avail themselves of health insurance tax benefits to further amplify their savings. You can visit Tata AIG for more information on the matter. Also, you can check out our host of health insurance plans, curated for you and your family.
It is important to bear in mind that when you seek a health insurance plan, ensure that it covers everything that you need to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. Always seek a reliable medical insurance provider for comprehensive financial coverage.
Although pregnancy is a wonderful part of a woman’s life, it is not free from its set of challenges. With a sedentary lifestyle and rising health concerns, diseases and ailments are more common these days among young people. To make matters worse, the cost of hospitalisation has also gone up. So, it is imperative to adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only for moms-to-be but for everyone. Also, investing in a health insurance plan is a must.