Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes is tough. I found out I had gestational diabetes at 26 weeks and I was shocked. I am active. I eat healthy. I have a normal BMI. There isn’t even diabetes in my family. How could I have gestational diabetes? Turns out you can get gestational diabetes with no risk factors. While this diagnosis may sound like the end of your pregnancy dreams, it does have its benefits. It got me to eat healthier AND…
I barely gained any weight in pregnancy!
I found it easiest to cope with gestational diabetes by focusing what to eat with gestational diabetes. I found some good snacks and healthy fruits to keep my blood sugar low. Before long I was looking forward to creating healthy meals and snacks for myself.
As always, make sure you continue to take your prenatal vitamin to ensure you get all the nutrients you need for you and your baby. Checkout my article to read about the Best Prenatal Vitamins. In addition to prenatal vitamins I also always encourage pregnant women to take a DHA supplement. Read more about DHA supplements in pregnancy here.
Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan
Healthy Morning Snacks
In the morning it is important to start out with a healthy serving of protein. Some examples of great morning snacks include:
- Half of a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter and cinnamon. Whole wheat English muffin have about 30 grams of carbohydrates, so half is only 15 grams. Peanut butter is low carb and high fat to slow absorption and the cinnamon can help control your diabetes!
- Another great snack is Greek yogurt with berries. Greek yogurt is high in protein and probiotics. Probiotics are great during pregnancy because they can help prevent infections. You can even add a little Kashi GOLEAN cereal to add some crunch without adding too many carbohydrates.
- Hard boiled egg. Eggs are great snacks. They are full of protein and choline, which is so important during pregnancy! Boil them ahead of time and then you can even pack them as a snack on the go! To make it even easier you can get one these egg cookers! We use ours all the time for a quick and easy snack!
Afternoon snacks were my favorite opportunity to be creative! Some examples of great afternoon snacks for gestational diabetes include:
- A handful of almonds and a few crackers with cheddar cheese on top. It is important to pick crackers with at least 3 grams of fiber to help stabilize your sugar.
- A smoothie with Greek yogurt, half a banana, spinach and peanut butter. I always try to incorporate Greek yogurt into my diet because it is high in probiotics and protein, but low in carbohydrates.
- Fried chickpeas. These have 17 grams of carbohydrates per serving but they are also loaded with fat and protein to prevent your sugar from spiking too high. I like the ranch flavor, but they also make a barbeque flavor and a habanero flavor.
- Carrots and humus. Carrots have a small amount of carbohydrates but the humus is a good source of fat and protein. This can help keep you feeling full longer.
After Dinner Snacks
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have dessert when you have gestational diabetes. You just need to pair your carbohydrates with fats and proteins.
- Bambas and raw almonds with melted chocolate sprinkled on top. I would get mine from Trader Joe’s, but here is a link to a similar product on Amazon.
- Another great gestational diabetes dessert are chocolate dusted almonds. These 100 calorie packs only have 5 grams of carbohydrates per pack.
- Popcorn. Make sure you pop your own and feel free to add butter since butter is a fat and will balance the carbohydrates from the popcorn. Popcorn is also high in fiber which will help slow down digestion.
Fruits For Gestational Diabetes
In general fresh fruits are always preferred to canned or dried fruits. It is also important to avoid fruit juices as these can have as much sugar as soda. Even if you are juicing your own fruits, the juice is still very high in sugar. It is better to prepare a smoothie, since smoothies are high in fiber.
The best fruits are fruits that are highest in fiber and lowest in sugar. Some examples of these fruits include:
- berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
Some fruits you may want to avoid are those that are high in sugar and low in fiber, such as:
The other important part of gestational diabetes management is exercise. Diet alone can help manage your gestational diabetes, but it is not enough. Checkout my article on Exercise During Pregnancy.
I also strongly encourage you to use an activity watch, such as the apple watch, to help track your daily activity. This can help you stay active during your pregnancy.
It’s important to keep your gestational diabetes in control. If you do not you may need to take medication like metformin or even insulin. Keeping some of these healthy snacks close by should make it a little easier! The last thing you want to do is open the freezer and eat a couple of scoops of ice cream before bed.