Gestational diabetes is the onset of diabetes during pregnancy. Blood sugar levels become high when pregnant and often return to normal following birth. Eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and checking blood sugar levels regularly can help manage and often eliminate gestational diabetes, as well as possibly prevent a reoccurrence in future pregnancies and type 2 diabetes later in life.
To help you manage gestational diabetes and protect your health and the health of your baby, take a look at these great snack ideas to keep you fuelled and nourished while keeping your blood sugar stabilised throughout the day!
Tips: Keep in mind; one carbohydrate serving equals 15 grams of carbohydrates. It’s important to consume protein and/or healthy fat if you choose whole-grain carbohydrates to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, which then enters the blood stream and elevates blood sugar levels. By pairing carbs with lean, hormone free protein and healthy fats you’ll help stabilize blood sugar throughout the day- preventing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). For an even healthier option, your carb servings can be found in the form of low sugar fruits (apples, berries) and vegetables, offering you an even greater source of nutrients for you and your growing baby while helping to prevent inflammation, the likelihood of a reaction from a food intolerance (which many of us have to gluten found in wheat and more) while keeping your mood and blood sugar stable.
Always check with your doctor to make sure these food ideas are right for you.
1. Fruit and Egg : Pair any fist-sized fruit with a hard-boiled egg (around 335 kilojoules), cheese stick (around 250 -335 kilojoules), or Greek style yoghurt. Greek yoghurt often has more protein (the non flavored varieties can contain up to 20 grams of protein and have less sugar than other types of yoghurts.)
2. Apple and Almond Butter: Slice an apple (filled with antioxidants, Vitamin C, phytochemicals and soluble fibre) with two tablespoons almond butter or other nut butter. Almond butter serves as a tasty alternative for typical peanut butter, providing important monounsaturated fats, magnesium, zinc and calcium. Most nut butters range from 700 850 kilojoules for two tablespoons, and provide around 6-8 grams of carbohydrates and 5-7 grams of protein. (Specific nutrient content will vary depending brand and nut-butter source).
3. Greek Yoghurt and Berries: Pair a cup of plain Greek-style yoghurt with high in antioxidant berries and chopped walnuts or almonds. Sprinkle on some flax or chia seeds for an extra blast of nutrients. You can also add a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash or vanilla to add flavor and variety. This is a protein and nutrient powerhouse, which will keep you satisfied while keeping your blood sugar levels steady until your next meal.
4. Milk: If you don’t have an intolerance to dairy, choose a cup of organic, hormone free milk. Or, choose unsweetened coconut or almond milk (avoid canned coconut milk), coconut or regular kefir (fermented dairy) and pair it with some berries for an extra antioxidant boost. While fresh, clean water is your best choice for beverages, these serve as a replacement for any soft drinks or sugar-sweetened drinks, which spike blood sugar and wreak havoc on your health. Artificially sweetened drinks need to be eliminated entirely because your body interprets artificial sweeteners as a foreign substance while also causing kiloujoule disregulation, a process that increases appetite and cravings for more.
5. Lettuce Wraps: Choose a brown rice wrap or large leaf deep green lettuce and fill with lean, free range chicken or turkey, add hummus or avocado, and add your favourite vegetables to give you an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and fibre for a satisfying snack of lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats.
More ways to be healthy in pregnancy:
- Discharge During Pregnancy: What’s Normal & What’s Not?
- Weird Pregnancy Aches & Pains That Are Totally Normal (& When to Call the Doctor)
- 6 Preeclampsia Signs That Often Get Overlooked