You may likely wonder what gestational diabetes snacks are. In this article, you will learn more about it. Pregnancy comes with many changes and health issues that even the healthiest can fall sick when pregnant. Apart from the morning sicknesses, body size changes and incessant cravings for foods, you can get diabetes when you are pregnant.
Gestational diabetes only occur in pregnant women, this means that it starts when a woman is pregnant. If you already have diabetes in your body, then it is not gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is defined as high blood sugar that develops during or is first recognized during pregnancy. When this happens, the cells in the body cannot use sugar the way it should and this results to high blood sugar level. Also, insulin usage is also changed.
Insulin is a hormone that allows your cells to absorb and use glucose, or sugar, for energy. When your body does not make enough insulin or stops responding to these insulin, you cannot make enough glucose and your sugar level increases.
According to Jill Purdie, a certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist with Memorial Health University Medical Center, Florida, “As many as 70% of women who have diabetes during pregnancy may develop diabetes later in their life.”
There are many risks that the mother and baby will face if left untreated. Some of the risks that may affect the baby include:
- Preterm birth: One of the complications of gestational diabetes is that the baby may arrive earlier than the expected date of delivery.
- High birth weight: High sugar level can cause the baby to become bigger than it should.
- Breathing difficulties: When the baby is born before its due date, it leads to the child having difficulty in breathing because the lungs and other respiratory organs have not fully developed.
- Obesity and Type 2 diabetes: The high birth weight can cause obesity in these children and they are at risk of having type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Stillbirth: If gestational diabetes is not treated, it can result in the death of the baby in the womb.
The mother is also at risk if she is not treated of this diabetes. Some of the complications can be :
- Difficult labour
- Cesarean section
- Other health conditions
When you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you should be ready to manage your diets as certain foods or eating habits can increase your sugar level. Here are some tips on how you should eat.
- Limit starchy foods but do not completely rule out these foods as your body still needs them for energy.
- Distribute your foods evenly instead of getting them all at a time.
- Milk contains carbohydrates and one of the foods that can increase your sugar level, so you can reduce your milk intake to a glass everyday.
- Skipping meals especially breakfast is not advised.
- Include protein in all your meals.
- Limit the intake of processed foods
- Include fruits and vegetables in your daily meal
- If you must take foods with carb, you can go for sweet potatoes, or other legumes and whole grains.
GESTATIONAL DIABETES SNACKS
Apart from eating food, fruits and vegetables, you can also incorporate snacks into your meals everyday because that can help to keep your body sugar as healthy as it can be. Snacks can also be used to fill in for those cravings and hunger attacks associated with pregnancy.
For someone with gestational diabetes, not every snack is encouraged. Instead, one should eat edibles like:
- Sweet potato toast topped with mashed avocado and cherry tomatoes.
- Turkey or chicken breasts. You can eat the skin too
- Raw veggies with cheese. The veggies can be roasted or steamed depending on your choice.
- Veggie omelets made with whole eggs or egg whites
- Steel-cut oatmeal topped with pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut, and berries.
- lemons, raspberries, strawberries, avacado, watermelon, oranges can be eaten with nuts or nut butter.
- Fatty fish like salmon but be sure to properly cook it.
- Unsweetened Greek yogurt topped with sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and diced apple.
- Whole-grain crackers and cheese
- Popcorn, but reduce how milk and sugar are added.
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Cucumbers and hummus (a Levantine Arab dip made of chickpea paste with various additions, such as olive oil, fresh garlic and lemon juice )
- Tuna and whole-grain crackers
- Low-carb peanut butter cookies
- Berries and sugar-free Greek yogurt
- Low-carb cheesecake, preferably homemade
- Fruit mix containing grapefruit, strawberry, and blueberry
- Pudding made with chia seeds
- Protein cheesecake
- properly prepared oysters
You can include fruits to your snacks but it should be in moderation. You should take fruits like:
Oranges: They are filled with folic acid and vitamin B which can help prevent spinal cord and brain defects.
Mangoes: This is Filled with vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency will lead to lower deficiency and diseases like diarrhea or respiratory illnesses.
Avacado: this is filled with vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin K, fiber, choline, magnesium, potassium. Avacado can also relieve leg cramps and neusea associated with pregnancy.
Lemons: Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal conducted a study in 2014 and pregnant people reported some success in using lemons or lemon scent to help relieve pregnancy-related nausea. Lemon is alsorich in vitamin C and helps in relieving constipation.
Bananas: contain potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibre.
Berries: This includes blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and goji berries are filled with nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, anthocyanins and folic acid.
Apples:This are good sources of vitamin A, fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and petcin.
WHAT SNACKS SHOULD YOU AVOID
There are some snacks that are not healthy for a pregnant woman especially if she is diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Avoid snacks like :
- Baked foods like cakes, muffins
- Fried food
- Carbonated drinks and sweetened juices
- Fast food
- Sweetened cereals, sugary granola bars, and sweetened oatmeals
Gestational diabetes is a serious concern especially if left untreated. In fact, having gestational diabetes does put you at an increased risk of developing diabetes later on in life, too. Both you and your baby will be checked for diabetes after birth. One of the ways of managing and treating gestational diabetes is by maintaining your diet and exercising your body regularly. With the right foods and snacks, you can have a healthy baby and delivery.