Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that starts during pregnancy. Eating a balanced, healthy diet can help you manage gestational diabetes. The diet recommendations that follow are for women with gestational diabetes who do NOT take insulin.
For a balanced diet, you need to eat a variety of healthy foods. Reading food labels can help you make healthy choices when you shop.
If you are a vegetarian or on a special diet, talk with your health care provider to make sure you're getting a balanced diet.
In general, you should eat:
You should eat three small- to moderate-sized meals and one or more snacks each day. Do not skip meals and snacks. Keep the amount and types of food (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) the same from day to day. This can help you keep your blood sugar stable.
GRAINS, BEANS, AND STARCHY VEGETABLES
Eat 6 or more servings a day. One serving equals:
Choose foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. They include:
Use whole-wheat or other whole-grain flours in cooking and baking. Eat more low-fat breads, such as tortillas, English muffins, and pita bread.
Eat 3 - 5 servings a day. One serving equals:
Healthy vegetable choices include:
Eat 2 - 4 servings a day. One serving equals:
Healthy fruit choices include:
MILK AND DAIRY
Eat 4 servings of low-fat or nonfat dairy products a day. One serving equals:
Healthy dairy choices include:
PROTEIN (MEAT, FISH, DRY BEANS, EGGS, AND NUTS)
Eat 2 - 3 servings a day. One serving equals:
Healthy protein choices include:
In general, you should limit your intake of fatty foods.
OTHER LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Your doctor may also suggest a safe exercise plan. Walking is usually the easiest type of exercise, but swimming or other low-impact exercises can work just as well. Exercise can help you keep your blood sugar in control.
Gestational diabetes diet
American Diabetes Association. Nutrition recommendations and interventions for diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2008;31:S61-S78.
American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes -- 2013. Diabetes Care. Jan;36 Suppl 1:S11-66.
Benjamin TD, Pridijan G. Update on gestational diabetes. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics. 2010 June;27(2):255-267.
Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, et al. Diabetes. In: Cunningham FG, Leveno KL, Bloom SL, et al, eds. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2010:chap 52.
Serlin DC, Lash RW. Diagnosis and management of gestational diabetes mellitus. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Jul 1;80(1):57-62.
Updated by: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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