Diet in Gestational Diabetes 24 May, 2021

Diet in Gestational Diabetes

Diet in Gestational Diabetes

Nine months of pregnancy are very challenging and many physical changes occur during this period.  Due to these changes there are some physical problems, which can’t be ignored. One of these problems is increased sugar during pregnancy. It is called 'Gestational Diabetes'.

Gestational diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar (sugar) level increases.  Those who do not have diabetes before pregnancy, can also get Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy. This happens when the pregnant woman's body is not producing enough insulin.  Low insulin levels can cause gestational diabetes.

Causes of diabetes in pregnancy 

The problem of gestational diabetes is caused by changes in hormones during pregnancy in women.  When a woman is pregnant, the level of certain hormones like cortisol, estrogen increases during that time, due to which the management of blood sugar in the body is disturbed.  This condition is called insulin resistance. During this period, if the pancreas, an insulin-producing organ, does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin, then the level of these hormones remains the same and the blood sugar levels are increased due to which the pregnant woman gets Gestational Diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that is made in the specialized cells of the pancreas in our body and allows the body to effectively metabolize glucose as energy.


Frequent thirst


Need to pee frequently


Blurred vision

Frequent skin infections

Urinary tract infections

Treatment for gestational diabetes

 If a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes, it is necessary to get it treated as soon as possible.  A delay in treatment can have a bad effect during and post pregnancy. The first treatment for gestational diabetes is the right lifestyle and healthy diet, followed by proper medicines and insulin as needed.

 Management of diabetes in pregnancy


Gestational diabetes can be easily controlled if you take some precautions.  For this, below some tips are given, which may work for you:

Regular monitoring of blood sugar: If you have gestational diabetes, check your blood sugar three to four times a day.  This will help you in controlling blood sugar.

Focus on the child: If someone has gestational diabetes, keep an eye on the blood sugar after the birth of the child, so that the disease will not bother him in future.

 Medications: In most cases, there is no need to take medicines during gestational diabetes, but you may be recommended to take insulin injections if the problem increases.

 How to prevent diabetes in pregnancy

For the treatment of gestational diabetes during pregnancy, it is mandatory to include changes in your routine along with insulin therapy.  Changes in diet in daily life (Life style modifications) and exercise can control this condition.  You can make changes in the following ways:

 Frequent and small meals: Eating more quantity of food after a very long time increases the amount of blood sugar in your body.  In this situation, the pregnant woman is advised to take small  and frequent meals.  3-hourly intervals, 3 main meals should be taken - such as morning breakfast, lunch and dinner and 3 small meals should be taken in between intervals like - mid-day snacks and bed time snacks.

 Healthy eating: Incorporate variety of foods in daily diet, consume carbohydrates and proteins in such way that it makes you feel energetic throughout day.  Eating variety of foods in moderation and taking healthy as well as balanced diet keeps the sugar level in control.  Eat fiber-rich and low-fat food.  Also, refrain from eating fried.

 Exercise: Exercise is necessary to stay fit. Activity level need to be increased by a pregnant women in order to control your blood sugar level. Mild regular walk helps in staying fit , if you are swimming , do it under the supervision of a trainer.

Keep weight under control: If your weight is more than normal before pregnancy, control your weight first and then plan a pregnancy.

Visit specialist: If you see symptoms of diabetes despite all these, then go to the doctor without delay and get your examination done.

Diet in Gestational Diabetes

Special attention need to be paid on diet to reduce the symptoms of gestational diabetes.  This is also a cure for this problem.  Women suffering from gestational diabetes are advised to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains with high fiber and low fat.  Consuming these diets during pregnancy leads to weight loss and also reduces glucose levels and reduces symptoms of gestational diabetes.

The amount of calories you consume each day depends on many factors such as your weight and activity level.  Pregnant women should typically increase their calorie intake to 300 calories per day.  It is recommended to consume  three major meals I.e. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner and take  snacks two to three times a day.  By eating frequent and small meals, you can often try to keep your blood sugar level constant.

It is recommended that pregnant women take prenatal multivitamins, iron supplements and  calcium supplements.  It can help you to meet the high requirements of certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, and helps the baby to develop normally.

Diabetes can be controlled by eating properly.  Therefore, get your dietitian to make the right diet plan for you.  Apart from this, below we are going to tell you what to eat and what to avoid if someone has diabetes in pregnancy.


Carbohydrate is the main source of energy. High-fiber, whole-grain carbohydrates are healthy choices. These types of carbohydrates are called complex carbohydrates. Consuming simple carbohydrates, such as potatoes, french-fries, white rice, candy, soda, and other sweets should be avoided. Reason they cause your blood sugar to rise quickly after you eat such foods. Soya milk is a good option for vegetarians or people with lactose intolerance.  Soy milk also contains carbohydrates.


Vegetables are good source of Fibre, zinc, iron and water. The amount of carbohydrates in some vegetables may be negligible, as is the case with alternatives such as greens or broccoli, in contrast to starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas, which may contain a large amount of carbohydrates.  You should especially try to eat different types of vegetables as each color vegetable has different amount of nutrients and antioxidants. You can include soup, stir fried vegetables, vegetable stew, cooked vegetables in your diet.  Starchy vegetables have a high carbohydrate content, which increases your blood sugar levels, so avoid using them in your diet.  You can easily include spinach, fenugreek, chowlai, bottlegourd, taroi, brinjal, tomato, drumstick etc. in daily meals.


Use fruits with low glycemic index and high fiber at this time.  Consuming fruit as a snack is better option.  If you include fruits in your main meal then it will increase your blood sugar level, so use fruits in snacks.  Always use fresh fruit rather than fruit juice.  You can include apples, pears, oranges, cantaloupe, mousambi, etc. in your diet.

 Omega 3 , fiber and pulses

Use brown and un-polished rice, peeled pulses, flour mixed with bran. Eat soyabean, whole gram, kidney beans, cowpea etc.  Sprouts can be taken.  Eat brown bread, oats, oatmeal.  Eat four to five bowls of vegetables raw (salad) or cooked in a day. Take milk, curd, cheese but keep it low fat.  Use of double toned milk is good.  You can drink two to three cups of tea a day, but without sugar.  Drink salty lassi-buttermilk. Women with gestational diabetes usually require two to three servings of protein. 1 serving of protein is equal to one of the following:

 100 grams of cooked meat

 1 egg

 1/2 cup of beans

 28 grams of nuts

 2 tablespoons of nut butter

 Greek yogurt 1/2 cup


Fats are a good source of calories.  If you are trying to stop gaining weight, then you should manage your fat intake.  For this you need to have healthy fats.  Healthy fats are found in nuts, seeds, avocado, olive and canola oil, and flax seeds. By limiting intake of saturated fats like trans fats, keep you more healthy.  Trans fats are mainly found in processed foods.

Foods to be avoided

Some foods are such that increase the level of blood sugar in your body, such as sugar, more fat and preserved foods. They are harmful to both pregnant women and her baby, so it is mandatory to be easily comprehensive, such as –

Simple carbohydrates - fruit juice, mango, cheeku, litchi, potato, carrot, beetroot, white rice, flour, bakery products, sugar, honey, jaggery etc.

Fried foods - samosa, kachodi, pakaudi, fitters etc.

Processed Foods - Jam, Jelly, Chips, Salty snacks like namkeen,  mathri, Biscuits, Breakfast cereal, etc.

Junk Foods – Chinese foods, Ready to eat foods, Pizza, Burger, French fries etc.


Diet plan for Gestational Diabetes

Early Morning : Milk – 1 glass + 6 Almonds

Breakfast : Moong Dal cheela-2 / Namkeen daliya / Upma -1 bowl / Vegetable besan cheela -2 / Roti -2 + Lauki sabji – 1 bowl / 1 egg omelette + 2 brown bread

Mid Morning : Seasonal fruit like Apple / Pomegranate / Pear / Guava – 1 + Coconut water – 1 glass

Lunch : Multigrain roti – 2 + Dal – 1 bowl / chicken curry – 1 bowl + Seasonal leafy vegetable (palak/ methi / sarson/ bathua) – 1 bowl + salad – 1 plate

Evening : Tea – 1 cup (without sugar) + wheat rusk – 2 / Roasted makhana – 1 small bowl/ roasted peanuts – 1 handful / 1 glass buttermilk / milk cornflakes – 100 ml / Vegetable soup – 1 bowl

Dinner : Roti – 2 (multigrain/jowar/bajra/chana) + seasonal vegetable (lauki/ taroi/ kaddu/ tinda/ parval/ shimla mirch)- 1 bowl + dal – 1 bowl Or Vegetable khichdi – 1 bowl / vegetable daliya – 1 bowl + curd – 1 bowl