In case you missed it:
– Part 1 What is it and how to test
– Part 2 Let’s talk about diet
– Part 3 How to navigate the supermarket
What To Eat When Suffering From GD
Let’s see what kind of carbohydrates a woman suffering from Gestational Diabetes should eat. When we hear the word carbohydrate, we tend to think about grains, breads, cereals, bagels, and we forget that fruits and vegetables are also carbohydrate foods.
When the diagnosis of GD is made, women are advised to keep their carbohydrate intake below 15 grams per meal and they are counseled into counting carbs. Unfortunately this advice does not keep into consideration biochemical individuality and what works for a one woman, may not work for another.
There are some women who can manage their blood sugar while eating a little bit of whole grains or starches, when these foods are paired with fats and proteins. For example, they can eat a wonderful grilled salmon with some roasted Brussel sprouts and a little side of quinoa, and their postprandial blood sugar would measure just fine.
But there is a percentage of women out there who were diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes who cannot handle even that small quantity of grains and starches. That is when it gets difficult to manage the diet, because these women need to get enough carbohydrates from plant matter without “getting sick” of veggies and we know that is the struggle that many women have, especially when food aversions set in.
My advice is to eat cooked veggies in a way that is tasty.
Working with a practitioner experienced in GD is also a must. I have several clients who can eat starchy vegetables in the form of potatoes, sweet potatoes or winter squash but they cannot do rice. Working with a clinician will help you find the best diet for you based on how your pregnant body responds to foods. It will take a little bit of trial and error because we have to figure out what your body can handle.
Women who can handle some whole grains, will want to eat grains that have been soaked & sprouted. They will want to consume the grains as a side dish, instead of having a bowl of pasta.
How a healthy diet for the management of GD looks like? Ideally your plate should be half filled with low glycemic vegetables dressed with plenty of healthy fats (pastured butter, unrefined coconut oil, EVOO), which allow the body to assimilate the wonderful fat-soluble nutrients that are contained in the vegetables.
We need to eat foods that won’t spike blood sugar. Low glycemic fruits: berries, apples, coconuts and tomatoes, and low-glycemic veggies. If you crave a banana, have only half and eat it with some nut butter. The fat & protein in peanut butter will help modulate the blood sugar response. If you would like some pineapple, it at the end of your meal! The enzymes in the pineapple will help you digest your meal, and eating on a full stomach will help prevent blood sugar spikes.
The rest of your plate should he composed of healthy protein (grass-fed, organic, pastured, try to get the best quality you can afford) and healthy fats.