Gestational Diabetes

What is it? Gestational Diabetes (GD) occurs when high blood sugar levels develop during pregnancy due to not enough insulin being produced. Insulin is the body’s storage hormone and therefore controls blood sugar levels. GD can occur during any stage of pregnancy but it is most commonly developed in the second half of the pregnancy and usually disappears once the baby has been born.

Who is at risk? Any woman can develop GD during pregnancy, but you’re at an increased risk if: • Your body mass index (BMI) is above 30. • You previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg (10lbs) or more at birth. • You had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy. • One of your parents or siblings has diabetes. • Your family origins are South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern.

Lowering the Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes Firstly we only need an average 200 kcals per day extra when pregnant… We are definitely not eating for two! The main food sources we should be adding in are proteins. We need to eat an average of 10g extra protein throughout pregnancy. Protein is also great for balancing blood sugar levels as it slows down the release of sugar into the blood when it is consumed with sugar. So, my main tip is when you feel like you need a sweet treat, make sure you consume some protein at the same time. For example an apple with a handful of nuts is a great balanced snack. Some nut butter on an oatcake is another great sweet snack. Another great food for balancing blood sugar is cinnamon. Cinnamon is a renowned blood sugar balancer, so drink cinnamon tea throughout the day and sprinkle ground cinnamon onto breakfasts such as porridge or onto some fruit slices. We are basically looking to adopt a low GL/GI diet and avoid sugary refined foods such as cakes and biscuits. Be sure to eat every 3-4 hours to ensure that the blood sugar levels remain steady throughout the day.

An Example of a Nutritious Day

Breakfast – Porridge made with full fat milk/nut milk, sprinkled with cinnamon and some berries.

Lunch – Mackerel/tuna/salmon salad with sweet potato wedges seasoned with mixed herbs.

Snack – 2 Nairns oatcakes spread with a thin layer of almond butter and sliced banana.

Dinner – Lentil Dhal and a bowl of steamed green veggies.

Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day too – 6 to 8 glasses.

Exercise should be frequently undertaken but the heart rate should not raise over 140bmp. Pilates, yoga, walking, swimming are all great choices during pregnancy.

Author, Kelly Vines, BANT, CNHC, Feed Me Healthy, Tel: 07789 648393.

Email: Editor, Helen McClorry, Babies on board Magazine.

Offering bespoke nutrition consultations at my private clinic in Kings Langley.

Skype sessions also available.

I can help with pre-conception, pregnancy, post-natal, children’s nutrition and female hormones.

Contact details:

hello@feedmehea lth 07789 648393

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