Your dietary choices impact on your sugar control during pregnancy. Eat in a way that will prevent elevation in your blood sugar level, whilst maintaining adequate nutrition.
High blood sugar level is harmful to the growing fetus and can make you feel unwell such as fatigue and increased risk of infection. Making nutritious choices can be difficult to sustain, especially due to pregnancy symptoms and life commitment.
But fret not! Try these 5 simple tips for your next meal. Enjoy!
# 1 - Avoid added sugar and high GI (Glycaemic Index) carbohydrates
High GI carbohydrates and added sugars raise blood sugar levels quickly, and are often low in nutrients. They are not recommended for diabetic mums and should therefore be avoided.
White breads & wraps
White or sweet biscuits
Cakes, muffins, pastries
Lollies & chocolate
Ice-cream, custard & other dairy desserts
Sugary drinks (juice, soft drink, cordial)
Short grain rice (Jasmine, alborio, brown)
Most low fibre processed breakfast cereals
Any source of added sugar (white sugar, honey & maple syrup)
Melons, lychees & dried fruits
# 2 - Choose low GI carbohydrates but watch portions
Low GI carbohydrates are digested slowly and result in lower blood sugar levels for both mum and baby. Also, watch your portion size. Aim for a quarter of full meal or half the snack. Carbohydrates to choose include:
Dense grainy breads, wraps & biscuits
Most fruits including apple, pears, citrus and berries
Yoghurt & milk
Basmati, wild & Doongara rice
Quinoa & buckwheat
Traditional oats & high fibre low sugar cereals
Sweet potato & corn
Legumes & lentils
# 3- Add a source of protein at each meal and snack
Foods, that are high in protein, stabilize blood sugar level. These include:
Beef, lamb, pork, poultry
Fish and seafood
Nuts and seeds
Nut butters (natural varieties with limited added sugars and salts)
# 4 - Eat regular meals & snacks.
Try not to starve more than 3-4 hours in daytime and thus, you must snack between main meals. This will ensure stable blood sugar and also mean that you will never get too hungry to eat large portion or crave sugar. Overnight, avoid longer than 10-hour fast to ensure stable blood sugar level in the morning. This means that you should eat a small supper before bed.
# 5 - Watch for non-hungry eating mood.
Checking-in on your mood before and after eating will make you aware of the impact of food choices on your emotions. Often we eat because we are tired, bored or upset. Becoming aware is the first step to reduce eating due to non-physical hunger.