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Carbs for Gestational Diabetes

Carbs can raise your blood sugar. So, check the amount and type of carbs you eat. Eat around 15 to 30 gr of carbs for breakfast, 45 to 60 g for lunch and dinner, and 15 to 30 g for snacks (of course, it's different from person to person, and you should count your carbs exactly). Keep in mind that your carb tolerance and carb needs are distinct, and they depend on your body weight, height, medication use, blood sugar level, etc. Some researchers say a diet high in complex carbohydrates (60% carbs), and others say lower carbohydrates (40% carbs) diet is suitable. Generally, 45-55% of the gestational diabetes diet calories should be from carbs. But more important than the number of carbohydrates is the type of carbs you eat in the gestational diabetes diet.
Complex carbohydrates are the best choices in the gestational diabetes diet. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are more nutritious. Fiber slows digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes. Here are some examples of complex carbs:

• wholegrain bread
• quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, or buckwheat
• whole-wheat pasta
• whole grains, such as oat or barley
• wholegrain cereal
• legumes, such as kidney beans or black beans, lentils, chickpea
• starchy vegetables, like corn

Potatoes, white rice, French fries, soda, candy, white bread, etc., are some simple carbs. They can boost your blood sugar and are not a good choice in a gestational diabetes diet.
Use wholegrain and complex carbs instead of simple carbs.

How to Choose Healthy Carbs in the Gestational Diabetes Diet?

• Consume wholegrain, multigrain, wholemeal, linseed, pumpernickel, or rye instead of white bread in your gestational diabetes diet.
• Eat chapatti and roti made with whole-wheat flour instead of those made with white flour.
•  Eat brown pittas instead of white pittas.
•  Eat wholegrain pasta, sweet potato, or baked plantain instead of chips and mash.
•  Eat brown rice instead of white rice.
• Eat Bran flakes, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat, or porridge instead of cereals like Rice Krispies and Cornflakes in your gestational diabetes diet.

Other Sources of Carbs in the Gestational Diabetes Diet

Besides the cereals, as discussed above, some other food groups contain carbs and are essential in a gestational diabetes diet. These include low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

Low-fat dairy like yogurt and milk also contain carbohydrates—Count milk, yogurt, and doogh as part of your total carbs consumption. They are valuable since they are good sources of calcium and protein.
Low-fat or non-fat dairies are better to manage your weight gain during pregnancy.
People who have lactose intolerance or are vegan/vegetarians can drink soy milk in the gestational diabetes diet. Soy milk also contains carbs.
Flax or almond milk doesn't have carbohydrates. It may be helpful if you want to restrict your carbohydrate in gestational diabetes. Note that choose the unsweetened ones to control your carbohydrate intake.

Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber but contain carbs too. It would be best to care about eating fruits in the gestational diabetes diet. Eat whole and fresh fruits instead of juices or canned fruits packed in sugar. Even 100% juice is not recommended because it does not have fiber and causes a blood sugar spike.

• You should know about vegetables for a diabetic pregnant woman because vegetables can also contain carbs. Some of them are non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables don't have a notable amount of carbs, and you can consider them 'freebie' foods. Cucumbers, broccoli, green beans, peppers, onions, and salad greens are non-starchy vegetables. But other such as corn, potatoes, roots, etc., contains 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving, and you should count them as your daily carbs intake. Eat 3 to 5 servings of a wide variety of colorful vegetables to get the nutrients and antioxidants needed for both mother and baby.

Fruits and Gestational Diabetic:

Fruits contain fructose, a form of natural sugar, raising your blood sugar levels. But, It is not true that you shouldn't eat fruits in your diet if you have diabetes. Just eat them in moderation. Eat whole and fresh fruits to slow sugar absorption. Talk to a nutritionist about the type and the number of fruits you can eat each day.
Fruits are full of minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals lessen your risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke and improve general health; they also keep your body away from free radicals. Since diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and other problems, eating the proper amount of fruits in the gestational diabetes diet is necessary.
Many fruits are high in fiber, too. Fiber prevents blood sugar spikes by slowing digestion. It also makes you feel full. So, it prevents you from overeating and gaining too much weight during pregnancy.
Eat 2 to 4 servings of fruits per day in your gestational diabetes diet. Each serving equals:

• one medium whole fruit like an orange, apple, or a banana
• 1/2 cup (170 gr) chopped, cooked, frozen, or canned fruit
• 1/2 cup (120 ml) 100% fruit juice

Just keep in mind:
• Eat whole fruits rather than fruit juices because they contain more fiber. Drinking fruit juice increases your blood sugar levels quickly.
• Citrus fruits, like grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines, are a good choice for you.
• Berries are high in antioxidants and fiber and low in sugar, so they are excellent for a diabetic person.
• Fresh fruits and juices have more nutritional value than frozen or canned. If you want to drink juice or canned fruits, choose ones with no added sugar.
• Eat more fruits with a low-to-medium GI score in your gestational diabetes diet.

Glycemic index of fruits

Milk and Low-Fat Dairy

Dairy products are rich in calcium, protein, phosphorus, B and D vitamins, etc. Non-fat or low-fat milk or yogurt are healthier choices for people with gestational diabetes. Avoid yogurt with artificial sweeteners or added sugar in the gestational diabetes diet.
Since they are high in carbs, you should count them as your daily carbohydrates. Each serving of low-fat dairy has 12g of carbs, almost equal to fruits and starches.

Eat four servings of non-fat or low-fat dairy products each day. One serving equals:
• 1 cup (240 ml) milk or 3/4 cup (180 ml) yogurt
• 2 cup (480 ml) doogh
• 2 oz (56 gr) processed cheese
• 1 1/2 oz (42 gr) natural cheese


As we said above, non-starchy vegetables are among the best choices for a mother with gestational diabetes; they are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other good compounds.
But since non-starchy vegetables have 15g of carbs per serving, you should care about them.
Eat non-starchy vegetables with all your meals to prevent blood sugar spikes and help to reduce the blood glucose level.

• 1 cup of raw leafy green vegetables or cruciferous vegetables, have 5g carbs
• 3/4 cup vegetable juice, have 5g carbs
• 1/2 cup of chopped green leafy vegetables cruciferous vegetables, have 5g carbs
• 1/2 cup of corn, pea, potato, beets, yams, etc. have 15g carbs

Note that you should avoid canned or pickled vegetables because of their high sodium content to prevent hypertension and vegetables cooked with cheese, butter, or sauce.

Free Sugar

Free sugars are among the worse choices for a diabetic patient to eat in the gestational diabetes diet.
Free sugar is used to make junky foods like soda, candy, cake, doughnuts, etc. Drinking simple sugar like soda is even worsening than eating them. They are poor in micronutrients and provide you just with calories; they also cause a blood sugar spike and hyperglycemia.
It would be best to avoid them as much as possible in a diabetic diet; of course, eating a small portion of them once or twice a month doesn't make any trouble for you.

Carbs per Meal in Gestational Diabetes Diet

In a diabetic plan, the most notable information on food labels is the serving size and grams of carbs per serving. By looking at food labels, you can calculate how many carbohydrates are in foods. Note that you shouldn't count fiber as the net carbohydrate.
The following menus contain carbs and the number of carbohydrates written on the front:

•Sandwich made with two slices of bread + cheese + egg+ meat, or tuna + mayo + mustard + tomato + lettuce.  (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• Twelve saltine crackers + sugar-free peanut butter. (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
•One cup of cooked oatmeal + butter, cinnamon, or something like this. (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• One cup of unsweetened yogurt  + a small banana or 15 grapes or one cup of melon. (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• Six cups of popcorn (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• One cheeseburger or hamburger (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• One small piece of fruit + one cup of milk (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• Four rice cakes (Containing 15 grams of carbs)
• One whole pita bread + olives+ feta cheese+ tomatoes +lettuce +onions. (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• One English muffin + 15 grams cheese + peanut butter or egg. (Containing 35 grams of carbs)
• Muffin-pizzas made with one whole English muffin + vegetables + cheese + sugar-free pasta sauce. (Containing 40 grams of carbs)
• One piece of toast + one-half cup of cooked grits +one or two eggs. (Containing 30 grams of carbs)
• 7 Ritz crackers + one small apple + one string cheese. (Containing 15 grams of carbs)
• One cup of milk + three graham cracker squares. (Containing 30 grams of carbs)

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