How to make Food Choices for Gestational Diabetes

One of the most difficult things with Gestational Diabetes is eating. Or rather picking what to eat and when.  It can seem overwhelming at first, but luckily it is not as bad as it first seems. The first thing you need to know is that the main factor in what food to eat is the carbohydrate content.  Each person should be given a carb goal for each snack and meal by your team.  For me this was 30-45 carbs for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner and 15-30 for each carb snack. There can also be no carb snacks, where you have food that does not spike your blood sugar levels at all and can be considered for that purpose to have zero carbs.  To be able to properly calculate the carb content, you need to know how to read nutrition labels. American nutrition labels have the per-serving amount at the top of the label.  If you look down the list, the number next to carbohydrates is how many carbs are in each serving.  Australia labels are a bit more complicated.  I have a picture and an explanation below. 

To read a nutrition label, first, you look at the top of the label to see what a serving size is.  This will probably be in grams. If you are lucky, it will have the number of pieces as well.  Once you know what a serving size is, you look down at the columns.  The left-most column should be per serving. Look down the list until you see carbs.  The number in the first column should be the number of carbs per serving.  Once you see that, you can calculate how many servings you need to meet your carb goal for the meal.  

For me, the easiest way to determine meals was to make a list of the meals we normally eat and list how many carbs are in each serving. I keep a list of favorite meals and carb counts on google docs so I can check it from my computer or my phone. 

Based on my doctor’s instructions I do not count nonstarchy vegetables in the carb count. Once you figure out how many carbs are in each dish, you can work on making them lower carb. This can be done by switching the type of rice you use to basmati rice, by changing your bread from white bread to a bread labeled low gi or one that has lots of nuts and seeds. Another way to reduce carbs is to have a smaller portion size and bulk out your meal with something else, such as your protein or nonstarchy vegetables. With some dishes, you may have the opposite problem. While I did have to reduce or watch carbs for most of our meals, we did have a few that I had to increase carbs for. The next post will be the foods that I currently eat with gestational diabetes. Here are some posts with meal examples. Meals and Snacks for Gestational Diabetes Budget Weekly Meal Plan for Gestational Diabetes 2nd Budget Weekly Meal Plan for Gestational Diabetes


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