Low Carb Meals for Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy and can cause health problems for the baby if the mother is not treated. According to the MayoClinic website, gestational diabetes can be controlled by diet, exercise and medication, in some cases. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should consume meals low in carbohydrates. A low-carbohydrate meal should contain between 45 g to 60 g of carbohydrates. However, the exact amount of carbohydrates a women is allowed to eat is set by her doctor or nutritionist.
Breakfast is an important meal to start the day. Checking blood glucose levels before eating provides information on what foods to eat at breakfast. One egg, a piece of whole wheat toast, 8 oz. of milk and a serving of fruit contains about 45 g of carbohydrates. According to the book, "What To Expect When You're Expecting" half of your total daily calories should come from carbohydrates. It is important to note, that every woman will require different amount of carbohydrates, which will be set by the doctor or nutritionist. Some women have to limit carbohydrates more so than others.
- Breakfast is an important meal to start the day.
- It is important to note, that every woman will require different amount of carbohydrates, which will be set by the doctor or nutritionist.
The Best Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan
Having a piece of fruit and 1 tbsp. peanut butter between breakfast and lunch is a good way to keep blood sugars level and contains about 30 g of carbohydrates. Lunch items should contain protein and 45 g to 60 g of carbohydrates. Examples include 1/2 cup of beans mixed with tomato, lettuce and 1 oz. low-fat shredded cheese in a whole wheat tortilla. This lunch is low in fat and provides protein from the beans and cheese. This lunch contains about 45 g of carbohydrates. Other lunch examples that are around 45 g of carbohydrates include salad with chicken or 1 cup of soup and a turkey sandwich.
- Having a piece of fruit and 1 tbsp.
- peanut butter between breakfast and lunch is a good way to keep blood sugars level and contains about 30 g of carbohydrates.
According to Medline Plus, an expectant mother may need a healthy snack between lunch and dinner, but should discuss this with the doctor or nutritionist about individual dietary needs. Eating a variety of foods helps prevent boredom with the diet and provides essential vitamins and minerals to the mother and baby. An example of dinner consisting of 45 g to 60 g of carbohydrates could include 3 oz. of meat, poultry or fish, a serving or two of vegetables, a baked potato or rice. During pregnancy women should limit their fish intake to two servings a week to avoid mercury poisoning.
- According to Medline Plus, an expectant mother may need a healthy snack between lunch and dinner, but should discuss this with the doctor or nutritionist about individual dietary needs.
The Best Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan
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- Mayo Clinic.com: Gestational Diabetes
- Medline Plus: Gestational Diabetes
- "What To Expect When You're Expecting"; Murkoff, Heidi, Eisenberg, Arlene and Hathaway, Sandee; 2002
- American Diabetes Association: Carbohydrate Counting
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes diet, eating, and physical activity. Published December, 2016.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Carbohydrate counting and diabetes. Published June, 2014.
- Cleveland Clinic. Carbohydrates and blood sugar control for people with diabetes. Updated January 13, 2013.
- Evert AB, Dennison M, Gardner CD, et al. Nutrition therapy for adults with diabetes or prediabetes: A consensus report. Diabetes Care. 2019;42(5):731-754. doi:10.2337/dci19-0014
- American Diabetes Association. Protein.
- Rabinovitz HR, Boaz M, Ganz T, Jakubowicz D, Matas Z, Madar Z, Wainstein J. Big breakfast rich in protein and fat improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetics. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 May;22(5):E46-54. doi:10.1002/oby.20654
- American Diabetes Association. Fats.
- Maki KC, Phillips-Eakley AK, Smith KN. The effects of breakfast consumption and composition on metabolic wellness with a focus on carbohydrate metabolism. Adv Nutr. 2016;7(3):613S–21S. doi:10.3945/an.115.010314
Janelle Vaesa received her Master of Public Health degree in 2008 and Bachelor of Science in health and human performance in 2006, both from the University of Louisville. Vaesa has worked in a variety of settings, focusing on improving the health of clients. Vaesa began running in 2000 and in 2005 began racing in triathlons.