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Breakfast Ideas for Someone With Gestational Diabetes

author image Joanne Marie
Joanne Marie began writing professionally in 1981. Her work has appeared in health, medical and scientific publications such as Endocrinology and Journal of Cell Biology. She has also published in hobbyist offerings such as The Hobstarand The Bagpiper. Marie is a certified master gardener and has a Ph.D. in anatomy from Temple University School of Medicine.
Breakfast Ideas for Someone With Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes. Photo Credit: Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Getty Images

If you're pregnant or hope to become pregnant, you might be concerned about a possible complication -- gestational diabetes. This temporary condition develops when a woman's body becomes resistant to insulin produced by her pancreas, causing her blood-sugar levels to rise above healthy levels. It affects about 18 percent of pregnancies, according to the American Diabetes Association. Modifying your diet can help control gestational diabetes. Paying attention to breakfast -- the first meal of the day -- can start you off on a good eating plan. Check with your doctor or a registered dietitian for help developing the best diet for your pregnancy.

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Choosing Carbohydrates

Whole grain cereal and fruit.
Whole grain cereal and fruit. Photo Credit: Picsfive/iStock/Getty Images

Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, so carbohydrates have a direct impact on blood-sugar levels. Choosing the right types of carbs at breakfast helps your blood sugar rise slowly and steadily, without the spikes that require lots of insulin. The best choices are rich in fiber, which helps carbohydrates have a low-to-moderate effect on blood sugar. For example, a breakfast that includes a whole-grain cereal such as bran flakes or a whole-grain muffin, tends to raise blood sugar slowly. Oat bran is a good choice because of its high-fiber content, which also supports gastrointestinal health.

Adding Dairy Products

Use butter sparingly.
Use butter sparingly. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Dairy products contain carbohydrates but still contribute to a healthy breakfast, when used in moderation. Add milk or yogurt to your breakfast, but the University of California Medical Center recommends consuming only 1 cup of dairy products at a time to keep blood sugar from spiking. Choose low-fat versions to manage your intake of saturated fat, which can contribute to high levels of blood cholesterol. If you use butter, spread it thinly or switch to a low-fat spread.

Picking Fruits

Bananas are soluble fiber.
Bananas are soluble fiber. Photo Credit: Anna Kucherova/iStock/Getty Images

Fresh fruit is generally a healthy food but it can contribute to rapid rises in blood sugar. At breakfast, choose types that are high in soluble fiber, which during the process of digestion, forms a gel that slows glucose uptake into your blood. Fruits rich in soluble fiber include bananas, apples, pears and berries, such as strawberries and blueberries. Slice or sprinkle these on cereal or add them to home-baked muffins and breads. Avoid fruit juices, because they lack fiber and are relatively high in simple sugar, which boosts blood-glucose levels.

Adding Proteins and Vegetables

Eggs for breakfast are a good protein.
Eggs for breakfast are a good protein. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

A woman with gestational diabetes should eat two to three servings of protein a day, recommends the American Diabetes Association. Having an egg at breakfast helps meet this goal; you can add non-starchy vegetables such as chopped peppers, zucchini or broccoli, to make an omelet. Or, you can consume legumes such as lentils, black-eyed peas or black beans, for protein at breakfast. Although legumes contain starch, their high soluble-fiber helps keep blood-sugar levels steady.

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