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.
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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.
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.
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.
- 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