Nutrition Advice From a Registered Dietitian to Manage Gestational Diabetes

  1. Make sure to eat meals and snacks with carbohydrates throughout the day for blood sugar stabilization. Eating too many carbohydrates at one time can cause blood sugar to rise too much

  2. Combine carbohydrates with protein and heart healthy fat. Combining foods containing protein and healthy fats at meals and snacks help slow carbohydrate absorption. For example, having nut butter with a banana for a snack instead of just the fruit or having tomato sauce with turkey meatballs on pasta instead of plain pasta with butter

  3. Eat a breakfast that is rich in protein and fiber

  4. Choose higher fiber whole-grain carbohydrates. Whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta (or chick pea pasta with a higher protein/fiber content). They are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates

  5. Include non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, spinach, carrots as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aim for at least 3 – 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Choose fresh or frozen varieties with no added sauces or salt

  6. Choose whole fruits instead of juices as they provide us with more fiber and less added sugar. For fruits - one serving is equivalent to 1 medium piece of fresh fruit such as an apple or orange or 1/2 cup canned fruit – make sure to drain and rinse if in syrup

  7. Dairy also contains carbohydrates. Choose low-fat or fat free milk or yogurt. Opt for yogurt that has higher protein and fewer grams of sugar

  8. Ensure you have a protein source at all meals. Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar. This may include skinless turkey or chicken, fish (check fish that is appropriate for pregnancy), lean meat, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, or nut butter

  9. Limit portion sizes of sweets and sugar sweetened beverages. Split desserts if out to eat. Watch portion size if at home 

  10. Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat including full fat dairy, meat, and butter. Limit portions of starchy foods including white potatoes, bread, pasta, and rice