Pregnancy Diet: Be Mindful Of What You Eat As Cravings Can Lead To Gestational Diabetes

When you ‘re pregnant, your craving for certain foods may increase. Sometimes you may crave for weird things or non-food items. But it is not good to always fulfill your cravings. It is important to be mindful of your diet during pregnancy as otherwise it could lead to gestational diabetes which affects up to 10 per cent pregnancies annually, says Dr Manju Gupta, Senior Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida.

She notes, “Pregnancy cravings can be caused by numerous factors, like hormones, a heightened sense of taste and smell, and nutritional deficits. Cravings commonly start in the first trimester and peak in the second.”

In this article, Dr Gupta tells you how to control pregnancy cravings and what to eat healthy during pregnancy to avoid getting gestational diabetes or control it.

Why do some pregnant get gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is typically characterized by elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy. In order to provide the growing fetus more energy during pregnancy, a woman’s body will alter how it consumes glucose. While some women’s bodies are able to adjust by producing more insulin, others might not be able to keep up with the demand. This leads to elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy or gestational diabetes.

You may notice that you are more hungry than normal. Even if you are expecting twins or triplets, you do not need to eat for two. Instead of eliminating all of your favorite meals, eat healthy food at regular intervals and adjust the portions of various items to create a diversified diet. This will reduce your chances of getting gestational diabetes and if you have it, you will be able to better control it.

What are the risks involved with gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes might have negative effects both during and after pregnancy. People with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of experiencing high blood pressure during pregnancy, which increases their risk of contracting the potentially fatal condition preeclampsia.

What expecting moms can do to reduce frequent cravings?

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes lean protein sources, dairy products with minimal fat, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes. A tiny serving of a less-than-healthy item won’t interfere with the nourishment your baby requires if your diet is balanced.
  • Consume food frequently to prevent blood sugar decreases that could lead to food cravings. Food can be divided into six tasty, manageable portions.
  • Incorporate regular exercise after consulting your doctor.
  • If you’re constantly craving sugary food or desserts, try delaying eating as long as you had a healthy meal or snack within the previous two hours. Try taking a quick walk, getting out of the house and engaging in activities like reading or watching a movie that’ll divert your attention from food.

    What to include in a pregnancy diet?

    A good diet is essential to living a healthy lifestyle for everyone at any given time, but it’s much more crucial if you’re expecting or planning a pregnancy. Here are some things you must include in your diet if you are pregnant.

    Fiber: During pregnancy constipation can result from a variety of factors, most commonly from internal hormonal changes. Constipation can be managed with the use of foods high in fiber. Eating foods high in fiber helps you to have stable blood pressure levels. Consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cereals, and beans will help you meet your daily fiber requirements.

    Iron: Iron is used by the body to generate hemoglobin. You require almost double the iron when you are expecting. Your body needs this iron to produce more blood so that your unborn child can receive enough oxygen. You could develop iron deficiency if your iron levels are insufficient or if you don’t acquire enough iron while you’re pregnant. You could start experiencing headaches or exhaustion. In addition to raising the risk of premature birth and low birth weight babies, it could also lead to postpartum depression. Some good sources of iron include poultry, fish, and lean red meat.

    Folate: Legumes are excellent plant-based providers of calcium, iron, folate, fiber, protein, and other nutrients that your body needs more of while pregnant. One of the most crucial B vitamins is folate. You must consume at least 600 micrograms of folate each day, which can be difficult to do through diet alone. Your doctor might prescribe folate supplements.

    Proteins: Pregnant women should consume lean protein sources. Your protein choices should be made with a reduction in your intake of fat and sugar in mind. Choose a lower-fat option instead of a burger or some bacon. For your two to three daily meals of protein, consider lean meats such as chicken breasts, white fish, eggs, or ground turkey.

    Calcium: Pregnant women should consume dairy products like milk, cheese, fromage and yogurt since they are rich in calcium and other essential elements. Choose low-fat options such as semi-skimmed, 1 percent fat, or skimmed milk, low-fat and lower-sugar yogurt, and low-fat hard cheese. Choose unsweetened, calcium-fortified soy drinks and yogurt if you prefer non-dairy alternatives to dairy. Unpasteurized cheeses are among the cheeses you should stay away from while pregnant.

    Supplements: Key nutrients can be missed even when you consume a balanced diet. Any gaps can be filled by taking a daily prenatal vitamin, ideally beginning at least three months before conception. If you adhere to a strict vegetarian diet or have a chronic health issue, your doctor may advise certain supplements. Kindly consult your doctor for supplements, as certain herbal supplements could be harmful during pregnancy.