Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), more commonly known as gestational diabetes, is a type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy and causes high blood sugar levels. If you have gestational diabetes, your doctor or midwife will refer you to a diabetes team consisting of an endocrinologist, registered nurse and registered dietitian who will discuss with you different ways to manage your blood sugar levels. Healthy food choices is one way to help your body control blood glucose (sugar) levels.
Here are 6 tips to help control your blood sugar levels:
- Eat 3 smaller meals and 2 or more snacks (including a bedtime snack) at regular times every day.
- Balance each meal following Canada’s Food Guide.
- Choose higher fibre foods. Whole grain foods, vegetables, fruits and plant-based protein foods (like beans, lentils, nuts and seeds) have more fibre which helps you feel full longer, manage your weight and keep your bowel movements regular.
- Choose lower glycemic index (GI) foods. GI is a scale that ranks carbohydrate-rich foods by how much they raise blood sugar levels. Low GI foods raise blood sugars slowly which can help manage your blood sugar levels. Meat and fats don’t contain any carbohydrates, so they don’t have a GI rating. Vegetables (except corn, potatoes and yams), most fruits, nuts, beans and lentils and unsweetened dairy products are carbohydrate-rich foods that have a lower glycemic index.
- Drink water throughout the day. Avoid 100% juices and sugar-sweetened drinks.
- Be active. Try going for a walk after each meal.
Also, remember to test your blood sugar levels regularly and take your medication, such as insulin, as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after giving birth. However, you should continue to eat healthy and stay physically active. For more information about gestational diabetes, go to diabetes.ca.