Diet plan for gestational diabetes during pregnancy

Diet plan for gestational diabetes during pregnancy

Let us know about the Diet plan for gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Whether you have gestational diabetes or not, it is important that you eat nutritious food during pregnancy, as your baby’s nutrition and development depend on you. If you have gestational diabetes, you need to be extra careful as you cannot eat everything during this time. You have to take special care that whatever you are eating should be healthy and according to a balanced diet. So, the question is what should you eat and avoid if you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy? Read on for more details.

Diet plan for gestational diabetes during pregnancy

Diet plan for gestational diabetes during pregnancy
Diet plan for gestational diabetes during pregnancy

What should you eat if you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy?

Gestational diabetes occurs when your body is unable to produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas and it works to convert sugar into glucose so that the human body can use it.

When you have gestational diabetes, a large amount of glucose builds up in your blood and your body can’t use it. Increasing blood sugar level has a bad effect on your health, not only that it is also harmful for your child’s health. So try to keep your blood sugar level always under control.

The best way to keep it under control is to make a proper diet plan and follow it. You can get your diet plan prepared with the help of a nutritionist. Your nutritionist will determine how much nutrition your child needs based on your age, weight, height, physical activity, and your blood sugar level. Also, keeping in mind your personal preferences, she will make your diet plan.

The nutritionist will analyze how many calories you need in a day. Then she will tell you how to properly balance carbohydrates, proteins and fats through your meals. She will also make sure that you get enough minerals and vitamins.

Let us look at some general guidelines for women with gestational diabetes:

You should include different types of foods in your diet and consume carbohydrates and calories in such a way that energy remains in your body throughout the day. You have to take special care that whatever you are eating, it should be balanced even the snacks. Ideally, you should try to eat three smaller meals a day and three to four snacks a day. Try to have an early dinner and have some post-dinner snacks in your schedule.

  • You have to reduce the daily intake of carbohydrates. Try to include complex carbohydrates in your diet and eat them during the day. Complex carbs are fiber rich foods. Include snacks with lean protein and carbohydrates at every meal. Protein helps to control your blood sugar level, it gives you energy and also keeps you full.
  • Take care that you do not skip your meals or snacks. Pay attention to both the time and quantity of your food. If you keep eating a little bit at some time during the day, then your blood sugar will be under control.
  • Have a good breakfast and that’s what your nutritionist would recommend, whether you’re pregnant or not, or even if you don’t have gestational diabetes. But the blood sugar level affects you the most in the morning. To bring it under control, you need to have more protein in your diet and limit carbohydrate intake. If you are a non-vegetarian, eat eggs and if you are a vegetarian, eat peanut butter. Avoid consuming fruits and their juices, which are high in sugar.
  • For other meals, include foods that are high in fiber such as fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, cereals and breads, legumes and dried peas. These foods digest slowly, so in this way you can control your blood sugar, which starts rising rapidly after eating food.
  • Avoid beverages and foods that have added sugar, such as candy, soda, soft drinks, tea or coffee, packaged fruit juices, and desserts of all kinds. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to ask your doctor if you can have desserts made with artificial sweeteners. For beverages, stick to drinks that are decaffeinated and without any sweeteners.
  • Also, limit your intake of milk as it is high in simple sugars and also has high lactose content. So it is better to look for other sources of calcium and you will get many options.

Also it is necessary to exercise. If you don’t exercise, increase your activity. This keeps your blood sugar level under control.

If you do not get relief from it despite diet and exercise, then your doctor may recommend insulin injection. If this happens, your nutritionist will prepare a new diet plan for you.

Why do you need to watch carbohydrates?

It is important that you keep your blood sugar level under control. Your doctor and nutritionist will need to know whether diet and exercise can control your blood sugar levels, or whether you’ll need to try something else to control them.

This is said to be the only way to know if more insulin is needed to keep your baby safe. Monitoring carbohydrates is important as they are responsible for increasing your blood sugar levels. If your sugar level is out of range, then you should try a low carb diet for gestational diabetes.

Importance of Low Glycemic Index (GI) Foods

Low GI foods or foods with low glycemic index should be consumed in gestational diabetes or normal diabetes. Low GI foods help you limit your carbohydrate intake, while also not raising your blood sugar levels.

What is Low Glycemic Index (GI) and how does it help?

Following a low-carb diet during gestational diabetes helps keep your blood sugar levels under control. This will be possible only if you include foods with low glycemic index (GI) in your diet.

The GI measures how quickly glucose is released into your blood from the food you eat. Therefore, if you have a problem of gestational diabetes during pregnancy, then you should eat foods with low GI.

You should include low GI foods in your diet for gestational diabetes during pregnancy. It maintains your blood sugar level, as low GI-foods take longer to digest. Glucose is released slowly and doesn’t go into your blood sugar all at once.

Low GI and High GI Foods

Some of the GI-foods that you can consume during pregnancy are:

  • brown rice 
  • Brick pasta
  • Porridge 
  • Apple, Peach, Orange, Pear
  • Lentils and Beans 
  • Groundnut 
  • sweet corn

High GI Foods:

  • White Pasta Rice 
  • Idli and Dosa with Chutney
  • watermelon
  • cornflakes 
  • Baked Potatoes 
  • Bread 

However, this does not mean that you cannot eat these foods at all.

All you have to take care is that you consume maximum low GI-foods. Mixing low-GI foods with high-GI foods will release less glucose into your bloodstream.

Here are some options you can try:

  • white rice with lentils or beans
  • Idli or Dosa with Peanut Chutney
  • Peanut Butter and Toast
  • Fruits like apples and peaches in cornflakes

What type of food should you avoid?

To avoid gestational diabetes, a special kind of diet has to be adopted. Avoid foods that have ‘diabetic’ written on the label. Avoid consuming uncooked eggs, meat and fish, which can contain high levels of mercury. Also avoid consuming liver and unpasteurized milk. Also, avoid alcohol.

diet plan for gestational diabetes 

Here is a diet chart for gestational diabetes during pregnancy: 

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks 
2-3 carbohydrates (35-40 grams), protein from poultry , cheese, fish, vegetables, and natural fats  3-4 carbohydrates (45-60 grams), protein from poultry , cheese, fish, vegetables, and natural fats3-4 carbohydrates (45-60 grams), protein from poultry , cheese, fish, vegetables, and natural fats1–2 carbohydrates (20–30 grams), protein from poultry , cheese, fish, vegetables, and natural fats


Try to include 2-3 types of carbohydrates, proteins in your breakfast.

  1. Whole grain cereals 
  2. Whole grain bread toast with peanut butter, jam, or cheese 
  3. low sugar fruit 
  4. Low fat yogurt with less sugar
  5. Egg, Fish, Chicken


  1. a small bowl of white rice and beans
  2. Lentils, vegetables, fish or chicken with brown rice
  3. One Bowl Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup with Whole Grain Bread 


  1. Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
  2. Chicken or Fish with Noodles 
  3. Vegetable Curry and White Rice 

As far as snacks go, you need to choose foods that are healthy for you. You can eat fruits or boiled vegetables and vegetable sticks. It would also be good to consume low fat curd, nuts and seeds.

You have many options, but you have to keep in mind that the food you are eating should not take much time to digest. You also need to make sure that it meets the caloric needs of both you and your baby while keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

Some tips to improve diet  

Here are some tips to improve your diet:

  1. Keep in mind that you have a good breakfast and include low GI-food items in your breakfast.
  2. Include different foods in your diet.
  3. Consume more fiber-rich foods in your diet.
  4. Eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day.
  5. Cut down on saturated fat – cook food instead of frying, use peanut butter instead of butter, and eat natural fats.
  6. Consume sugary drinks and desserts in limited quantities.

It is possible to control gestational diabetes and you can have your nutritionist plan your diet which will be tailored for you according to gestational diabetes during pregnancy.


You must follow a diet recommended by a nutritionist, check blood sugar levels regularly and exercise daily, thus you can get rid of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Apart from this, women who have gestational diabetes also deliver a healthy baby.