Pregnancy is a superb experience for all women . It is that dream phase of life where most women give no heed to the calorie count of the food they eat . And we all love to pamper ourselves by eating all that you really desire to eat ! Well, tempting as it may sound, but for some women the same phase turns in to a more serious one if they get diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Don’t worry ! This Indian diet plan for gestational diabetes will help you enjoy your eating during pregnancy while taking care of the nourishment and growth of your fetus .
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Pregnancy brings in a lot of emotions in a women . You are happy , emotional (due to hormones) , depressed (due to body changes), excited and full of anxiety and nervousness. You want to do every thing for the baby growing inside of you to come out healthy and fit. Health issues like Gestational diabetes makes you worry more and stress more. You get all the more confused about what to do and what to eat. Surprisingly, most people consider excess weight-gain as a desirable and healthy sign of a healthy pregnancy. This is the reason why we took an initiative to plan this Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes . We will discuss on how a healthy diet can protect an expecting mother from gestational diabetes while allowing her to spend blissful moments with her child growing within her every second.
Understanding Gestational Diabetes :
We all have a basic and wide idea of what is diabetes. But what you really need to understand is, When it comes to Diabetes , there are certain measuring terms which may help in understanding a foods capacity to increase the blood sugar. While there are some that helps in understanding the body’s response or reaction to the raised blood sugar. I know i am getting too technical here, But it is important to have a basic knowledge about these indexes so that you really know what you are eating and how it is going to help you . This might just be your first tiny step towards being a smart mommy !
- Glycemic Index – It is a Number that signifies the capacity of a particular food to increase the blood sugar levels. 100 being equivalent to pure glucose . Foods that have a glycemic index or below 55 are considered healthier for diabetics. These foods are digested slowly in the gut and hence they raise the blood sugar slowly and steadily.
- Glycemic Load – Glycemic load depends on the amount of carb contained by a particular food. And the capacity of each gram of this carb to raise the blood sugar level.
- Insulin Index – Insulin index is kind of similar to the above 2 indexes. The only difference is that Insulin index does not depend on the blood sugar levels. Insulin index o a particular food is based on the food’s capacity to raise the concentration of insulin in the blood after 2 hours of intake.
Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes:
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Here is a sample Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes. Please note that the plan was made keeping an average Indian pregnant lady in mind. If you have any additional medical issues, it will be best to consult your personal dietitian or doctor before starting to follow our Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes.
|Food Item||Calorie (Kcal)||Protein (Gms )||Nutrifact|
|Early Morning : (7.00 Am)|
|Kesar and cardamom + cinnamon flavored Milk(1 glass)||150||4||Milk Is the best way to start your day, It will cool the acid rush down, and the nutrients in milk will be are absorbed better on empty stomach.(add 1-2 threads of kesar, and 1 pinch cardamom + cinnamon powder)|
|Whole Wheat Rusks(2 pieces)||50||2||Dry Carbs in the Morning helps in relieving Morning Sickness|
|Soaked Almonds (6 pieces)||50||4||It is a good souce of protein and omega 3 acids|
|Breakfast (9.00 Am)|
|Besan/ Mung dal chilla with chopped Palak and grated carrots – (2 medium sized)||200||12||This low carb , high protein dish helps you control sugar rush in the mornings. Carrots and spinach help in providing fiber , keeps you away from skin and digestion problem during pregnancy , and cuts on the risk of baby developing jaundice at birth.|
|Curd1 Soup Bowl(1 Soup Bowl)||75||4||curd Provides calcium, protein, Vit A and D very beneficial during pregnancy, And helps you enhance your mood during downs.|
|Egg Omlette(2 No.)||160||10||Eggs are easy to make and best sources of proteins that helps in baby’s growth.|
|Toasted Brown Bread (2 slices)||100||3||Dry carbs Helps in relieving Morning sickness|
|Vegetable oats upama (1 soup bowl)||250||3||Multi nutrients from veggies and good fiber to tackle constipation|
|Apple /Guava / Pomegranate (1 medium size)||40||–||These fruits help in maintaining hydration and Ph balance in increasing blood volume.|
|Coconut water / Lemonade (1 glass)||30||–||It Benefits in constipation, sluggish digestion, heart burn and urinary tract infections during pregnancy|
|Quinoa / Brown rice pulav with veggies (carrots , beans, capsicum , onions etc )- 1.5 soup bowl||350||6||–|
|Dal tadka / Fish curry(1 soup bowl)||150||6||Fish helps in obtaining nutrients like pufa and mufa and good quality protein for development of the baby.|
|sliced cucumber (1 medium)||40||–||Benefits of cucumber|
|sliced tomatoes(2 medium size)||40||–||Anti oxidant lycopene helps in taking care of metabolic wastes.|
|(2.15 pm )Post Lunch walk (15 mins )||This will help in better digestion and the pp sugar levels will decrease.|
|Buttermilk(1 glass)||40||1||Helps in hydration and heart burn|
|Tea(1 cup) / Milk||50||2||(use the masala mentioned below this diet plan, to make it healthy)|
|Wheat and methi Khakara (2 medium )||120||3||Methi will help you with slow rise in sugar levels while whole wheat will ensure complex carb availability.|
|2 Table spoon – Museli / wheat flakes / oats bite (avoid the sugar coated cereals )||120||5||Museli is a wholesome food in itself and provides with all vital nutrients. It satisfies hunger and raises your sugar levels slowly, avoiding the sugar spikes in the blood.|
|1 bowl milk||75||2||Its iron content helps in increasing heamoglobin with increasing blood volume.|
|1 /2 apple with the peel||20||–||Peel will help in keeping the fiber intact .|
|evening walks (15 mins )||This helps in over all control in the blood sugar levels.|
|Vegetable soup / Chicken soup(1 soup bowl)||125||2||—–|
|DINNER (8.00 Pm)|
|Multi-grain roti with ghee (1 tsp )(2 medium size)||200||4||These are easy to digest and do not burden the system. Helps in maintaining the BSL|
|Palak paneer veg(1 bowl, home made)||150||4||Good combination of protein and iron for baby’s growth. Spinach is rich in folic acid and iron and helps in maintaining healthy pregnancy.|
|Koshimbir / salad(1 bowl)||50||2||Fiber helps in better digestion|
|(9.15 pm )Post dinner walk (15 mins )||This will help in better digestion and will lower the fasting blood sugar levels.|
|Milk(1 glass)||150||4||Along with good nutrition, a glass of warm milk at bedtime helps in getting a good night sleep.|
|Soaked Almonds (6 pieces)||50||4||It is a good source of protein and omega 3 acids|
While following this Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes, Make sure you spend 10 – 15 mins after your lunch and dinner in walking around the house / office . These are slow walks . These walks will help in better digestion and will help in controlling your postprandial blood sugars.
Recipe of Masala for your Milk and Tea –
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Make this masala and keep handy . It will help in reducing blood sugar and add taste to your milk / tea .
Grind all these spices together – 10 -15 cardamom buds green , 5 black cardamom, 4 sticks cinnamon , a little javitri , 10 -15 buds of cloves , 10 – 15 black pepper balls.
It is all about keeping your blood glucose levels stabilized :
- Carbs are not only present in foods that contain processed sugars such as jam, honey, candies and soft drinks, But also in foods containing natural sugars such as yogurt, fruit and milk
- During digestion, your body converts all carbs to glucose and hence, higher intake of carbs at one time leads to a rise in the blood glucose level.
- Starchy foods such as cereals,Refined flour products like breads, pastries , cakes, cookies, rotis (hotel made)and naan and vegetables such as peas, legumes, potato, lentils, baked beans and corn have high carb content. You may want to choose your carb intake accordingly in order to prevent the intake of excess calories while still honoring your taste.
The Dos and the Don’ts of Gestational Diabetes :
While you are following our Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes, This small list of simple Do’s and Don’ts will help you a long way. These tips will brighten up your day and ensure safety and well being of your baby and your own health.
Eat small meals
Allow a time of 2.5-3 hours between a meal and a snack. Similarly, make sure that a snack and the next meal has a time gap of at least 1.5 hours.
Never ever skip meals or avoid carbs
This won’t do you any good and would just make you feel hungrier and eat more at your next meal which would ultimately destabilize your blood glucose levels. If you consume less carbohydrate, you are putting your baby’s health at stake as a growing embryo needs a certain amount of glucose energy for its growth.
Include a lot of veggies in your diet
Make sure your meals and snacks contain adequate amount of salads and cooked non-starchy vegetables that are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
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Consume a lot of protein foods
Consume a lot of protein foods during meal and snack times. These foods do not turn into glucose after digestion and they can help you feel full. Protein is found in foods such as eggs, chicken, fish, meat, tofu, nuts, seafood, nut butter, cheese and seeds.
Re-consider your fat intake
Excess weight gain may not mean healthy pregnancy. Go for lean meat, low-fat dairy products and avoid deep-fried foods and high-fat junk snacks. It is not that fats would directly contribute to an elevated blood sugar level, but they may make it difficult for the insulin to work properly.
Include un- sweetened Greek yogurt in your diet
Greek yogurt has richer protein content compared to regular yogurt and would help to keep you full while promoting the health of your digestive tract as well.
Opt for complex carbs
Go for brown rice, quinoa, ragi (red finger millet) or cracked wheat instead of white rice. For many, this may mean tough practice and compromise, but once you train your taste buds, you would not want to switch back again to white rice.
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Reduce your oil and butter intake
However, sometimes if you do need to surrender to your mood, you may use extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle olive oil into soups and pastas and enjoy your snacking times.
Replace Unhealthy with healthy
Regular pasta with 100% wholegrain pasta and white bread with natural multi-grain bread. Have fine cracked wheat instead of upma/ rava/ semolina.
Replace potatoes with sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes have high fiber content and low glycemic index which means that they release glucose into the blood slowly after digestion, thereby helping in keeping the blood sugar level stable.
Start your day with healthy breakfast cereals such as oats. Make it interesting with berries and nuts. Oats do not only have high fiber content, but they also promote milk production in nursing mothers.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water every-day.
Making frequent visits to the washroom is the last thing that an expecting mom would want to experience. But by doing so, you would allow your body to flush out toxins regularly.
Try variety of salads
Relish your salads with a generous combination of quinoa, kidney beans, chickpeas and soya chunks. Make your taste buds happy with tofu curries at times.
Here are some interesting and simple recipes –
- koshimbir with curd
- Kachumber salad (without curd)
- Simple salad
- Simple salad with cheese dressing
Look for attractive variety of colors in your food
Include multicolored veggies and leafy greens in your diet. Indian cuisine has a lot to offer to us in terms of flavors and variety. Try out your grandma’s recipes or discover something on your own with an incredible combination of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, dill weed, Brussel Sprouts, fenugreek, and spinach.
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Eat fruits as mid meals
Who said you need to avoid fruits completely? Enjoy a sumptuous fruit bowl with slices of guava, citrus fruits, melons, apples, berries and pears. However, avoid over ripe fruits as they have high sugar content. Avoid bananas, grapes, jackfruit, mangoes, pineapple and grapes and chikoo as they have high sugar content. Of course, you may have them as a treat once in a while if you have been sticking to our Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes on a regular basis.
- Snack on nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, roasted channa and almonds and give your body a healthy supply of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Include proteins and carbs in every meal and veggies and fruits for at least two meals.
- Avoid soda, coffee, and tea. If you do need to take some caffeine, consider sipping into a cup of Joe prepared with fat-free milk and without sugar.
- Replace fruit juices with whole fruit or tender coconut water.
Some low sugar Snacking Ideas:
- Carrot slices with any vegetable based yogurt dip
- Lettuce salad with boiled chickpea, tomatoes, cucumber and lemon juice
- Whole wheat crackers with yogurt dips and avocado slices
- Greek yogurt with berries
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- Sprouted green gram with grated carrots and lemon juice
- Brown bread toast with almond butter and apple slices
- Raagi roti with mint chutney
- Wholegrain dosa
- Asparagus omlette
How to fight Cravings?
- Never avoid the intake of carbs as they give you instant energy.
- Drink a glass of water when craving hits. False hunger pangs are more likely to subside with a glass of water.
- Reassess your meals to find out if you are eating less. Add some proteins to your diet or snack on celery, baby spinach or baby carrot salads.
Here are a few more reads on pregnancy that might be of help to you –
- Indian diet plan for pregnancy
- What to eat during Pregnancy
- What foods to avoid during pregnancy
- Benefits of Beetroot Juice in anaemia and pregnancy
- Benefits of Ginger in Pregnancy, Gastric problems and infections
Follow your grandma’ advice- Eat for two. And invite gestational diabetes to impact your health. It may seem to be contradictory to the sayings that has been shaping the diet plans of pregnant women in traditional Indian households. Your baby needs an extra 300 – 500 calories to support his/her growth and and follow our Indian Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes to manage your elevated sugar levels.