Managing gestational diabetes through diet during the festive season

Chaitali Bharatia
Chaitali Bharatia
The author, M.Sc (Specialised Dietetics in Diabetes and Cardiac Nutrition), is a qualified professional and a certified diabetes educator. She also holds certifications in functional food and nutraceuticals. She currently serves as the Senior Nutritionist at Balance Nutrition.

Last Updated on November 18, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

The festive season is a challenging time for women with gestational diabetes, but with careful planning and mindful eating, you can enjoy the festivities without compromising your health or your baby’s. To help you manage gestational diabetes through diet during the festive season, here are some tips:

Set a meal plan

  • Carbohydrate balance: Pay attention to your carbohydrate intake. Limit refined carbs and sugars. Choose whole grains, fruits good for gestational diabetes, and vegetables.
  • Be mindful of your portion sizes: Make sure you watch your portion sizes to avoid overeating. To control portion sizes, use smaller bowls and plates.
meal portion
  • Fibre-rich choices: Including fibre-rich foods can help stabilize blood sugar levels, such as vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Protein intake: Include lean proteins like poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes. Protein can help regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full.

Choose healthy and wise options

  • Beverage choices: Opt for hydrating choices such as infused water, sparkling water, or unsweetened beverages instead of sugary drinks.
  • Sweeteners: When considering natural sweeteners for your recipes, explore alternatives like stevia or fruits for a healthier, equally delicious outcome.
  • Healthy cooking methods: The best way to avoid fried food is to cook it on the grill, roast it, or bake it to avoid excessive fat found in fried foods. These cooking methods not only enhance the flavour in their own ways but also contribute to lower fat content and are healthier.
  • Bring your dish: If you’re attending a gathering, consider bringing a dish that you know is gestational diabetes-friendly. This ensures you have a healthy option available.
  • Strategic eating at events: Mitigate uncertainties about food choices at events by consuming a balanced meal at home before leaving. This proactive step prevents impulsive, unhealthy eating due to hunger.
  • Have a healthy snack in your bag: Ensure you are prepared on the go by keeping a healthy snack in your bag. Consider options which are carb-free or have low carbs like hard-boiled eggs, fresh-cut vegetables, ground flax seeds, paneer salad, rasam soup, roasted peanuts/nuts, vegetables and salad (e.g. tomatoes, carrot, cucumber) with hummus, tea (limit caffeine intake to 2-4 cups/day)/ Lavender Tea. Be mindful of things like ice creams as they can raise your blood sugar levels.

Dealing with gestational diabetes through diet, especially during the festive season, may seem tedious. However, once you are able to include these habits in your day-to-day life, you may start liking them!

Stay active

  • Exercise: Maintain a regular physical activity schedule. Taking a short walk after meals can help control blood sugar levels.
pregnant woman doing yoga
  • Dance and enjoy: Dancing offers a myriad of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Embrace the joy of movement and get down on the dance floor. It’s fun to dance and burn calories at the same time.

Monitor your blood sugar levels

  • Regular Monitoring: Keep track of your blood sugar levels as per your doctor’s and nutritionist’s recommendations. It will help you understand how different foods affect your body.
  • Communicate your dietary restrictions with your close friends and family. They can offer support and help you make healthier choices at gatherings.

Manage stress

  • Relaxation Techniques: Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to manage stress. High stress levels can impact blood sugar levels. For relaxation, you can seek songs, and involve yourself in cooking with your loved ones.

Remember, every person’s body reacts differently to different foods, so it’s crucial to monitor your body’s response and adjust your diet accordingly. This journey of motherhood is loving with a swap of healthy options and keeping constant monitoring. Enjoy the festivities with great joy and embrace them for the well-nourished development of the child.

Recipes for new mothers

Calcium-rich ladoo

Ragi Ladoo

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup
  • Ragi Flour 2.0 Tbsp
  • Walnut 1/2 Tsp
  • Elaichi Powder 1.5 Tbsp
  • Dates puree 2 tbsp
  • Ghee

Method of preparation (step by step)

  • In a pan, add 1/2 cup ragi flour.
  • Add 1.5 tbsp ghee and roast the flour well.
  • Add 2 tbsp dates puree, and 1 tbsp chopped walnut and mix well. Remove it into a bowl to cool. Add 1/2 tsp green elaichi powder, mix it well. Make ladoos and let the new mother relish them.

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