A diabetic diet may limit negative impact of gestational diabetes on maternal and fetal health

A growing body of evidence suggests that the types of food that women consume during pregnancy can have an impact on their baby's health. This may be of particular significance to mothers-to-be who have gestational diabetes.

This condition is characterized by high blood sugar levels that occur during pregnancy, and they typically return to normal levels after delivery. However, gestational diabetes has been known to increase women's risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, and it may cause serious health problems if left uncontrolled.

A recent article published by EmpowHer.com highlighted several aspects of a diabetic diet that may help expectant mothers manage their blood glucose levels in order to promote good health in themselves and their babies.

The news provider explained that individuals with gestational diabetes should aim to achieve fasting blood sugar levels below 95 mg/dL, and optimal measurements should be under 140 mg/DL and 120 mg/DL one and two hours after eating, respectively.

Portion control may be key for women who have gestational diabetes. The news source said that mothers-to-be should eat three small meals per day in addition to one to three snacks between meals. However, these between-meal feedings should be limited to fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods.

Other aspects of a diabetic diet that may promote good maternal and fetal health include abstaining from sweets and products with high amounts of saturated fats, as well as keeping track of how many carbohydrates one consumes.

The article cited recommendations from the National Institutes of Health, which call for pregnant women to consume between four and five servings of milk per day, although either skim or 1 percent milk are the best options for those with gestational diabetes.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, as much as 10 percent of women who have gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes immediately after delivery. Therefore, beginning a diabetic diet and exercise regimen may serve as a preventive measure to help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.