Gestational Diabetes Menu

Gestational diabetes menu is vital for the pregnant woman with this condition as well as her baby. Before, this created a major risk for both but today with tight control of the disease before conception and careful management during pregnancy, the prognosis has changed.

What is part of this management? Gestational diabetes menu, that's what. With proper meal planning, sufficient exercise, proper education and motivation along with tight control of blood glucose, pregnant women in this condition can look forward to a full happy life for themselves and their babies.

One of the most fundamental tools of this disease management is eating healthy foods. The right foods in the gestational diabetes menu will help manage the blood glucose and protect one's health. The first thing to do is to get a registered dietitian develop a personal meal plan.

You can use this personal meal plan to develop your own personalized gestational diabetes menu. You can start learning about this and guide your selections to meet your needs. Here are some things to remember in your quest for a successful management of your condition:

  • Know that the best food selections for the gestational diabetes menu are healthy for everyone in the family.
  • Try to stay at a desirable weight as the additional body fat makes it more difficult to control blood glucose.
  • Be physically active by doing activity you enjoy three to four times a week.
  • Consult with your health care team regularly.

Now before we go on to how to plan meals for a gestational diabetes menu, let's review what eating healthy entails. Doing this right will ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. It is essential to adhere to a well balanced meal plan. Here are the easy steps:

  • Eat less fat by avoiding cold cuts and cutting down on butter and other add-ons. fried foods, reducing red meat, selecting low-fat milk products, and seasoning with low-fat flavorings like lemon and lime.
  • Eat foods high in fiber like pasta, grains, fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads, cereals and crackers, beans, peas, rice, bran and oats. These are all good for the gestational diabetes menu.
  • Have less sugar by drinking sugar-free soft drinks, honey, jelly candies, cookies and pies.
  • Eat less salty food by using low-salt seasonings instead, cooking without adding salt and avoiding canned soups and others that have a lot of salt.

Now let's go on with the planning of meals for tighter diabetes control. I will show you a sample chart that's good for a gestational diabetes menu. This will be taken from an exchange lists of food from where you can alternate selections for each other. This way, it's possible to eat many different kinds of foods to eat while taking care of the condition.

Food Exchange Lists

List 1 - Starches and Breads (15 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, a trace of fat, and 80 calories per serving)
Cooked oatmeal, oat bran, etc.1/2 cupMacaroni, spaghetti and other pasta1/2 cup
Barley and other grains1/2 cupDried beans, peas, lentils1/3 cup
Lima beans1/2 cupCorn1/2 cup
Corn on the cob, 6" piece 1Baked potato1 small
Mashed potato1/2 cupSquash3/4 cup
Yam1/3 cupWhole wheat bread, rye, white, raisin, others1 slice
Dinner roll1 smallSandwich roll1/2
English muffin1Pita Pocket1
Tortilla1Animal crackers8
Melba toast5Unsalted saltines6
Pretzels3/4 ozWhole wheat or rye crackers4-6
Graham crackers3Plain popcorn3 cups
Yogurt, fruit flavor1/3 cupSherbet1/4 cup

List 2 - Meat and Meat Substitutes (7 grams protein, 3 grams fat, and 55 calories per serving.
Chicken or turkey with skin removed1 ozLean cut of beef1 oz
Lean cut of pork1 ozVeal1 oz
Fish1 ozShellfish2 oz
Tuna, canned in water1/4 cupCottage cheese, low-fat1/4 cup
Egg substitute1/4 cupPeanut Butter1 Tbsp

List 3 - Vegetables, cooked (5 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, and 25 calories per serving. All of these have 1/2 cup of serving each)

  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Green Onion
  • Greens, collard, mustard, etc
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Pea pods
  • Peppers
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tomato
  • Vegetable juice
  • Turnips
  • Water chestnuts

List 4 - Fruits (15 grams carbohydrates and 60 calories per serving)
Apple1Applesauce, no sugar added1/2 cup
Apricot4Banana, 9" long1/2
Blackberries and Blueberries3/4 cupCantaloupe or honeydew melon1 cup
Kiwi1Mandarin oranges3/4 cup
Papaya1 cupPeach1
Pear1 smallPineapple3/4 cup
Plum2Strawberries1 1/4 cup
Tangerine2Watermelon1 1/4 cup
Dried apricots7 halvesPrunes3
Raisins2 tbspApple, orange, grapefruit juices1/2 cup
Cranberry, grape. prune juices1/3 cup

List 5 - Milk and Milk Products (12 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, and 90-110 calories per serving)
Skim, 1/2%, 1%, 2% milk8 oz
Buttermilk, low-fat8 oz
Evaporated Skim milk4 oz
Nonfat dry milk powder1/3 cup
Yogurt, nonfat or low-fat, plain or fruited8 oz
Hot cocoa, artificially sweetened1 envelope

List 6 - Fats ( 5 grams of fat and 45 calories per serving)
Margarine, stick or tub1 tspMargarine, diet1 tbsp
Regular Mayonnaise1 tspMayonnaise, reduced calorie1 tbsp
Salad dressing, regular1 tbspSalad dressing, reduced-calorie2 tbsp
Oil, corn, cottonseed, soybean, olive1 tspNuts and seeds1 tbsp

List 7 - Free Foods (You may eat these as much as you want except the ones indicated with a serving size. These you can have 2 or 3 times a day but spread them out for better blood glucose control.)

  • Bouillon or broth, no fat
  • Cocoa powder, unsweetened baking type 1 tbsp
  • Coffee or tea
  • Soft drinks, calorie free
  • Cranberries or rhubarb, no sugar added 1/2 cup
  • Celery, Cucumber, Hot Peppers, radishes, salad greens
  • Gelatin, sugar-free
  • Jam or jelly, sugar-free 2 tsp
  • Whipped topping 2 tbsp
  • Spreadable fruit, no sugar added 1 tsp
  • Catsup 1 tbsp
  • Unsweetened dill pickles, horseradish, hot sauce, mustard, vinegar
  • Salad dressing, nonfat, low-calorie, including mayonnaise-type 2 tbsp
  • Taco sauce 2 tbsp

You can use these seasonings as you desire. Just make sure that if you are on a low-sodium diet, to read the labels and choose those that do not contain salt.

  • Flavoring extracts like vanilla, almond, butter, etc
  • Garlic or garlic powder, fresh or dried herbs, lemon or lemon juice, lime or lime juice, onion powder, paprika, pepper, pimento, spices, Worcester sauce

There you have the lists of foods from where you can pick and exchange foods from within each list. The next page to this will explore sample menus with the use of the above lists. With the gestational diabetes menu and for others with the same condition, it is vital to follow the healthy eating habits. It is good for everyone else too.

If you want more information about diabetes, please visit: Blogging for Diabetes and You

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