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How To Manage Gestational Diabetes With Diet

So, you’re expecting — congratulations! 

Whether this is your first rodeo or you’re a seasoned mama, there’s no denying that pregnancy can be a wild ride. 

From the morning sickness and mood swings to those precious little baby kicks that bring nothing but sweet joy, bringing new life into the world is a rollercoaster full of ups and downs and twists and turns. 

Some days are great while others are, well… not so great. And if you didn’t have enough on your plate, toss glucose issues into the mix, and the ride can get a whole lot bumpier.  

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that only occurs in those who are pregnant. In other words, you can’t get it unless you’ve got a bun in the oven. It affects about 10 percent of pregnancies in the United States, and if left untreated, it can cause some scary problems for your small bundle of joy. But don’t worry — we’re here to help. 

In this post, we’re exploring gestational diabetes to teach you everything you need to know to manage the condition with a healthy diet. Yep, you read that right — with the right food, you can help keep your blood sugar in check to reduce the risk of potential pregnancy complications.   

There’s quite a bit to unpack, so let’s get started!


What Exactly Is Gestational Diabetes, Anyway? 

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the U.S, affecting more than 30 million Americans. It’s a condition where the body has too much sugar — aka, glucose — in the blood.

While diabetes is often viewed as a chronic (long-lasting) disease, gestational diabetes is not. 

Medically referred to as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that some ladies get during pregnancy. It usually develops when a mom-to-be is around 24 to 32 weeks pregnant and disappears after delivery. However, everyone is different, and some may experience gestational diabetes before or after this time frame. 


What Causes Gestational Diabetes? 

Simply put, the hormones used to help develop the placenta can also produce insulin resistance. This makes it very difficult for the body to regulate blood sugar levels.

You see, when you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks down the sugar and starches into glucose to use for energy. It’s this glucose that nourishes your brain, heart, tissues, as well as muscles and is also an important fuel for your developing baby. 

To ensure the right amount of glucose is in the blood at all times for healthy functioning, your pancreas creates an essential hormone called insulin. When you have diabetes, however, your body doesn’t make sufficient insulin or can’t use it well — so as a result, you end up with way too much sugar in your blood. 

Dubbed the silent killer, those with diabetes may not notice any symptoms at first. However, over time, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can negatively affect the entire body, including the cardiovascular system, circulation, and kidney function. 

Unlike diabetes (specifically, type 1), gestational diabetes isn’t caused by a lack of insulin but by other hormones produced during pregnancy to develop the placenta that can make insulin less effective. This is why the condition tends to vanish the moment after the baby is born.  

That said, whether you have diabetes prior to getting pregnant or have gestational diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy, the key to managing the health condition remains the same: keeping your blood sugar under control. And what’s the best way to do that, you ask? 

Through diet. 


So, What’s on the Menu? 

Unfortunately, there’s no magic gestational diabetes menu that works for every mom-to-be. Everyone is different. Like any healthy diet, you'll want to ensure you're eating enough vitamins and minerals to fuel your body—and your baby's! 

However, carbs like white rice and potatoes are notorious for causing blood sugar spikes — so they should definitely be limited (Sorry, pasta lovers and pizza aficionados!). 

In general, your diet should include protein, healthy fats, and lots of fiber. Poultry like chicken, beans like chickpeas and lentils, and non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, green beans, and peppers are all part of the balanced and delicious diet you can enjoy while controlling your blood sugar levels. 

Low-fat dairy products like yogurt or cheese should also be enjoyed in moderation—when in doubt, ask a registered dietitian for their advice.

If you do have a hankering for some carby goodness every here and there, just be sure to stick with the good, complex kind, like legumes, brown rice, and quinoa — and keep your servings small.


Hold Up — What About Bread? 

We don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news or anything, but due to its typical high carb count, bread is not on the menu — unless, of course, it’s bread from Uprising Food

Undeniably delicious and surprisingly nutritious, Uprising Food Bread is truly something to get excited about. Masterfully crafted with clean superfood ingredients such as almonds, psyllium husk, and flax seeds, one hearty serving has nine grams of fiber, six grams of protein, and only two net grams of carbohydrates. 

Perfect for supporting healthy metabolic function, we believe our one-of-a-kind Uprising Bread is the healthiest food in the game but tastes like heaven!


Top Tips To Keep Sugar Spikes at Bay 

In addition to swapping your high-carb bread for our tasty low-carb Uprising Bread, here are a few more tips that may help manage gestational diabetes:


Tip #1: Try The DASH Diet 

Believe it or not, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet has been shown to not only support a healthy ticker but healthy blood sugar levels, too. 

The popular diet recommends choosing foods that are relatively low in sodium as well as saturated and trans fats while reaching for foods higher in lean protein and fiber — like our Uprising Superfood Freedom Chips

Fiber-packed supplements disguised as savory staples, our fat-burning friendly chips are made with clean superfood ingredients like egg whites, MCT oil, and apple cider vinegar, with absolutely no fillers. What’s not to love? 


Tip #2: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate 

Did you know that dehydration can cause blood glucose levels to rise? Yep, it’s true — so be sure to drink lots of H20 throughout the day to help keep hyperglycemia at bay!


Tip #3: Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping meals may sound like a great way to prevent your blood sugar from spiking. However, it can actually do more harm than good, resulting in poor nutrition during pregnancy and extreme blood sugar fluctuations — both of which are not good for you or your growing baby. 

Keep in mind that you have increased nutritional needs when pregnant, and your small bundle is counting on you to provide balanced nutrition. Aim to eat three healthy meals and two to three snacks each day. 

Tip #4: Avoid The Sugary Stuff

It’s no fun to avoid some of your favorite foods, but there are lots of awesome alternatives — like our Uprising Superfood Bread. You’ll want to steer clear of highly processed foods like white bread and, of course, sugar. 

When sugary foods are consumed, blood sugar levels naturally increase — which is not good for those with gestational diabetes! Even natural sweeteners like honey can lead to a higher risk of high blood sugar levels. Some of the sweet treats to avoid include:

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit juice with artificial sweeteners and syrups
  • Sweetened cereals
  • Pastries

If you’re unsure about certain foods, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor — they are there to help you!


A Final Word 

If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, take a deep breath and remember — with the right diet, you can have a healthy pregnancy.

At Uprising Food, we understand the struggle when it comes to finding food that’s not only healthy but tasty, too. That’s why we created our Uprising Superfood Bread. Artisan crafted with only the best superfood ingredients and absolutely nothing artificially, our bread is perfect for those looking for a delicious low-carb alternative to traditional bread.

Whether you’re diabetic, living the ketogenic lifestyle, or simply on the hunt for healthier options, you can count on us to support you on your journey with great-tasting food. Spread some peanut butter, make avocado toast, or enjoy our bread on its own for a tasty keto treat.

From the best sourdough-esque tasting bread on the planet to the crunchiest superfood chips around, when it comes to good healthy food, Uprising Food is second to none. 


Sources:

The effect of the DASH diet on pregnancy outcomes in gestational diabetes: a randomized controlled clinical trial | European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020 | CDC

Gestational Diabetes - Symptoms, Treatments | ADA

Diabetes symptoms: When diabetes symptoms are a concern | Mayo Clinic

Diabetes: The Silent Killer | Trinitas Regional Medical Center

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