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What to Eat When You Have Gestational Diabetes

5 nutritional tips to keep your blood sugars under control.

What to Eat When You Have Gestational Diabetes

Did you just drink that not-so-tasty orange beverage only to find out that you have gestational diabetes? First, know that you are not alone: gestational diabetes, which occurs later during pregnancy when the body is not able to process insulin as efficiently due to hormonal changes, affect between 2 and 10 percent of expecting moms. And though many women with the condition end up delivering healthy babies, you want to manage symptoms and keep your blood sugar levels within range to avoid complications during, and possibly after, birth. For example, pregnant women who have gestational diabetes are more likely to have a C-section, preterm birth, and type 2 diabetes later in life. So how do you keep your blood sugar levels under control? The best treatment (or even prevention) for gestational diabetes is healthy food choices and eating habits.

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So here are five nutrition tips to manage gestational diabetes and ensure that you and baby are still getting all the nutrients you need.

1. Incorporate protein at every meal. Eating foods that digest slowly and take longer to reach the bloodstream, like protein, cause insulin to release gradually. This helps the body maintain healthy glucose levels. Both animal and plant-based protein have positive impact on blood sugar levels. For example, consider a hard-boiled egg at breakfast, legume based salad or soup for lunch, and lean ground meat, like meatballs, turkey burgers or chicken patties for dinner.

2. Focus on fiber-rich snacks. Not eating enough can lead to low blood sugar, which can leave you hungry and fatigued. Since you're doing everything for two, you want to keep your energy level up. So it's important to understand when those "low sugar dips" occur so you can avoid them ahead of time. Plan wholesome, nutritious snacks, like oatmeal, edamame, almond butter, quinoa, flaxseeds, and black beans. The more portable, the better since you want to make sure you want to act before your blood sugar gets low.

3. Consider simple swaps. Before the holidays, we suggested healthy swaps for the holidays. Those tips could certainly apply at any time of year, and they are especially great for expecting moms with gestational diabetes. One of the big foods you can swap out is potatoes. Using cauliflower, which is low in carbs and high in fiber, makes for a great substitute. You can make cauliflower toast, mashed cauliflowers, or even cauliflower rice.

4. Avoid the condiments. Avoid adding ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressings to your meals since many store-bought varieties contain artificial ingredients and hidden sources of sugars. Instead, incorporating oils that are rich in Vitamin E will be more nutritious and also offer a healthy fat into your diet.

5. Drink water. Hydration is a must to normal blood sugar levels. If you haven't had enough water or feel dehydrated, it could cause you to consume unwanted and excess calories. So keep a reusable bottle handy so that drinking water becomes an easy task -- and even second nature!

Bonus tip: adding a good fitness routine to a healthy diet will further help stabilize your blood sugars. But before you get started on any moves, be sure to consult with your doctor. And if you have any questions about gestational diabetes, talk to a registered dietitian if you have follow-up questions.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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