Diabetes Diet: Foods to Include and Foods to Avoid
Foods to eat for a type 2 diabetic diet include complex carbohydrates, for example:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat
Gestational diabetes is diabetes, or high blood sugar levels, that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies. Gestational diabetes usually is diagnosed in the later stages of pregnancy, and often occurs in women who have no prior history of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is thought to arise because the many changes, hormonal and otherwise, that occur in the body during pregnancy predispose some women to become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by specialized cells in the pancreas that allows the body to effectively metabolize glucose for later usage as fuel (energy). When levels of insulin are low, or the body cannot effectively use insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), blood glucose levels rise.
Foods to eat for a type 2 diabetic diet include complex carbohydrates, for example:
Women with gestational diabetes who receive proper care typically go on to deliver healthy babies. However, if you have persistently elevated blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy, the fetus will also have elevated blood glucose levels. High blood glucose can cause the fetus to be larger than normal, possibly making delivery more complicated. The baby is also at risk for having low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) immediately after birth. Other serious complications of poorly controlled gestational diabetes in the newborn can include a greater risk of jaundice, an increased risk for respiratory distress syndrome, and a higher chance of dying before or following birth. The baby is also at a greater risk of becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Most women with gestational diabetes who receive treatment go on to deliver healthy babies. The risk of complications increases when blood glucose levels are not properly controlled. While some women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes following delivery, this risk can be reduced by following a good nutritional plan, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.
All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Most pregnant women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy (see section; “Is there a test to diagnose gestational diabetes?”).
Some degree of insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance is normal in late pregnancy. However, in some women, this is enough to produce diabetes of pregnancy, or gestational diabetes. Several risk factors that can increase your risk of getting gestational diabetes, and include:
Gestational diabetes typically does not cause any noticeable signs or symptoms. This is why screening tests are so important. Rarely, an increased thirst or increased urinary frequency may be noticed.
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed with blood tests. Most pregnant women are tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, but if you have risk factors, your doctor may decide to test earlier in the pregnancy.
Blood testing confirms the diagnosis. A screening glucose tolerance test involves drinking a sugary beverage and having your blood drawn an hour later to test the glucose levels an hour later. If the screening test is not normal, you may need additional testing will generally be necessary. Another type of test is an oral glucose challenge test (OGTT). For this test your baseline blood glucose level is checked and then measured at 1, 2, and sometimes 3 hours after consuming a sugary drink. A blood glucose level of 140mg/dL or higher on this test will identify 80% of women with gestational diabetes. When that cutoff is lowered to 130mg/dL, the identification rate increases to 90%. Women who had a level of blood glucose greater than 130 mg/dL are typically recommended to take another diabetes screening test that requires fasting (not eating anything) before the test.
Glycosylated hemoglobin, or hemoglobin A1c, is another test that may be performed. This test is used to monitor long-term blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. The hemoglobin A1c level offers a measure of the average blood glucose level over the past few months.
It is important to receive proper treatment for gestational diabetes because research studies have shown that the incidence of problems and complications is decreased when blood glucose levels are normalized. Treatment for gestational diabetes involves attention to maintaining a proper diet. Regular exercise can also contribute to tight glucose control. Nutritional modification is the mainstay of therapy, and many women will achieve adequate glucose control by following a nutritional plan.
Testing your blood glucose levels at home at specific times or after meals will be recommended to determine if your glucose levels are within acceptable limits. Testing at least four times per day is typical. You may also be asked to test your urine for ketones, substances that are produced when your body metabolizes fat. Ketones are elevated when the body is unable to use glucose for energy.
If diet and exercise are not sufficient to maintain tight control of your blood glucose levels, it may be necessary to institute insulin therapy. Insulin is the only officially approved medication for treating gestational diabetes in the U.S.; however, oral medications are used by many doctors to control the blood sugar in selected women with gestational diabetes. As the pregnancy progresses, insulin requirements may change and insulin doses may need to be adjusted.
While there is no one specific diet that is recommended for all women with gestational diabetes, following a meal plan can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and avoid complications.
Gestational diabetes cannot always be prevented; however, obesity is a prime determinant for developing the disease. Maintaining a healthy weight and following a good nutritional plan both before and during pregnancy can decrease your chances of developing gestational diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight can also decrease your chances of developing type 2 diabetes following pregnancy.
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A type 2 diabetes diet or a type 2 diabetic diet is important for blood sugar (glucose) control in people with diabetes to prevent complications of diabetes. There are a variety of type 2 diabetes diet eating plans such as the Mediterranean diet, Paleo diet, ADA Diabetes Diet, and vegetarian diets.Learn about low and high glycemic index foods, what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid if you have type 2 diabetes.
Hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c is a protein on the surface of red blood cells. The HbA1c test is used to monitor blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes over time. Normal HbA1c levels are 6% or less. HbA1c levels can be affected by insulin use, fasting, glucose intake (oral or IV), or a combination of these and other factors. High hemoglobin A1c levels in the blood increases the risk of microvascular complications, for example:
Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar is a serious health problem for diabetics. There are two types of hyperglycemia, 1) fasting, and 2)postprandial or after meal hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can also lead to ketoacidosis or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). There are a variety of causes of hyperglycemia in people with diabetes. Symptoms of high blood sugar may include increased thirst, headaches, blurred vision, and frequent urination.Treatment can be achieved through lifestyle changes or medications changes. Carefully monitoring blood glucose levels is key to prevention.
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into muscle and other tissues. There are no signs or symptoms of insulin resistance. Causes of insulin can include conditions such as stress, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and steroid use.
Some of the risk factors for insulin resistance include fatty liver, heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular disease, high cholesterol, and smoking. Treatment for insulin resistance are lifestyle changes and if necessary, medication.
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include
breast swelling and tenderness,
Second trimester symptoms include
Third trimester symptoms are
Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.