In a recent article Amy Campbell over at Diabetes Self-Management defines gestational diabetes and goes over risk factors, diagnosis, and why it’s important. Subsequent posts cover management principles.
Here’s my review from 2010.
In terms of the best diet, a recent study found no significant outcome differences on a 40% carb diet compared to a standard 55% carb diet. I would have guessed the lower-carb diet would be better.
To my knowledge, the paleo diet has never been studied systematically as an approach to gestational diabetes.
I wonder if the mother’s carb levels were still too high in the study. For what it’s worth, I had gestational diabetes twice, both controlled by diet only, and my kids were born without any complications. I tested my blood 4 times a day with different carb levels until I figured out that I could only eat 20 net carbs at each meal to stay under a blood sugar of 120 and good fasting level. I split my carbs into several smaller meals like the dietician recommended and added extra protein and fat if I needed more calories to get to the total calories they wanted me to eat. I don’t know what % carbs I ended up eating, but I took my diet and blood sugar results to each doctor appointment and my OBGYN was pleased. It was hard to do because I craved carbs before, during and after pregnancy. I wish I knew about the Paleo diet then, because it really helps me now with cravings. I didn’t realize the effects of wheat at that time and I was eating low carb bread, low carb tortillas, crackers, etc. every single day in divided amounts and wheat always makes me more hungry. Now 2.5 years after my last pregnancy, I have reactive hypoglycemia. I have always been thin but have a family history of diabetes on both sides. The Paleo Diet has helped me tremendously, especially with it being grain free. I fine-tuned my version of the paleo diet by not going too crazy on carbs, moderating my protein, and adding more healthy fat to a level I am not hungry. I don’t have any cravings and I feel better than I ever have in my whole life!
Anita, thanks for your testimonial. I really like your dietary approach to gestational diabetes.