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A pregnant woman sitting in a rocking chair placing her hands over her stomach.

According to the American Diabetes Association, up to 10 percent of pregnant women in the United States will experience gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a health condition characterized by high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Although this can be an upsetting diagnosis for an expectant mother, there are several lifestyle changes that can help manage gestational diabetes, including changes to your usual diet. The following nutrition tips are important to keep in mind when regulating blood sugar to manage gestational diabetes.

Don’t Skip Meals

Eat at regular times throughout the day, rather than eating one large meal. By eating smaller meals throughout the day, your blood sugar will not spike as much at one time. It can be helpful to create a plan and schedule mealtimes to ensure that you allot enough time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as one to two snacks.

Eat Whole Grains

When choosing breads and crackers, select the whole-grain option. Whole grains are high in fiber, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates to sugar in the intestine. Therefore, a whole wheat-bread will cause your blood sugar to spike less than a refined white bread will. Similarly, when selecting pasta, choosing a whole-wheat pasta over a white pasta will be a healthier choice. White rice should also be substituted for brown or wild rice, which will be processed slower by the body.

Avoid Added Sugar

Many sweets, such as cakes, candies, and pies, are high in added sugar. Added sugars are ones that do not occur naturally in foods or are added to make a product sweeter. Natural sugars are those that are already present in foods, such as fruit. It is important to avoid added sugar when trying to regulate blood sugar levels. Also, be mindful of your consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. These drinks are also high in added sugar. Choose drinks that are sugar-free, such as water or decaffeinated unsweet tea.

See a Registered Dietitian

Consulting with a registered dietitian can help you learn more about building a balanced plate that includes whole-grain carbohydrates, lean protein, and nonstarchy vegetables. This will ensure that you are consuming adequate amounts of food to support your pregnancy, while also regulating your blood sugar.


Incorporating these nutrition tips will help you manage your gestational diabetes and encourage you to engage in healthier habits during your pregnancy and beyond.