Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes some women develop during the later stages of pregnancy. The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce your chances of becoming one of them. “Recent studies have shown that diet, lifestyle, and exercise before pregnancy may help reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes,” explains Roberta Portes, nutritionist at Nestlé Nutrition.
According to scientists, you’re less likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy if, before pregnancy, you:
- don’t smoke
- exercise regularly
- eat a well-balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of fibre, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains
- eat less sugar-sweetened foods, red or processed meat (such as bacon, ham, or sausages), and saturated fats
- maintain a healthy weight.
Bao W, Bowers K, Tobias DK et al. Prepregnancy dietary protein intake, major dietary protein sources, and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 2013; 36: 2001-8.
Hod M, Kapur A, Sacks D et al. The international federation of gynecology and obsetetrics (FIGO) initiative on gestational diabetes metllitus: A pragmatic guide for diagnosis, management and care. Int J Gynaecol and Obstet 2015; 131:S173-S211.
Poomalar GK. Changing trends in the management of gestational diabetes mellitus. World J Diabetes 2015; 6:284-95.
Tobias DK, Zhang C, Chavarro J et al. Prepregnancy adherence to dietary patterns amd lower risk of gestational diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 96:289-95.
Zhang C, Tobias D, Chavarro J et al. Adherence to a healthy lifestyle and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2014; 349, g5450 doi:10.1136
Last revised: August, 2016
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