Did your doctor tell you that you have Gestational Diabetes? First of all, a huge CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnancy news!! We are just as excited as you are! And well no need to worry we got you all covered in this article about what is gestational diabetes and the top 5 good and bad fruits for gestational diabetes. And on top of it as it is said worrying is bad for the little one. So, stop worrying let’s get on with it!
What is Gestational Diabetes?
A raised blood sugar level above the normal values while you are pregnant is called gestational diabetes. It just means you did not have a raised blood glucose level before being pregnant and the condition was diagnosed after the pregnancy. This usually goes away after the pregnancy is over but in very few cases, it might lead to a life long Type 2 Diabetes.
It usually develops after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Normally gestational diabetes is quite symptomless except for the few typical symptoms of diabetes like an increased compulsion to urinate, increased thirst and uncontrollable hunger.
Pregnancy itself is tiring but this might just get you tired even more. There is no absolute cause for gestational diabetes but certain factors like prior history of another gestational diabetes, family history, being overweight or having high blood pressure are found to increase the chances of gestational diabetes according to studies.
For the diagnosis of gestational diabetes, a laboratory diagnostic test called OGTT or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is done. This test is usually done in the 24th to 28th week of your pregnancy. In this test, you would be required to take a blood test in the early morning after 8-10 hours of fasting and then you will be given a glucose drink.
Subsequently, after 2 hours another blood sample would be taken to check the way that glucose drink was taken care of in your body. And if the glucose levels exceed a certain range you can be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Expecting a baby and still did not take the test? Do it now after consulting your gynecologist!!
Why eat certain fruits and avoid others for Gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occurs when your body is unable to utilize the insulin properly or enough insulin is not available according to the requirements.
This leads to an increased level of glucose in the blood which travels via the placenta to reach the growing baby and the baby’s pancreas tries to produce more insulin to counter this. But that is not enough and the extra glucose is stored as fat in the baby, thus making it grow large in size and is called ‘Fat Baby’.
This also increases the risk of premature birth and increased amniotic fluid which can interfere with a smooth delivery. As for the baby, it might even lead to permanent diabetes later in life.
In extremely rare cases that might even lead to a stillbirth (baby born dead) and we do not want to take any chances.
So, it is absolutely essential to bring that level of blood sugar down for the well being of you and your beloved little one and for that, you need to keep track of what are the good fruits and what is best avoided.
Some fruits have a high glycemic index with means they raise the blood sugar more than the ones with a relatively low glycemic index.
A glycemic index above 70 is considered high, between 69 and 56 normal and 55 or below is considered low. Here we will discuss the top 5 good and bad fruits to check that blood sugar level in gestational diabetes. Let’s get started!
Top 5 Good fruits for Gestational Diabetes
Cherries reportedly have a glycemic index around 22 which is really low glycemic index and is among the fruits with the lowest glycemic index. So, have plenty of cherries.
It will not only help with the hunger issue but cherries have other properties as well. They help to lower your blood pressure in case you have high blood pressure, lowers the weight in overweight people, helps you to sleep well and also lower the chances of heart diseases and a heart attack which is increasingly seen in people with high uncontrolled blood sugar. And most importantly, being a woman, your first priority must be to look younger and cherry possesses anti-aging properties and is just perfect!
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”
Seems like this age-old saying is not completely untrue after all! Apples have a glycemic index of 36 which is a low glycemic index and hence safe for you to eat. Also, apples have good amounts of fibers in them to ease your bowel movement, and plenty of antioxidants to help defend your body better by promoting a good immune response.
Apples lower your blood pressure, lower the chances of you developing cancer and cardiovascular complications. So, grab that apple and take a bite now!
Next comes oranges with a glycemic index of 40 which is a low glycemic index as well. Oranges are found to decrease that blood sugar level effectively so it is highly recommended in gestational diabetes.
It has vitamin C, raises the body’s immunity level, keeps that high blood pressure under control in hypertensive individuals, decreases cholesterol level and hence prevents heart diseases. Also, it is good for the skin and so indulge yourself in orange without delay!
Who doesn’t like these pretty red fruits? We all do! And now you have a reason to eat them even more. Strawberries have a glycemic index of just 41 which is quite low. In addition, they have more actually more vitamin C content than even oranges! And not only that they also have vitamin B9 and antioxidants.
Being so packed with nutrients and still managing such a low glycemic index makes it a huge favorite among diabetics!
They up your body’s immune game and also watch that sugar level. So, what are you waiting for? Grab them now while they are still fresh!
Next in line comes grapes with a low glycemic index of 53. This particular fruit item has got so many benefits that it’s so much difficult to state all of them at once. Grapes are rich in so many vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants.
In short, they help reduce the cholesterol level, reduce the blood sugar level, protect against certain infections, strengthen your bones, protect against cancer and so on and on.
They are also good for your eyes and delay your aging. Do you need any more reasons as to why you should finish that bowl of grapes immediately? I guess not.
That concludes the list of top 5 good fruits for gestational diabetes.
Top 5 Bad fruits for Gestational diabetes
Yeah, nothing better than a juicy ripe and preferably chilled watermelon on a hot summer afternoon. I am inclined to totally agree with you here. But on a more serious note, watermelons have a glycemic index of around 76 which is quite high and hence absolute moderation is essential when it comes to watermelons.
They level up the blood sugar level quite a bit and quickly and hence are best avoided in gestational diabetes. But if you really must eat then do keep a check on the portion size you intake and club it with other fiber-rich and healthy foods.
Just the smell of a ripe pineapple even gets the mouth-watering. Everyone loves this juicy and sweet fruit.
Pineapple has a bitter side to it too and that is, it has a moderate glycemic index of around 59, which makes it a zone diabetics do not really want to enter. It might have Vitamin C but the sugar content is high enough to cancel the beneficial effects.
Frozen pineapple though has a lower glycemic index and is a good substitute if you compulsorily want to eat it. But again, let me remind you that moderation is essential even here. So, you have to watch the portion sizes and eat it with other healthier options.
3. Overly ripe mangoes
Summers are incomplete without this king of fruit! We wait all the year for this particular fruit. But if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes then it is better if you just let this summer go without consuming this fruit.
Overly ripe mangoes have a moderate glycemic index of around 56. The riper the fruit the more is the sugar content and hence more glycemic index.
Mangoes in general also have very high carbohydrate content and as such, it is in the best interests of a diabetic to avoid them. So, make an effort and say NO to ripe mangoes for just one summer. It is pretty much doable, right mommy?
But there’s no harm in indulging in the unripe ones! Have that spicy mango pickle no problem and give us a smile.
4. Overly ripe bananas
Bananas are an irreplaceable component of a healthy morning breakfast along with that buttered toast and boiled egg. Yeah and I cannot blame you! But overly ripe bananas that are bananas having brown spots over them have a wide range of glycemic index values and minimum is 54.
The glycemic index varies widely and can be even 70 or more. So, it is better avoided in diabetics or preferably ate in moderation. You can also substitute overly ripe bananas with those that have a green outer cover and make sure to eat them before they turn yellow and get those brown spots. That is just an indicator of increased sugar content and so eat wisely!
5. Dried apricots
Dried apricots may seem all sweet and good but diabetics should really steer clear of dry fruits and most importantly dried apricot. The glycemic index of dried apricot is around 53 which is moderately low. But the problem lies elsewhere.
Dried fruits just are devoid of the water content which tends to make us eat more of them to feel full and as a result that might significantly increase the blood sugar level and it is particularly dangerous if you have gestational diabetes.
It is always better not to take any risks when you are pregnant so we have to cut these off for a bit too. And if you really must eat them then please consciously make an effort to limit the number of dried apricots you choose to consume. That is all about the top 5 bad fruits that should be avoided as much as possible in gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is nothing to be worried about. It will automatically go away once the gestational or pregnancy period is over. Rarely it does lead to life long diabetes but again that is just extremely rare and we need not worry about it now and let us hope for the best.
That being said, let me tell you a relieving fact. Gestational diabetes does not take away all your fruit freedom though. You can of course occasionally indulge in the fruits with high glycemic index but again WATCH IT! Nothing is good in excessive amounts and nothing is that bad when taken in a small amount.
Moderate your eating consciously. Since being gestational diabetes commonly occurs in overweight women so it is always better if you try and lose those extra pounds. Consult your doctor and also check out some fun exercises on the internet! Additionally, physical activity also maintains that good blood circulation and it is really helpful for the little one, so why not?
So, follow the do’s and don’ts and stay safe and healthy during the remaining months of your pregnancy. I wish you all the best and yeah congratulations once again on your pregnancy!
I hope you found this really helpful and informative and see you soon in our next article!