Gestational Diabetes Snacks
Dietitian Member of the DAA
To snack or not to snack, that is the question! There are so many readily available snacks out there, but how do you know which ones are suitable when you have gestational diabetes?
Snacking is part of a healthy eating plan for gestational diabetes as it can help keep your blood sugar levels consistent. By eating regular meals and spreading them evenly throughout the day, you will be supplying your body with the nutrients needed for a healthy growing baby. Making smart snack choices with the right portions will keep you satisfied and provide you with more sustained energy.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy when the hormones produced by the placenta block the action of a women's insulin in regulating blood sugar levels.
Irregular blood sugar levels can lead to some complications including early labour, bigger babies and high blood pressure for mums - among others.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away when the baby is born; however, research shows that women who have had gestational diabetes are 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Further, if you have gestational diabetes in your first pregnancy, you have a 30-69% chance of it recurring in future pregnancies.
The good news is that in most cases, gestational diabetes can be managed to ensure a healthy mum and bub. One way to do so is to practise smart snacking.
The key to smart snacking is simple! Try and snack on healthy foods that are nutrient-dense and try and avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and added sugars. While you may feel like you are missing out on some of your favourite treats, by getting a little creative, you can still enjoy tasty, nutritious snacks.
If you are being mindful of your health or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, here are five delicious snacks you can enjoy:
1. Super smoothie
Super smoothies are a great protein rich snack keeping you fuller for longer. Using berries in smoothies will supply you with a good dose of antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fibre.
2. Veggie delight
Chop carrot and celery sticks and serve with 3 heaped tablespoons of hummus or tzatziki (Greek cucumber and yoghurt dip.)
Both vegetables and the chickpeas used to make hummus are a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, hummus is a source of plant protein. Including foods high in fibre and protein can assit with controlling appetite and blood glucose (sugar) levels
3. Berry yoghurt crunch
200g low-fat Greek-style yoghurt topped with 1/2 cup berries and 1/4 cup natural muesli.
Yoghurt is rich in protein, which is helps to keep you fuller for longer, helping to curb those cravings. Protein foods can also help to control blood sugar levels.
4. Protein crunch
3 wholegrain crackers topped with slices of reduced-fat cheese or 1 sliced boiled egg. Protein helps us to feel fuller for longer which can help with managing your weight.
5. Healthy hot chocolate
1 cup reduced-fat milk or soymilk heated with 1 tsp cocoa, 1 tsp vanilla essence and a drizzle of honey to taste. Whether you are trying to get through the afternoon slump or wanting something sweet after dinner, this healthy hot chocolate is the perfect companion for when you need a little pick-me-up.
Making smart snack choices doesn't have to be boring! It just takes a bit of creativity using the Australian guide to Healthy Eating which is based on the five food groups:
Vegetables and legumes/beans
Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans
Milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat
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