Controlling Blood Sugar
If your 28-Week glucose screen results were abnormal, you will need to refer to this handout for education about how to control your blood sugar levels with good nutrition. You may also need to monitor your glucose levels at home using a glucometer. Controlling your blood sugar is very important.
Most cases of high blood sugar can be corrected by good nutrition and exercise. It would be incredibly rare for a woman who is closely following a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, to develop gestational diabetes. What does that mean? It means you need to be more intentional and accountable about what you eat. Basically, you will need to follow these basic general guidelines:
- Keep a diet diary until your next appointment.
- Get 80 grams of protein every day. Spend some time looking up protein values for the foods you eat the most.
- Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. However, you need to eliminate high-glycemic value vegetables and fruits. Avoid bananas, melon, pineapple, fruits with a hard pit (like peaches and mangoes), white potatoes, and root vegetables (like carrots).
- Eliminate grains from your diet. Grains are wheat, rice, oats, and corn. That means no bread, pasta, bagels, oatmeal, pancakes, crackers, chips, pretzels, popcorn, tortillas, etc.
- Eliminate sweeteners and sweetened foods and drinks from your diet. That means no juice, soda, lemonade, sweet tea, most Starbucks drinks, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cake, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and most other desserts.
- Eliminate cow’s milk from your diet. Cow’s milk does not contain enough protein or calcium to justify the high carbohydrate content.
Exercise is a good way to utilize excess blood sugar. Make sure you are scheduling exercise each day. You DO have time! Walk briskly or swim 30 minutes every day.
If you are monitoring your blood sugars at home, follow these guidelines:
- Read the directions that came with your glucometer.
- Wash and dry your hands.
- Take a fasting sample when you wake up in the morning before you eat or drink anything. The normal range is less than 100 mg/dL.
- Take a sample 2 hours after each meal of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The normal range is less than 120 mg/dL.
- Self-monitoring should be done while keeping a diet diary. Record your blood sugar levels along with listing the foods you eat for meals. That way, you can see the relationship between what you eat and your blood sugar levels.