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Question:

From Pennsylvania, USA:

My wife has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. She is 37 years old. Her prescribed diet includes two pieces of bread at both breakfast and lunch, as well as pasta, potatoes, or rice at dinner. I have examined the glycemic index of these foods, and believe that the above-mentioned foods (bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice) have rather high glycemic indexes. Wouldn't it be better for my wife to be consuming lower glycemic index foods, like broccoli, lentils, and apples (as typical examples)? Isn't blood sugar level management aided by consumption of low glycemic index foods?

Answer:

The glycemic index has provided us with some good information, however, a balanced diet with all food groups represented is also important when one is pregnant. I would suggest that unless your wife has a lot of fluctuations in her blood sugars, that the more close to a normal eating pattern the diet can be the easier it will be to stay on it for the duration of the pregnancy. In addition, foods may vary in their glycemic index based on their method of preparation or the composition (such as the amylose content of rice varies within types of rice). It appears that in studies, foods eaten in mixed meals have a more moderate affect on blood glucose. In other words, glycemic index was never intended to be used in isolation. The total amount of carbohydrate, the amount and type of fat, and fiber content are also important considerations in balancing blood sugars. If your wife doesn't mind trading lentils for a slice of bread then it surely won't hurt anything, but eating balanced meals including breads and starches is also a good plan.

JM

Original posting 24 Jul 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet and Gestational Diabetes

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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