Blood sugar control is massively important for overall health but especially during pregnancy.
Blood sugar (aka glucose) is your body’s main source of energy that comes directly from the food you eat. High blood sugar during pregnancy is known to cause birth defects and can impact your baby’s growth, development, and metabolic health for life. It can also lead to delivery complications. Even mildly elevated blood sugar can increase risks for mom and baby which is why it is the cause of the most common pregnancy complication; gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is simply defined as high blood sugar during pregnancy. But the etiology isn’t as simple. The hormone, insulin, is responsible for regulating the amount of glucose in your blood. If your body is unable to produce insulin at the required rate or your body is resistant to that insulin, your blood sugar will stay high and gestational diabetes can occur. As your pancreas is working hard to control blood sugars, so is your baby’s. This increases the baby’s risk of hypoglycemia after birth (potentially life threatening) and it has the potential to “turn on” genes that predispose infants to obesity, diabetes and heart disease later on in life (aka fetal programming).
With all this being said, there is great news. Blood sugar is easily regulated by lifestyle changes. Even if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you can still have a healthy pregnancy and newborn. So, how do we do that? Let’s start with the simple hack so you can start controlling blood sugars today!
Eat your food in this specific order:
1. Vegetable → 2. Protein and Fat → 3. Starch/Sugar
Uhh what? This may sound weird at first, but let me explain with an example. For dinner tonight, let’s say you have steak, asparagus, and a baked potato. By following this hack, you will eat the asparagus first. Vegetables contain fiber which is resistant to digestive enzymes. This fiber coats your stomach and digestive tract with a sticky mesh and anything you eat afterwards will be absorbed at a lesser extent into your bloodstream. By the time you eat your potato, the glucose spike will be reduced by a whopping 75%! Even eating a dessert right after a meal full of protein and fiber rich foods will have a beneficial effect on your blood sugars rather than eating the dessert on its own or hours after your dinner. Try this hack at your next meal! If done consistently, it can help reduce the intensity of your blood sugar spikes.
If you want to dive even more into blood sugar control hacks; the best way is to consistently eat balanced meals and avoid eating “naked carbohydrates.” Naked carbs is a term used that simply means- do not eat carbohydrate foods alone! Always pair with either a quality protein, healthy fat OR both together. Definitely continue eating carbs! Don’t exclude them completely from your diet but consistently pairing them with a protein or fat will slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
If you want to learn more about the specifics on how to make balanced meals and snacks to keep your blood sugars in check, ultimately reducing your risk for gestational diabetes, I am here to help. Shoot me a message, DM, or sign up for a FREE discovery call.
- Han S, Middleton P, Shepherd E, Van Ryswyk E, Crowther CA. Different types of dietary advice for women with gestational diabetes mellitus. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2017;2(2):Cd009275.
- Hyman, Dr. Mark. “Surprise Hacks To Balance Your Blood Sugar with Jessie Inchauspé.” https://drhyman.com/blog/2022/03/23/podcast-ep512/
- Nichols, Lily. Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition. , 2018. Print.
- Purohit, Dhru. “The Dhru Purohit Podcast.” SCIENTIST Reveals What to Eat to BEAT INFLAMMATION and FATIGUE; Jessie Inchauspe, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeXQ5n2hcXk&list=PLeqsm667W72qwkfUdNw_FOnDqJP5489VI.