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Foods that Help Your Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy

written by: Dawn Salamon • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 12/22/2009

Keeping your blood sugar at a normal level is important during pregnancy. Once a woman is pregnant there can be a loss of glucose tolerance. Watching your diet can prevent you from developing gestational diabetes and have a happier pregnancy.

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    Why is it Important to Keep Your Blood Sugar at a Safe Level During Pregnancy?

    Your blood sugar level is important during pregnancy because it can be linked to gestational diabetes. Your blood sugar level and/or gestational diabetes, if detected, can be controlled by diet and exercise or insulin, if needed. Your doctor usually tests for gestational diabetes by doing a glucose screening between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It is crucial to have this test done because if gestational diabetes goes undetected the chance of the baby being macrosomic (overly large).

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    Good Carbohydrates

    The type of carbohydrates you eat during pregnancy is very important to your blood sugar level. These "good" carbohydrates are really called complex carbohydrates. Eating complex carbohydrates will help your blood sugar level as well as supply you with plenty of energy. Complex carbohydrates include foods such as whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice and vegetables. These foods contain fiber which is a great bonus. Foods that are high in fiber take longer to digest and to be absorbed into your blood stream. This process keeps your pancreas from being overloaded and decreases the amount of insulin in your body, both contributing to a lower blood sugar level.

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    Protein Packed Foods

    Low fat and nonfat milk and cheeses, eggs, leafy greens, seeds and nuts are just a few of the foods that are full of protein. By eating a salad sprinkled with sun flower seeds you can add several beneficial grams of protein to your diet and keep your blood sugar level right on target.

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    Low Fat Foods

    Low fat foods are important in a diet where you are trying to keep a low blood sugar level. Foods that are high in fat can cause your insulin to become less useful. Avoid any type of food that is made with coconut and palm kernel oil. High fat meats, butter, cream and whole milk contains high levels of fat. Some fat is important because your body uses it to absorb vitamins and is important for proper fetal growth. Many of the foods that are high in protein will supply the necessary amount of fat that your body needs without obtaining too much.