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Healthy alternatives for a sweet tooth

Donovan Grant

Monday, October 02, 2017

 

Dear Donovan,

I have gestational diabetes but I can't control my cravings that come with pregnancy, which is mainly for sweets. Can you suggest some healthy alternatives?

 

Gestational diabetes only happens during pregnancy. This form of diabetes usually occurs between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. However, after the baby is born gestational diabetes usually goes away. It should be noted that gestational diabetes increases the risk of having a large baby which could make delivery difficult. In addition, gestational diabetes puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes at a later stage. Gestational diabetes is caused when the pancreas of the pregnant woman does not produce enough insulin to counter the effects of the hormones produced by the placenta which causes an increase in blood sugar.

The overall effect is that there is an increase of the blood sugar level of the pregnant woman. Studies have shown that you are more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you were overweight before you became pregnant; your blood sugar level was borderline before you got pregnant; you have a family history of diabetes; you have a certain ethnic background; or you had gestational diabetes before.

That aside, changing your diet is generally the first method of treatment for gestational diabetes. Along with your diet it is also very important to check your blood sugar levels before and after meals. This will give you an idea of what foods will raise your blood sugar levels. Keeping a food log with your portions could also be important. It is also important to eat smaller, more frequent meals in order to keep the blood sugar levels stable. It is generally recommended to have three small meals and at least two snacks. The carbohydrate intake must be monitored.

If possible, try to record your carbohydrate portions. The sugar level is elevated by carbohydrates, so if your sugar level is going out of control you will need to adjust your carbohydrate intake. It is also important to spread your carbohydrates throughout the day. Remember that carbohydrates are present in many of the foods we eat such as fruits, vegetables, sweet milk, whole grains and ground provisions.

However, getting your carbohydrates from sources with high fibre content, which releases sugar slowly, is much better. Whole grains are a good example of this. Overall, it is very important to make sure that your diet is also healthy, so put in more fruits, vegetable juices, vegetables, soups, salads, etc. However, if you can't get your sugar levels under control, please get a professional to help you to work out a proper diet plan. Good luck!

 

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight, or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.