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Dietary Guidelines – Gestational Diabetes

Dietary Guidelines – Gestational Diabetes

The goal of a gestational diabetes diet plan is to control blood glucose levels, minimizing risks for the mother and child. Consult with your physician or diabetes educator so they can give you advice based on your body’s needs & circumstance, 

Some basic tips: 

  • Eat your meals around the same time each day, making sure not to skip meals. If your meals are more than five hours apart, have a small snack of about 15 to 30 grams carbohydrate. Remember to test your blood sugar with each meal, and as advised by your healthcare provider. 
  • Plan your meals with a variety of foods, including lean protein sources, sources of healthy carbohydrates and moderate amounts of fat.  
  • Make sure to have the same amount of carbohydrate every meal (you can have a little less at breakfast); aim for about 3 to 4 carb exchanges (45-60 grams). Good sources of carbohydrate include: 
  • One cup of starch such as whole grain pasta, brown rice, or whole grain bread. This will be about 45 grams. 
  • ½ cup of beans; ½ cup black beans will be about 12 grams of carbohydrate. 
  • A small starchy vegetable, such as a small potato, is about 15 grams.  
  • One small fruit, a half of a large fruit, or a half cup of mixed fruits, is about 15 grams of carbohydrate. 
  • 8 oz of low-fat, fortified milk will be about 15 grams. 
  • Participate in regular, moderate physical activity as prescribed by your healthcare provider; aerobic exercise can help keep your blood glucose under control! 


  • Foods that are high in saturated fats and trans-fats. 
  • Foods that are high in sugar, such as juice, syrup-packed canned fruit, baked goods, candy, sugar drinks, and sweeteners like honey and syrup.  

Blood Glucose Goals: 

Fasting levels (first test, before breakfast) 2 hours post-meal 
95-100 mg/dL 120-130 mg/dL 


General Information: Consult with your physician & diabetes educator for your specific siation, 

 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 
Breakfast   2 to 3 carb exchanges.  English muffin with one egg poached, a slice or two of avocado, and an 8-ounce glass of milk. 3 to 4 carb exchanges. 1 slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter, one small apple, and an 8-ounce glass of milk.  2 to 3 carb exchanges. 1 slice whole grain toast, 4 ounces lean ham, 3 egg whites scrambled with spinach and topped with 1 ounce of cheese. 
Snack 1 to 2 carb exchanges. Yogurt and fruit parfait; 4-6 ounces of yogurt with berries. 1 to 2 carb exchanges. 2 servings of crackers (such as saltines) with one ounce of cheese. 1 to 2 carb exchanges. 1 cup cucumber slices or baby carrots with hummus. 
Lunch 3 to 4 carb exchanges. Chicken sandwich with whole grain bread, a slice of cheese, one or two clementines, and a cup of carrot sticks. 3 to 4 carb exchanges. Cup of chicken soup (with noodles), and half of a club sandwich with whole wheat bread. ½ cup serving of mixed fruit. 3 to 4 carb exchanges. Whole-grain pasta with shrimp, spinach, and cherry tomatoes. One 8-ounce glass of milk and 1 cup sliced celery with hummus or low-fat ranch. One plum or apricot. 
Dinner 3 to 4 carb exchanges. One mixed green salad, one small sweet potato, 4 ounces baked salmon, and 1 cup of strawberries for dessert. 3 to 4 carb exchanges. ½ cup steamed broccoli or asparagus, 2 fish tacos on corn tortillas with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole. 3 to 4 carb exchanges. Kale salad with chickpeas, avocado, and lemon juice/olive oil vinaigrette. 1 hard dinner roll, and ½ cup mixed berries with cool whip for dessert. 

*If blood sugar runs high in the morning, have one less carb exchange at breakfast than the rest of your meals; but try to keep a generally normal eating schedule, eating similar amounts of carbs at the same time each day. 

Post Disclaimer

We are not your healthcare provider, and your use of this website does not establish a patient-client relationship.  All the information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice (diagnosis, treatment, testing or nutritional information).  Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding medical or health-related conditions or treatment.  Your healthcare provider knows your condition or situation well and can give you specific advice which would be appropriate for your condition/situation.  Your healthcare provider can also guide you more accurately about injection techniques, dietary interventions and the use of medical technology that is most pertinent and suitable for you.  Please do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you may have read on this website.

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