Summer picnics & barbecues with gestational diabetes don’t have to be a challenge. With a little planning, you can go to these events more relaxed knowing what and how much you can eat.
The most common diet for gestational diabetes is a carb counting diet. Knowing which foods contain carbs and how much you can eat will help you feel more confident about picking out what to eat. Depending on how your individual body processes carbs, lunch or dinner would typically include 3-4 carb servings (45-60 grams of carbohydrates). If blood sugar levels remain in the desired range, you can try increasing it to 4-5 carb servings (60-75 grams of carbohydrates). Use your blood sugar monitoring results as a guide.
For the most part, the two categories you need to watch out for are side dishes and desserts. Main dishes, such as hamburgers or chicken breasts, don’t contain carbs. Veggie burgers do contain carbs, so make sure to check the label. Don’t forget to count the bun if you’re eating one. A 2-oz bun has approximately 26 g carbs (2 servings). A whole wheat bun will have more fiber. You can also try only using 1/2 the bun or skipping the bun altogether to save some carbs for something else.
NOTE: Women should NOT consumer hot dogs (or deli meats) during pregnancy. They can contain listeria that can cause listeriosis.
I’ve included some typical BBQ foods as well as some healthier alternatives.
1 oz potato chips (Lays) – 15 g carbs
1 oz Beanfields bean chips – 16 g carbs (also has 4 g fiber and 4 g protein)
1/2 cup coleslaw – 6 g carbs
1/3 cup potato salad – 15 g carbs
Corn on the cob (1 ear) – 19 g carbs (also has 3 g protein)
Veggie kabobs (with non-starchy veggies) – unlimited
Salad (with non-starchy veggies) – unlimited (just count the carbs in the dressing)
Mixed fruit (1 cup) – 15 g carbs (include some berries since they’re higher in fiber)
Strawberries with 2T chocolate hummus – 1 cup whole strawberries 11 g carb + 2T choc hummus 10 g carbs
Ice cream (1/2 cup) – 15-20 g carbs, varies by flavor and brand – check the label
Sorbet (1/2 cup) – 28 g carbs, varies by flavor and brand – check the label
Use non-starchy vegetables to fill you up, and be selective about what you eat. It’s okay to splurge, just work the number of carbs into your meal plan.