Nutrition and Diabetes

Nutrition and Diabetes

A meal plan gives guidelines for the types and amounts of food a person should eat for each meal and snack. Most pregnant women will require a meal plan which includes three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 3 snacks (mid-morning, mid-afternoon and at bedtime). See below for sample meal plans.

Understanding Carbohydrates

Different foods affect blood sugar in different ways. Foods high in carbohydrates (carbs) tend to raise blood sugar more than other foods. These are the body's main source of energy. One kind of carb is sugar, found in foods such as fruit, milk and sweets. Another kind is starch, found in foods such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Click here for more information on carbohydrate counting.

 

Diet Recommendations

  • Eat 3 small meals and 3 snacks every day. This will enable improved blood sugar results.
  • Follow the food plan recommended by a registered dietitian or diabetes educator (see examples below).
  • Limit the carbohydrates [starch, fruit, milk] eaten according to the meal plan. Concentrated sweets such as cake, cookies, candy, regular soda and kool-aid should be avoided. The use of Nutrasweet (aspartame) is safe in pregnancy and should be the substitute for sugar.
  • Always read labels on food containers
    • select foods that are low in sugar [< 5gm per serving]. Each serving of milk or fruit has 11-15 gm of sugar.
    • low in fat [< 3 gm per serving]
    • high in fiber [> 3 gm per serving] e.g. breads, cereals
    • lower in salt [< 200 mg per serving]
  • Wait at least 2 to 3 hours between all meals and snacks.
  • DO NOT SKIP SNACKS, these are a very important part of the diet plan and will help you keep blood sugars at a normal range.

Several meal plans are included below. If you would like to print this information select this link. Print Version

SAMPLE MEAL PLAN
1800-2000 calorie diet *

Breakfast 08:00 AM
  2 Carbs^
  1 Meat
  1 Fat
   
AM Snack 10:00 AM
  2 Carbs
   
Lunch 12:00 Noon
  3 Carbs
  2 Meats
  2 Vegetables
  1 Fat
   
PM Snack 03:00 PM
  2 Carbs
   
Dinner 06:00 PM
  2 Carbs
  4 Meats
  2 Vegetables
  2 Fats
   
Bedtime Snack 09:00 PM
  3 Carbs
  1 Meat

*consult an exchange book for more information
^1 carbohydrate (carb) = 1 starch, fruit or milk

Preconception Meal Plan
1400 Calorie Diet *
Breakfast 08:00 AM
  2 Carbs^
  1 Meat
  1 Fat
   
AM Snack 10:00 AM
  1 Carb
   
Lunch 12:00 Noon
  2 Carbs
  2 Meats
  2 Vegetables
  1 Fat
   
PM Snack 03:00 PM
  1 Carb
   
Dinner 06:00 PM
  2 Carbs
  2 Meats
  2 Vegetable
  2 Fats
   
Bedtime Snack 09:00 PM
  2 Carbs
  0 Meat

* Depending on individual deal body weight the amount of calories recommended may be lower or higher than this basic plan
^Carbohydrate, 1 carb=12-15 grams

Pregnancy Meal Plan
1800 Calorie Diet*

Breakfast 08:00 AM
  2 Carbs
  1 Meat
  1 Fat
   
AM Snack 10:00 AM
  2 Carbs
   
Lunch 12:00 Noon
  3 Carbs
  2 Meats
  2 Vegetables
  1 Fat
   
PM Snack 03:00 PM
  2 Carbs
   
Dinner 06:00 PM
  2 Carbs
  4 Meats
  2 Vegetables
  2 Fats
   
Bedtime Snack 09:00 PM
  3 Carbs
  1 Meat

1 carbohydrate =12-15 grams
(1 starch, fruit or milk)

Sample Meal *
Breakfast 1 Slice whole wheat toast
  2 tbsp. peanut butter
  (omit fat if peanut butter)
  1 small orange
   
AM Snack 3/4 cups bran flakes
  1 cup low fat milk
   
Lunch 1 cup cooked rice
  2 oz baked chicken
  1 cup cooked collards
  1 tsp. margarine
   
   
PM Snack 3 squares graham crackers
  3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt vanilla added
   
Dinner 1 small potato, 1 ear corn
  4 oz. baked fish
  1 c steamed broccoli
  2 tbsp diet margarine
   
Bedtime Snack 1 cups low fat milk
  8-12 crackers
  1/4 c cottage cheese

 

We recommend 3-4 cups of low fat milk or substitutes, 1-3 fruits and 7-10 starch foods daily. Carbohydrate intake may be limited depending upon blood sugar control.

*Specific Individual diets should be approved by your health care provider. This information is provided for educational purposes only and cannot be used to plan individual dietary programs.