I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes when I was about 37 weeks pregnant, which was my baby girl decided to show up too
When she was about 4 months old, I went for the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test and was told that I have pre-diabetes
Lately, I’ve been having symptoms of Type II diabetes and can’t wait to see my endocrinologist when we’re back for Chinese New Year because I also have hypothyroidism. Sigh, sigh, sigh.
To control the sugar levels, I need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s my plan of action:
Eating well – “Eating Well When You’re Expecting” (the only guide book I have with me now) recommends the following:
- No sugar, honey, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, turbinado sugar (?), high-fructose corn syrup and treacle
- No pies, cakes, cookies, ice-cream, sweets and soft drinks
- No fruit juices, not even fresh fruit juices – I need to eat the fresh fruit! (Hubby is always nagging me to do this or he’ll lovingly peel an apple or cut an orange for me when he’s eating some).
- No refined carbohydrates – white rice, mashed potato, white bread – I’m only eating half a bowl of rice nowadays and wholemeal bread mostly. Potato is a bit difficult to give up esp when you talk about french fries but I’ve been really, really good.
- EAT whole grains (muesli with skim milk for breakfast), beans, peas (hard as rocks here) and vegetables (2-3 servings per meal)
- EAT chromium – whole-grain products, spinach, carrots and chicken – check!
- Low fat diet – extra lean cuts of beef, chicken, pork, veal or lamb. Hmm…I boil chicken or pork soups almost every day. Do you think this is bad? Looking out for more vegetable-based soups like the potato, carrot and celery soup.
Diabetes UK also has these ‘10 Steps to Eating Well‘ with the following list:
At each meal include starchy carbohydrate foods including bread, pasta, chapatis, potatoes, yam, noodles, rice and cereals.Better choices include: pasta, basmati or easy cook rice, grainy breads such as granary, pumpernickel and rye, new potatoes, sweet potato and yam, porridge oats, All-Bran and natural muesli. The high fibre varieties of starchy foods will also help to maintain the health of your digestive system and prevent problems such as constipation.
Cut down on the fat you eat, particularly saturated fats.
Choose unsaturated fats or oils, especially monounsaturated fat (eg olive oil and rapeseed oil) as these types of fats are better for your heart. As fat is the greatest source of calories, eating less fat will help you to lose weight if you need to. To cut down on the fat you eat, here are some tips:
Use less saturated fat by having less butter, margarine and cheese.
- Choose lean meat and fish as low fat alternatives to fatty meats.
- Choose lower fat dairy foods such as skimmed or semiskimmed milk, low fat or diet yogurts, reduced fat cheese and lower fat spreads.
- Grill steam or oven bake instead of frying or cooking with oil or other fats.
- Watch out for creamy sauces and dressings and swap for tomato-based sauces instead.
Eat more fruit and vegetables
Aim for at least five portions a day to provide you with vitamins, minerals and fibre to help you to balance your overall diet. One portion is, for example, a banana or apple, a handful of grapes, a tablespoon of dried fruit, a small glass of fruit juice or fruit smoothie, three heaped tablespoons of vegetables or a cereal bowl of salad.
Include more beans and lentils
Examples include kidney beans, butter beans, chickpeas or red and green lentils. These have less of an effect on your blood glucose levels and may help to control your blood fats. Try adding them to stews, casseroles and soups, or to a salad.
Aim for at least two portions of oily fish a week
Examples include mackerel, sardines, salmon and pilchards.
Reduce salt in your diet to 6g or less a day
More than this can raise your blood pressure, which can lead to stroke and heart disease.
*Check out the ‘healthy plate‘ image here too. Wanted to post it here but will need permission, I think.
Phew! What a long list but at least I have it all in one place, right? Here’s to healthy eating