During pregnancy, food with low glycemic index reduces the risk of various complications such as gestational diabetes. In addition, it helps in reducing the risk of high birth weight of the baby during delivery.
A woman who is pregnant gains more weight on normal diet as compared to one with low glycemic index. Pregnant women can cut down excess weight to around 20 per cent if they follow a healthy diet with low glycemic index. So, it is very essential to have food with low glycemic index during pregnancy. However, take recommendations from your doctor before going on low glycemic index food.
What is glycemic index of food?
Glycemic index (GI) of food is the number which is associated with carbohydrate containing food indicating its effect on the blood sugar level of a person. Different foods have different glycemic index and a value of 100 is said to be the standard one. It is equivalent to pure glucose. This is a new method of analysing food, giving you the impact of particular food on the blood sugar level of your body.
Suggestions to help you to take low glycemic index food:
- Plan your meals and snacks for a couple of weeks using the glycemic index chart.
- While shopping, carry the chart along with you, it will help you buy food that is low in GI.
- Eat whole grains as they have more nutrients than refined ones; during pregnancy, it is very essential that you and your baby get proper nutrition.
- You can include oatmeal, barley, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, high bran cereals and sprouted whole wheat products.
- Have plenty of vegetables in your meals; some of the healthy options with low GI are broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, peas, carrot, cabbage, mushrooms, corn, eggplant, beans and sweet potatoes. Potatoes and pumpkin are high GI foods.
- Eat plenty of fruits as they have lots of nutrients which are required for proper development of the baby. Oranges, plums, cherries, coconuts, kiwis, peaches and strawberries are some of the fruits with low GI. Dates and watermelons should be avoided during pregnancy as they are high GI fruits.
- It is essential to have low-fat dairy products as they provide calcium, responsible for healthy growth of bones, teeth and nails of the baby. Most of the low-fat dairy products are low in GI. Milk, yogurt and cottage cheese are not low but moderate GI foods.
- You can eat white fish and chicken during pregnancy as these are low GI food. Pork, lamb and beef should be avoided.
As the glycemic index of food you eat during pregnancy plays a vital role in the development of the baby, you should eat food with low GI. But don’t forget to consult your doctor before going through such diet.
Eat healthy and give birth to a healthy baby.