Pregnancy is a time when you have weird food cravings. But you need to watch out for what you lay your hands on. You might have to abandon delightful savories once you conceive. You will be surprised that potatoes top the list of favorite carbs that you must most likely give up among other high starchy substances. Did you know that eating too many potatoes could cause gestational diabetes in pregnant women? Did you know that about 200,000 pregnant women who make for about five percent of pregnancies each year are affected by gestational diabetes? The condition affects not only the mother, but also the child with long-term effects.
Through recent studies, researchers have come to believe that if pregnant women eat too many potatoes, they could be at a risk of having gestational diabetes. In a joint study by the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and Harvard University, over 15,000 women were studied over a span of a decade (from 1991-2001) with regards to the kind of foods they consumed. During this period, there were 21,693 pregnancies and out of them, 854 were reported to have gestational diabetes.
Studies have established that when a woman is pregnant, insulin resistance can lead to a rise in the glucose levels of the expecting mothers thereby causing diabetes. Therefore, if pregnant women consume too many potatoes, it will increase the blood-sugar levels leading to the condition. Therefore, doctors recommend that pregnant women reduce their potato intake to lower the risk of gestational diabetes.
One way to avoid potatoes is swapping the starchy food with more of greens, legumes, and whole grains. That way not only you take in more proteins and fiber, but also reduce the unnecessary consumption of excess carbohydrates and eventually reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. Women who made such dietary changes during their pregnancy were able to reduce their risk of gestational diabetes by 12 percent! Two servings of potatoes a week were substituted by 9 percent of other vegetables, 12 percent of whole grain foods and 10 percent of legumes to arrive at the result.
Pregnant women might also experiment with new foods to avoid the junk cravings. For instance, if one is craving for a French Fries or potato chips, one can always swap them with lentil or quinoa chips as these contain fiber.
Potatoes per se aren’t bad. They have some amount of Vitamin C and Potassium too. So it’s good that way. But too many potatoes a week could turn out pretty sorry thing for women who are carrying.
Gestational diabetes in most pregnancies develops around the 24th week and affects about 18 percent of the pregnancies and can affect the health of you and your baby. Too much sugar in blood will automatically pass into your baby. Your baby could gain excess weight, urinate more thereby causing excess fluid around the baby. It could also cause excessive stretching of the uterus, premature labor, and premature breaking of the waters. If the baby is overweight, you will most likey be taken in for a C-section. Babies of gestational diabetic women are also at the risk of Type 2 diabetes later in life, death before or shortly after birth, and high blood pressure.
You can control gestational diabetes by taking a balanced diet for you and your baby and ensuring that you are having some physical exercise – not a heavy-duty one while you are pregnant! Walking, swimming, and some physical activities every day can control your sugar levels. You should also meet your doctor for regular check-ups especially in the last trimester. You could be using glucose meter or strips to monitor your glucose levels right at home!