General Practice 2022

Diet for gestational diabetes: what to eat and what to avoid (with cardápio)

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Diet for gestational diabetes: what to eat and what to avoid (with cardápio)
Diet for gestational diabetes: what to eat and what to avoid (with cardápio)

The diet for gestational diabetes aims to prioritize the consumption of foods with a low glycemic index, such as brown rice, some fruits and vegetables, which are rich in fiber that help to reduce the speed of sugar absorption, balancing blood glucose levels and helping to control diabetes.

However, foods with a high glycemic index such as potatoes, white rice, white pasta, ice cream, jam and cake should be avoided during the diet, because these foods increase blood sugar levels, which can impair development of the fetus and cause complications such as premature birth, miscarriage, as well as excess weight and heart disease in the baby.See a list of other high glycemic index foods.

In addition, it is also recommended to eat 6 meals a day, including the 3 main meals, morning and afternoon snacks and supper, to avoid hypoglycemia, which is when blood sugar levels get too high. low, which can cause dizziness, fainting and even convulsions. Understand the symptoms better and see how to avoid hypoglycemia.

Foods that should be prioritized

In the diet for gestational diabetes, it is important to prioritize natural foods, with good amounts of fiber, lean proteins and he althy fats, such as:

  • Whole grains,such as brown rice, wholegrain bread, quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal, and corn;
  • Fresh fruit,such as banana, orange, pear, peach, apple, kiwi, plum and strawberry;
  • Vegetables,such as lettuce, tomato, arugula, onion, green beans, chayote, broccoli and zucchini;
  • Lean meats,without skin and without apparent fat, such as fish, seafood, chicken, eggs and tofu;
  • Pulses,such as soybeans, chickpeas, beans, lentils and peas;
  • Oilseeds,such as cashews, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds;
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat or skim milk, low-fat or low-fat plain yogurt, and white cheeses, such as ricotta, mines, or cottage;
  • Vegetable oils,such as olive oil, avocado oil, and linseed oil;
  • Seeds,such as chia, flaxseed, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower.

Also, the yacon potato, despite being a tuber, is very low in calories and high in fiber that helps balance blood sugar levels, controlling diabetes. Learn more about yacon and see how to consume it.

It is important to remember that whole grains are also rich in carbohydrates and therefore should be consumed in moderation. See a list of foods rich in carbohydrates.

Foods to avoid

During the diet it is important to avoid ultra-processed foods, high in s alt, sugar, fat and high glycemic carbohydrates, including:

  • Sweet foods,such as ice cream, sugar, honey, brown sugar, chocolate, jellies, candied or candied fruit, boxed juices and soft drinks;
  • Processed meats,such as ham, sausage, bacon, jerky and salami;
  • High glycemic foods,such as cake, white bread, cookies, breakfast cereals, manioc flour, watermelon, grapes, and cantaloupe;
  • Tubercles,such as potatoes, cassava, yams and sweet potatoes;
  • High-fat foods,such as butter, fried foods, lard, whole milk and yogurt, and sweet and savory cookies.

In addition, it is recommended to avoid the consumption of natural juices, dehydrated fruits or in syrup, because these foods also have a high glycemic index that can increase blood glucose levels.

It is also essential to read the ingredients on product labels before consuming, because sugar can appear under different names, such as glucose, glucose or corn syrup, fructose, m altose, m altodextrin or invert sugar, for example example.

Example menu for gestational diabetes

The following table provides an example of a 3-day menu for gestational diabetes:


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3


1 glass of skim milk + 1 slice of whole wheat bread + 1 scrambled egg + 1 apple 1 cup of unsweetened ginger tea + 1 tapioca made with 4 tbsp tapioca soup, 1 tbsp seed soup (chia, linseed, sunflower) and 2 slices of white cheese with oregano + 1 kiwi 1 low-fat plain yogurt + 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds + 2 slices of wholegrain toast with guacamole, made with 2 tablespoons of chopped avocado, tomato and onion

Morning Snack

1 banana + 10 cashews 1/2 papaya + 1 tbsp rolled oats 1 glass of green juice with cabbage, lemon, pineapple and coconut water + 1 Brazil nut


1 piece of roasted salmon + 2 tbsp of brown rice + 2 tbsp of bean soup + coleslaw, carrot and onion, seasoned with 1 tbsp of olive oil + 1 orange 1 cup whole-grain pasta with homemade tomato sauce + 1 skinless chicken thigh soaked with 3 tablespoons of okra + 1 dessert plate of lettuce, spinach and tomato salad, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 guava 3 tbsp brown rice soup + 2 tbsp black-eyed pea salad + 120 g stewed fish + 4 tbsp stewed eggplant soup + 1 peach

Afternoon Snack

1 glass of orange juice + 3 whole wheat toast with cheese 1 cup of almond milk tea + 2 walnuts 1 glass of smoothie with 100 ml of semi-skimmed milk, ½ pear and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed


2 col brown rice + 3 col bean soup + omelet with 2 eggs, chopped tomato and onion + 3 col zucchini soup with soaked carrots, seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 plum 3 tbsp quinoa soup + 2 tbsp red bean salad + 1 grilled chicken breast fillet + 1 dessert plate of lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad, seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tangerine 2 tbsp brown rice + 3 tbsp chickpea salad + 2 tbsp muscle soup stewed with 2 tbsp cooked carrot soup and 2 tbsp cooked fresh peas + 6 strawberries


1 slice of wholemeal bread + 2 slices of ricotta cheese 120g of low-fat plain yogurt + 1 tablespoon of sunflower seed 2 corn tortillas + 2 slices of Minas cheese

This menu is just a model to include in the diet, which varies according to current weight, he alth status, week of pregnancy and physical exercise. Therefore, it is recommended to go through a consultation with a nutritionist, to make an assessment of nutritional needs and preferences, creating an individualized food plan.

In addition, it is also advised to practice physical activity regularly, accompanied by the obstetrician and physical education teacher, to help control weight during pregnancy, improving blood glucose levels and helping to balance diabetes.

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