I have lots of posts about gestational diabetes and plenty of recipes on my website, but how do you put it all together? What does healthy eating look like in your daily life? I’m glad you asked.
In general, you want to eat three meals a day when you’re pregnant. Adding snacks can be a good idea, especially if you are not able to eat much at mealtimes. Don’t avoid fatty foods; healthy fats should be the mainstay of your diet, along with leafy greens, vegetables, limited fruits, and dairy.
Easy healthy food ideas
Whether you are diabetic or not, here are some foods you can incorporate into your day that will keep your energy up and your blood sugars stable:
- Eggs – If you have looked at any of my recipes, you will know that I’m a big fan of eggs. Scrambled for breakfast, boiled as a snack, or cooked in a frittata for dinner. With virtually no carbohydrates, eggs are an easy way to fill up without raising your blood sugar. Mmmmm, deviled eggs!
- Cheese – Cheese is a convenient snack and a good source of calcium. Eat whole milk cheese, not reduced-fat, and avoid unpasteurized soft cheeses (Brie and ricotta made from pasteurized milk are okay). Combine this with a piece of whole fruit, and you have a balanced snack.
- Dark chocolate – Chocolate that has more than 70% cocoa content is not only delicious but good for you. Low in sugar and high in antioxidants, a little dark chocolate can satisfy your craving for dessert without blowing your healthy meal plan.
- Avocado – guacamole, anyone? Mash an avocado, add some chopped cilantro, chopped onion, lime juice, garlic, salt, and prepared salsa. Add jalapenos if you like it hot.
- Olives – Some people love olives, and some don’t. For me, they were an acquired taste. But they make a good snack or addition to a salad or meal. Pair them with cheese or some salami.
- Nuts and seeds – Tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews) have lots of healthy fats and are satisfying in salads or on their own. And remember sunflower seeds? They’re not just for munching while watching baseball games! Or am I the only person who does this? Anyway, great snack.
- Condiments and spices – Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip) and mustard have almost no carbohydrates, so they should be your first choice to put on burgers and sandwiches. Avoid ketchup, which has a ton of sugar. See below for a quick aioli recipe, so you won’t miss ketchup too much. On your salad, choose dressings that are low in sugar – this means oil/vinegar, ranch, blue cheese, green goddess, etc. (as long as these are made from pasteurized milk – check labels). Stay away from Thousand Island, honey mustard, and sweetened vinaigrettes. Kick up the flavor in your meals with chili powder, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and other spices. I just found Whataburger Jalapeno Ranch dressing at my local grocery store! So excited.
Here’s that quick recipe for basic aioli. You can dip vegetables or French fries in this, put it on a burger or chicken sandwich, or top green beans, asparagus, meat, or fish!
It’s so easy and you’ll want to make it all the time.
- 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste
- 1 pinch kosher salt
Stir lemon juice, garlic, and salt into mayo. It’s as easy as that. It’s even better if you let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two before eating.
For a flavor variation, add a tablespoon of chopped cilantro and substitute lime juice for the lemon juice. Or add a tablespoon of rosemary or basil or red pepper flakes to the basic recipe.