Eat right to keep gestational diabetes at bay

By Stella Naigino

Experts say eating is important to keep the sugar levels at bay, but mothers with a gestational diabetes condition should stick to having a balanced diet

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When she conceived she was excited that she was going to have a child little did she know that the 9 months' journey of pregnancy would not be easy. It comes with a lot of hormonal changes that occur in a pregnant woman's body, which can cause health conditions like gestational diabetes.

This fact was not clear to Esther Njagala that when she tested and the doctors revealed that she had a lot of sugars in her blood, she was told that she had gestational diabetes.

To deal with the condition she was told to contact her nutritionist to guide her on the right foods to eat so that she can deal with her situation. Today she is a proud mother of 3 and she recalls eating a balanced diet that helped her deal with gestational diabetes.

Experts say eating is important to keep the sugar levels at bay, but mothers with a gestational diabetes condition should stick to having a balanced diet which includes


"These are bodybuilding foods that help a lot in the production of body cells that help in the development of the baby. Foods rich in proteins are fish, chicken, and soy. Proteins should make a quarter of your meals a day," says Jamilu Mpiima a nutritionist at Victoria University.


These are described as energy giving food that any pregnant mother needs to eat so she can have the energy to work. Examples include Rice, posho, Matooke. These should also make a quarter of your meals a day.

"These should be taken in moderate quantities because they might increase your blood sugar levels. Remember carbohydrates have starch which can be transformed into glucose so their intake should be minimal, "says Josette Sanyu a nutritionist at new diets.

Fresh fruits

Mpiima notes that these have vitamins like C, K and minerals that help build your immunity and also lower your blood sugar levels. Fruits that have low sugars like watermelons, apples, oranges are good to eat. These should be eaten whole than blending to make a smoothie.

The challenge with blending is that you are most likely to add sugar, yet in dealing with gestational diabetes, it's important that one avoids sweeteners or sweet things as these can increase the blood sugar levels. Depending on what fruit you love most, eating at least 4-5 fruits a day can help.

 ruits should also be part of ones diet Fruits should also be part of one's diet



 Mpiima says greens are medicinal foods that are important when it comes to managing gestational diabetes. These are rich in minerals and fiber that helps the body in dealing with gestational diabetes. These make at least half of your daily meal.

He adds that Gestational diabetes victims should embrace eating leafy greens like spinach, dodo, carrots, Nakati, cabbage as these are believed to have nutritional values that lower the effect of increase in blood sugar levels.

To get best results ensure that you prepare them well. Get fresh greens, wash them clean and simply steam them without adding oil. When they are ready, serve and eat. Ensure to have greens on your daily menu.


Such foods are known for having oils in them but it's important that one goes for a little fat in her meal. Avoid adding oils as these can make you put on weight.

They should exercise

"By nature of pregnancy, one has to gain weight for the sake of the fetus. But it's important that a mother suffering from gestational diabetes exercises to keep healthy and also to maintain a certain weight "says Alex Batungi a fitness expert.

He adds that a mother is expected to add about 5-6 kilograms of weight while pregnant. Exceeding that is dangerous.