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What Does a Nutritionist Do For Gestational Diabetes?
The primary goal of nutrition therapy for gestational diabetes is to adjust your diet in a way that helps you meet your target blood sugar levels before and after eating. After receiving a gestational diabetes diagnosis, thinking about the dietary changes necessary to manage your blood sugar levels can feel intimidating.
Your dietitian will work with you to create a blood sugar-friendly meal plan based on your food preferences, lifestyle, cultural background, and medical history. This is typically done through carbohydrate counting, which involves goals for the number of carbohydrates you should aim for during each meal and snack.
If you are on insulin to manage your blood sugar levels, a dietitian can help you understand insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios to maximize the effectiveness of this therapy. Your dietitian will also help ensure your diet includes all the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy while providing tips for managing pregnancy symptoms that can interfere with eating, like nausea and fatigue.
Personalized nutrition planning
We offer virtual one-on-one sessions with dietitians to discuss preventative actions that can be taken to address your health concerns. We educate, assess lifestyle changes, help plan your nutrition, and support our clients toward long-lasting success using personalized nutrition counseling.
Avoiding future complications
The payoff you’ll see for adjusting your lifestyle with nutrition counseling will be tremendous for your health. You’re less likely to suffer from a heart condition, kidney failure, and other serious conditions with the proper discipline and determination that we help provide.
How Does Diet Impact Gestational Diabetes?
Diet is an essential component of gestational diabetes management because it directly influences blood sugar management. Research shows that up to 85% of people with gestational diabetes are able to manage their blood sugar levels through diet and exercise alone.
Gestational diabetes occurs in some people because of increased insulin resistance caused by hormonal changes in pregnancy. Because insulin is not functioning at capacity, sugars or glucose from food build up in the bloodstream, causing high blood sugar levels and increasing the risk of pregnancy complications.
Eating too much of certain types of carbohydrates can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, making it challenging to stay within the recommended targets. Foods rich in added sugars or refined carbohydrates, like sodas and desserts, rapidly enter the bloodstream and can contribute to high blood glucose levels.
On the other hand, high fiber and whole grain carbohydrates, like oats, brown rice, and whole grain bread, are digested slower. This helps minimize extremes in the blood sugar response. Pairing carbohydrate-rich foods with lean proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables also promotes a healthy blood sugar level after eating.
Does Insurance Cover a Nutritionist for Gestational Diabetes?
Most insurance plans cover dietitian services (medical nutrition therapy) for people with gestational diabetes. Typically, the care must be provided by a licensed nutrition professional, such as a registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). A specific number of visits or hours with a dietitian will often be covered by insurance each calendar year.