Preventing Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) occurs in 2-10% of pregnant women. However, in many cases it is preventable. A new study confirms that adherence to a healthy diet is crucial in order to avoid GDM. While prevention of GDM can be helpful in the short term, it is especially important because women with GDM have a high chance (35-60%) of developing diabetes in the future. In addition, their babies are more likely to be obese or develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Untreated GDM can even lead to fetal mortality.

What is a healthy diet? This study observed the alternate Mediterranean (aMED), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and alternate Healthy Eating Index (aHEI) dietary patterns and found significant benefits to all three. These diets all support the need for complex carbohydrates and healthy proteins and fats.

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Sources:
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/statistics/#Gestational
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/gestational_diabetes.cfm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gestational-diabetes/ds00316/dsection=complications

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