Indian Diet Plan For Pregnancy With Gestational Diabetes

7 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Indian diet for diabetes

Pregnancy is a happy phase in any woman’s life where she eats without worrying about calories as it is popularly believed that “a pregnant woman eats for two”. So she indulges herself in all kinds of food items that she craves for during pregnancy. But the sad news is, if the pregnant woman is diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy, this same happy phase turns out to be more serious and troublesome. This is where the Indian diet plan for pregnancy with gestational diabetes comes into the picture. With changing lifestyles, gestational diabetes or high glucose during pregnancy is becoming more has become common. Find out the Indian diet plan for pregnancy with gestational diabetes.

Nowadays about 6 to 8 percent of pregnant women are diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy these days. Experts predict that this will increase to 8 to 10 percent in the near future. Remember, nutritional deficiency can bring about many complications during pregnancy. Keep reading to know more about the right diabetic diet during pregnancy that a pregnant woman should follow. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

Meal Planning for Pregnant Women with Diabetes

The good news is that if a pregnant woman strictly follows the diabetic diet designed for her, she can definitely keep the harmful effects of diabetes at bay and have an uncomplicated pregnancy and a healthy baby. Follow these guidelines for your meal plan during pregnancy:

Low Glycemic Index for a Diabetic Diet

The glycemic index (GI) indicates a number. It shows how fast your body changes the carbs in that food into glucose. An interesting fact is that two foods with the same amount of carbohydrates can have a different glycemic index.

The smaller the number, the lesser will be the impact of that food on your blood sugar. The lower the index, the slower the digestion takes place, therefore, the blood sugar levels will increase slowly and steadily. The food with glycemic index:

  • 55 or less is considered as low (good)
  • 56- 69 is considered as a medium
  • 70 or higher is considered as high (bad)

Therefore, before buying any food or drink, look for the glycemic index on the label.

Low Glycemic Load in Diabetic Diet

The glycemic load (GL) of food is a number that tells how much a particular food item when consumed will spike a person’s blood glucose level. We have to multiply the GI of the food by the number of carbohydrate grams in a single serving and then divide the given number by 100.

  • Glycemic Load between 1 and 10 is low
  • A GL between 11 to 19 is considered moderate
  • Glycemic Load which is 20 or higher is considered high

For those with diabetes, you want your diet to have low values of GL.

Insulin Index

The insulin index refers to the capacity of the food to raise the level of insulin after 2 hours of intake.

9 Super Tips for The Indian Diet Plan for Pregnancy With Gestational Diabetes

We all know that a proper diet plays a major role in managing diabetes. Women with diabetes during pregnancy ought to meet an authorized nutritionist to design the best diet for them. This ensures she gets proper nutrition for herself and the baby growing inside her.

Here are 9 super tips to remember while planning a diet for pregnancy with gestational diabetes:

1. Carbs Can be Found in Healthy Food As Well

Carbs are not only found in food with processed sugars like soft drinks, but also in food containing natural sugars like milk, fruits, yogurt, etc.

2. Include Greek Yogurt in a Diabetic Diet

Preferably have Greek yogurt, which is all the rage right now for all the good reasons. Greek yogurt is a naturally cultured yogurt, which is higher in protein, lower in carbs than regular yogurt, and rich in calcium, and has probiotics, the good bacteria that can help in digestion during pregnancy.

3. Stick to Recommended Carbs in Diabetic Diet

If you eat high-carb food in one meal and then avoid it in other meals, it will still raise your blood sugar level. Therefore, always stick to recommended carbs in your diet.

4. Don’t Skip Meals

Never skip a meal as that can make you feel very hungry and you tend to eat more during the next meal.

5. Eat Small Meals

Eat small meals, preferably every 2 to 3 hours. You can have a healthy snack, salad, and fruits in between. However, make sure at least one and a half to two hours of gaps are maintained between snack and the next meal.

6. Opt Brown Rice Over White

If you are a rice eater, always prefer brown rice to white rice due to its low GI.

7. Never Hesitate to Clear Doubts

If you feel uncomfortable after eating any food item, stop consuming that and speak to your doctor about it.

8. Restrict the Intake of Salt

Consuming more salt can lead to water retention and further increase swelling during pregnancy. It can also lead to gestational hypertension, which, along with gestational diabetes, can be very risky for both the mother and the baby.

9. Depend on Homemade Foods

Try to consume home-cooked food as much as possible. If you are buying ready-to-eat packaged meals or drinks, make sure to double-check the manufacturing and expiry dates and also the list of ingredients to ensure it does not have added sugar.

Some Do’s and Don’ts In Your Diabetic Diet During Pregnancy

woman testing sugar

During pregnancy, there are specific do’s and don’ts that you have to follow to ensure that you and the baby growing inside you stay healthy.

  • Include less starchy vegetables as they are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Include protein-rich food like eggs, seeds, nuts, fish, meat, etc. These foods not only make you feel full but also will not spike your glucose levels.
  • Select lean meat and dairy products with low fat.
  • Drink 9 to 12 glasses of water every day and keep yourself well hydrated.
  • Eat fresh fruits rather than fruit juices.
  • Include two servings of fruits and vegetables every day in your meals as they are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • If you are a strict vegetarian then include dals, cereals, pulses, nuts, and whole grains in your diabetic diet as a source of protein.
  • Don’t eat deep-fried food.
  • Never eat junk food.
  • Don’t drink soft drinks.
  • Reduce the intake of oil and butter.

Sample Indian Diet Plan for Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes

Here is a sample diabetic diet menu during pregnancy that ensures the required nourishment for the baby and controls the glucose level of the pregnant woman. Eating on time and ensuring enough gap between the meals are equally important when it comes to a diabetic diet.

Once you have a general idea of how to select the food, you can make appropriate changes to the food items as per your doctor’s advice and also keep monitoring your sugar levels.

Early Morning (6:30 to 7 am)

  • Start the day with a 250 ml glass of milk (without sugar). If you prefer a flavored one, you can add cardamom, cinnamon, or kesar.
  • You can also have dry carbs like whole-grain rusk or digestive biscuits (sugar-free). Limit it to just one piece.
  • Consuming soaked 4 or 5 almonds will provide protein and omega 3 for a good head start.

Breakfast (8:30 to 9 am)

  • Any of these – Vegetable upma/ three idlis/ two plain dosa/ two vegetable stuffed paratha
  • A bowl of sambar/ mint chutney/ curd as an accompaniment
  • One boiled egg (optional)

Mid Morning (11am)

  • One medium-sized fruit. Jamun, pear, guava, musambi, pomegranate, etc. are perfect to have during this time.
  • You can have tender coconut water or a glass of lemonade.

Lunch (12:30 to 1pm)

  • A small bowl of vegetable salad.
  • Two plain chapattis and three tablespoons of pulao made out of brown rice or just three plain chapattis.
  • Dal tadka/ fish curry/ chicken curry/ sambar/ rasam
  • Stir-fried vegetable/ egg bhurji/ paneer
  • One teaspoon ghee

Mid Afternoon (2:30 pm)

  • Butter milk/lassi

Evening (4 to 4:30pm)

  • One glass of milk
  • Snacks – cheese sandwich/ multi grain french toast/ khakara
  • Salted nuts (6 numbers)

Late Evening (6 to 6:30pm)

  • A bowl of cereal with milk. Muesli, wheat flakes, oat flakes without sugar etc./ a bowl of sprouts

Pre-Dinner (7:30 to 8pm)

  • Vegetable soup/ chicken soup

Dinner (8 to 8:30pm)

  • Two medium size multigrain chapattis/ 3 idlis/ three table spoons of brown rice
  • Paneer mutter/ sambar/ mixed vegetable curry/ moong dal/ palak paneer
  • One teaspoon ghee

Bedtime (at least one and a half hours after dinner)

  • A glass of warm milk

After meals do have a 15 minutes walk. Consider it also as a part of your diet. You can make necessary changes to the items mentioned above according to your taste and preference and in consultation with a nutritionist. Here are a few more tips:

  • Adding fiber to the chapati or roti dough ensures the required fiber intake.
  • You can add a hand full of soaked soybeans while making batter for idly or dosa.

The following list includes a number of food items that contain less sugar and are considered good for pregnant women:

  • Whole grain plain dosa
  • Wheat and methi khakara
  • Ragi roti
  • Mint chutney as dip or spread
  • Digestive biscuits

Hope this Indian diet plan for pregnancy with gestational diabetes is helpful. No matter what you want to eat, make sure that you consult your doctor or a nutritionist first. Some food items that agree well with another pregnant woman may not be good for you. So be careful and eat what is recommended.


1. Can I Follow a Diet to Control Gestational Diabetes?

Yes, by all means. This can help manage the food you eat. Opt for foods rich in fiber and low in glycemic index.

2. What Foods Can Help Control Gestational Diabetes?

Timely food, is not rich in carbs can help. Ensure you do not eat anything overly sweet. Greek yogurt can also be part of a regular diet.

3. Can I Eat Outside Food When I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Yes, in moderation. Eating once in a while is ok. Ensure you have control over the quantity and choose the foods carefully.

4. Can I Eat Refined Flour Products if I Have Gestational Diabetes?

No, it is not safe. Refined flour can cause your sugar levels to spike. This is not recommended for women suffering from gestational diabetes.





Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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