During pregnancy, the body’s caloric requirement increases as more energy is required by the body although carbs doesn’t have a really good rep in the media. It is required for the baby’s growth and the development of its vital organs, but at times, the blood sugar levels rises which may result in the diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

You can’t consume excess sugar but you shouldn’t just cut off carbs from your diet either as it could be harmful for you as well as the baby. You can compensate the requirements by incorporating some healthy snacks for gestational diabetes in your daily diet. The following article will explain some points regarding gestational diabetes, diet and what can you snack on when having gestational diabetes.

What is gestational diabetes:

Having high blood sugar level or hyperglycaemia during pregnancy is referred as gestational diabetes. We know that our body produces insulin which is responsible for maintaining blood sugar levels and when these become ineffective or are not sensitive during pregnancy, it leads to gestational diabetes. One should take measures to decrease the high blood sugar levels or it increase the risk of the following conditions:

  • The baby also has high blood sugar levels
  • A larger sized baby would require a caesarean section delivery.
  • Complications like pre-eclampsia can occur.
  • The mother can face injuries when delivering a large baby.
  • Risk of developing type 2 diabetes post delivery.

Blood sugar levels can be controlled by proper diet and bringing about changes in lifestyle. Studies show that about 70-85% of the people that are diagnosed with gestational diabetes improve their calorie selection and maintain their blood sugar levels within healthy range. The diet consisted mainly of fibre rich foods and unprocessed carbohydrates.

Since fibre slows down the digestion, the glycemic impact over the blood sugar level is also delayed. Side by side, the unprocessed foods does not contain processed or additional sugars and are rich in vitamins and minerals which is beneficial for both, the mother and the baby.

Some good choices for carbohydrates are as follows:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Whole grain products
  • Legumes and pulses
  • Dairy products (unflavoured)
  • Starchy vegetables

How would you know if you have gestational diabetes?

During the second trimester, mothers should have their blood sugar levels assessed. An oral glucose tolerance test may be taken in case you have higher blood sugar level. The test procedure requires one to have a high glucose beverage and wait a few hours until a blood sample is taken to be tested for sugar levels. If the sugar levels are high, it means that the body’s insulin is not doing so well. Your healthcare provider will then suggest you some appropriate steps to take according to your final results.

Some healthy snacks for gestational diabetes:

You don’t have to be afraid of eating if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and instead you should focus over the quality of food you’re having and how often do you have it. For having a stable blood sugar level, it is recommended that you have 3 proper meals and 2 snack meals a day.

And throughout these meals you have have all sorts of necessary requirements including lean protein, fibre and unsaturated or the healthy fats. These foods help you feel full and they collectively help in slowing down digestion which keeps the blood sugar levels stable.

Some low carbs pregnancy snacks are as follows:


Having a light canned tuna is considered safe during pregnancy and is actually pretty healthy. It consists of good amount of protein and almost no carbs along with omega 3 fatty acids which controls blood sugar and reduces inflammation. You can mash up some avocados, mix it with tuna and spread it over some crackers for an enjoyable healthy snack. Remember to limit your fish intake in order to prevent excessive heavy metal intake.

Hard boiled eggs:

Hard boiled eggs are a rich source of vitamin D and contain little to no carbs. This makes them quite fulfilling and you can ward off hunger for the time in between the meals. It is a good way of controlling blood sugar levels and is also a good source of iron along with other minerals which is healthy for good blow flow, especially during pregnancy. Additionally, research has shown how lower vitamin D levels has a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes so consumption of hard boiled eggs helps that as well.

Blueberries and walnuts:

The combination of blueberries and walnuts is an ideal combination due to their nutrient rich contents that helps one through a safe pregnancy with gestational diabetes. The healthy combination is also considered as a diabetes superfood as the adequate protein content not only controls the blood sugar levels but also helps in the development of the baby and its vital organs.

Moreover, blueberries consists of antioxidant properties which prevents the body from processing glucose on a faster rate. The combination also helps in preventing pregnancy constipation.

Avocados, rice cakes and salsa:

Avocados are rich in nutrition containing choline, folate, potassium and omega 3 fatty acids and are actually quite low on sugar. It has good protein content which makes it preferable for snacking over it which would also result in controlling blood sugar level. For snacking you can have them with rice cakes topped with some salsa for elevated flavour.

Icelandic yoghurt:

During the preparation of Icelandic yoghurt, some of the whey is taken away which results in it being thick and creamy. It is a good choice for some snacking if having gestational diabetes due to the lower calorie content. If having a protein rich Icelandic yoghurt, the lactose content would be lower than a regular making its digestion easier which is actually beneficial for moms experiencing morning sickness.

The calcium content would also be a healthy addition which would help in nourishment of the baby’s bones, muscles and teeth. You can snack on some plain yoghurt instead of adding additional ingredients as it would increase the carb count.

Hummus and bell pepper:

Bell peppers are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which combats inflammation and maintains blood sugar. Hummus contains fibre and proteins and the combination of hummus with bell peppers only has additional benefits as stability of blood sugar level is achieved along with other nutrients.


Dry fruits are generally known for their high nutrients content but if you have gestational diabetes, pistachios is an ideal choice as it is low on carb and rich in nutrients which would be beneficial for you and your baby. A study suggests that having about 1.5 ounces of pistachios lowers blood sugar levels among pregnant women. It’s a good option to munch on some pistachios.

Almond butter and apples:

Apples are sweet and savoury and the crunch is surely satisfying. A medium sized apple has roughly 5 grams of fibre which slows down the digestion contributing to the lower blood sugar levels preventing spike in insulin levels. When combined with almond butter, it would also help in lowering blood sugar levels. You can smear some almond butter over your apple slices and enjoy a healthy snack in between your meals.

Peanut butter and banana:

A yummy gestational diabetes friendly snack would be having some peanut butter spread over a tortilla with some banana slices and rolled up. Note that your tortilla should be whole grain and the peanut butter butter should be sugar free.

You should know that low potassium levels is linked to insulin resistance and high potassium bananas can help you overcome that problem. Controlling blood sugar levels when having gestational diabetes can be challenging but proper diet can help you overcome the obstacle. Banana does contain sugars but as long as you have it in smaller portions, its okay.

Snacks for gestational diabetes at bed time:

It is possible that you wake up in the morning with high blood sugar levels and to compensate that you might want to add some snacks for before bedtime to your diet. The sleeping durations is the longest time that your body goes through without a meal and so blood sugar levels may rise. The liver would release glucose into the blood stream if no dietary carbs are present.

It is unfortunate that when having diabetes, the liver is not notified of the high blood sugar content and so it continues to be released. You can have any of the snacks that we have mentioned above but make sure not to take fats and have a light snack meal so you can prevent heartburn and rest as well.

The bottomline:

Having gestational diabetes can be stressful and challenging but one can overcome it with proper diet and healthy changes in lifestyle. We have given some healthy snacking options that you can have in between meals without spiking your blood sugar levels and instead keep them in control. Many have controlled their conditions with healthy diets and healthier food choices. Go for unprocessed foods instead of processed foods and opt for low sugar containing products.

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