Simple food swaps
These are our tips for food swaps for gestational diabetes. Try starting with small changes and swaps to the food you already eat, rather than taking up a whole new diet. It’ll be easier to stick to.
Swap: white bread for grainy or seeded bread
Why: Grainy bread is lower GI, meaning it digests more slowly and will cause less of a spike in your blood glucose levels, helping you hit those targets more often.
Swap: Ghee or coconut oil for olive oil or canola oil
Why: It’s recommended to reduce your saturated fat when you’ve got gestational diabetes, and these oil swaps will help you do that.
Swap: Toasted muesli for untoasted muesli
Why: Untoasted muesli uses less fat than toasted. Better yet, make your own at home with some oats, dried fruit, your favourite nuts and a sprinkle of seeds.
Swap: Regular white or Brown rice for low GI rice eg brown doongara or brown basmati rice
Why: Brown rice might have the whole grain, but it still digests quite quickly in the body. Low GI rice is available, which may help you with your ‘after meal’ blood glucose levels.
Swap: Quick oats for rolled oats soaked overnight
Why: Quick oats are highly processed and can digest quickly in the body, causing blood glucose levels to rise quite fast. Choose plain old rolled oats (usually $1 per bag) and put them in a container in the fridge overnight, just covered with milk to soak. Microwave in the morning.
Swap: Muffin or banana bread for piece of fruit toast
Why: Muffins and banana bread can be loaded with added sugar and fat. Fruit toast helps you get that sweet taste with less kilojoules and less of an impact on your blood glucose levels. Keep some in the freezer to toast with a cup of tea or mid-afternoon pick me up.
Swap: Croissant for sourdough toast
Why: The luxurious breakfast option without the extra saturated fat. Traditional sourdough is low GI, is digested slowly and has less of an impact on blood glucose levels. Try a slice with an egg or some avocado, lemon and a sprinkle of dukkahdukkha.
Swap: Chocolate bar for apple slices with peanut butter
Why: Unfortunately, chocolate doesn’t fit into the every-day healthy foods for gestational diabetes, but apples and healthy fats from peanut butter do. Slice up an apple into 8 pieces and add a thin smear of peanut butter to each. Stick to a total of one tablespoon of PB.
Swap: Beef mince for turkey or chicken mince or lean beef mince
Why: Turkey and chicken mince have less saturated fat, which means they’ll have less kilojoules too. This can help you maintain a healthy weight gain when you have gestational diabetes.
Swap: rich and creamy fruit yoghurts for plain low-fat Greek yoghurt with added fruit
Why: Fruit yoghurts can have a lot of added sugar which isn’t friendly to blood glucose levels. The yoghurt section can be a minefield so grab a big tub of plain low-fat Greek yoghurt and add your own swirl of honey, some nuts and some chopped fruit at home.
Find more information on healthy eating for gestational diabetes. Or see examples of healthy meals and snacks for more tips on meal planning.