11 healthy and flavorful snacks for Gestational Diabetes which can help maintain blood glucose levels. 

Disclaimer: Each one of us is different and by no means, I am recommending you eat these snacks. As a matter of fact, your dietician should be guiding you on how much to eat, etc. This post is only for recipes if you are struggling for thinking about snack ideas.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

 

During pregnancy or the gestation period, one can develop Diabetes. Scientifically, when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin, it leads to high blood glucose levels, which can, in turn, affect the baby. If the sugar levels are not too high, the doctor usually recommends exercise and diet control, else may prescribe medication. To read more on Gestational Diabetes, please refer to the post on Managing Gestational Diabetes

 

 

 

 

 

How to Choose the Snacks for Gestational Diabetes?

Before we dive into the snacks for Gestational Diabetes, lets discuss how we treat a food as good or bad for Diabetes, shall we? Firstly, as discussed in the article on Managing Gestational Diabetes, we should determine the minimum amount of Carbohydrates we should consume per meal/snack. Secondly, inform ourselves and identify nutritious foods with low Glycemic Load.

For Managing Gestational Diabetes, I’d choose a food with low Glycemic load and ensuring I maintain the minimum amount of Carbohydrates recommended by my Nutritionist. 

Glycemic Load of a food estimates how much the blood glucose level rises after consuming that particular food. It is well explained on the Wikipedia page here. In a nutshell, Glycemic Load is a product of Glycemic Index and the amount of Carbohydrates in 100-g serving of the food.

Glycemic Index is a number from 0 to 100 assigned to a food, with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food. There’s another good reference  with Glycemic Index for foods here.

As a quick example: foods with high Glycemic Index, e.g. Carrots or Watermelon, don’t have a high Glycemic Load because the amount of Carbohydrates in a 100 g of Carrots/Watermelon is only 10 g and 5 g respectively. Therefore, they make for a good snack if you’re managing blood glucose levels.

In this post, I share 10 of the snack recipes which can manage Diabetes and taste great otherwise too! 

Healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes – Watch Video for 7 of the snacks

1. Garlic Edamame Stir-Fry 

 

 

Recipe Overview

 

This Garlic-Edamame Stir-fry is delicious, healthy, and high in protein. It forms a simple yet flavorful snack! In this recipe I use boiled and frozen edamame. Ready in less than 10 minutes, it is quick to prepare and is very nutritious.

Why is Edamame one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)?  

Edamame or Soy products are Rich in protein and fiber. Fiber-rich food helps in Diabetes management.

Edamame is also rich in Folate which is good for pregnancy because they help in red-blood-cell production and is good for they baby’s brain development [Folic acid and pregnancy].

Edamame is also rich in proteins which makes it an easy snack to prepare if you’ve Diabetes.

1 Cup of Edamame has 15g of Carbohydrates which is a typical recommendation for Carbohydrates during a snack. That is why one cup of Edamame is a perfect evening snack for Diabetics (or not! because it feels light, delicious and healthy).

 

 

2. Broccoli-Carrot Pine-nuts Stir-fry

Recipe Overview

Savor this Healthy Broccoli-Carrots Pine-nuts Stir-fry!  I’ve roasted the chopped veggies with pine nuts and a few indian spices. Although I made this recipe in an Instant-pot, you may also make it on a stovetop in a pan. 

Why is Broccoli-Carrots Pine-nuts Stir-fry one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)?  

Both Broccoli and Carrot provide fiber and have a very low Glycemic Load. Pine-nuts, on the other hadn’t, add healthy fat to the recipe thereby keeping you fuller for longer and maintaining the blood-glucose levels. Pine-nuts add healthy fat keeping you fuller and not spiking the blood glucose levels. 

 

3. Besan-Coated Masala Makhana (Gram-Flour Coated Spicy Foxnuts)

Recipe Overview

Wrap Makhanas with flour and spices and roast in an air-fryer. They add a new variation to a simpler roasted Makhanas/Foxnuts, while still being as healthy, if not more! 

Why are Makhanas one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

Makhanas are not extremely low in Carbohydrates, unlike Broccoli but they are rich in Fiber, Calcium and protein. A cup of Makhanas can be around 20 g of Carbohydrates therefore we should limit the portion to that (please confirm with your nutritionist).

Also, they are low on Sodium helping maintain the blood pressure during Gestational Diabetes. If you’re managing Diabetes, it is better to add a tbsp of Ghee/Oil while roasting Fox nuts. Ghee/Oil raises the fat content keeping you fuller and not spiking the blood glucose levels. 

 4. Spicy Roasted Makhanas/Foxnuts

Recipe Overview: 

Dry Roast Makhanas/Foxnuts in a pan on stove top until they get a crunchy texture.  You may also roast them in Ghee/Oil to add a little extra fat and manage the glucose levels better. Store them in an air-tight container and enjoy for a week!

Why are Makhanas one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

Makhanas are not extremely low in Carbohydrates, unlike Broccoli but they are rich in Fiber, Calcium and protein. A cup of Makhanas can be around 20 g of Carbohydrates therefore we should limit the portion to that (please confirm with your nutritionist).

Also, they are low on Sodium helping maintain the blood pressure during Gestational Diabetes. If you’re managing Diabetes, it is better to add a tbsp of Ghee/Oil while roasting Fox nuts. Ghee/Oil raises the fat content keeping you fuller and not spiking the blood glucose levels. 

 5. Paneer Pakora (Cottage-Cheese Fritters)

 

Recipe Overview

Dip Paneer or Cottage cheese cubes in a batter prepared out of Besan/Gram Flour and Pakora Masala (Spices for Indian Fritters). Deep fry them in a pan with hot oil until golden brown and serve hot. 

 

Why is Paneer Pakora one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)?  

As we all know healthy for one might mean unhealthy for another. This is that one dish which was exclusively healthy only for Gestational Diabetes but I wouldn’t regularly consume it now. During my pregnancy/GD, Paneer dishes were my go-to snack them being rich in protein and low in Carbohydrates. 1 cup Paneer/Cottage cheese has ~ 15-g Carbohydrates.  

Moreover, if you’re planning to eat out, in any Indian restaurant it is an easy Appetizer to find and eat without worrying about the blood glucose levels. However, if you’re managing your weight too, or have acid-reflux, deep-fried food must be avoided. Please speak with your nutritionist to be sure. 

 

 6. Beets and Tomato Soup

 

 Recipe Overview:

 

 

Pressure cook Beets and tomato in a pot and blend to form a smooth soup with garlic and cashew nuts. Delicious and quick to make. 

 

Why is Beets-Tomato Soup one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

 

Both Beets and Tomato are rich in fiber and low in carbohydrates. One cup of soup has less than 20g of Carbohydrates [Source: Computed from data from nutritionix.com]. Therefore this forms a simple dish to manage glucose levels. Adding cashew-nuts adds crunch and healthy fat to help further in managing Diabetes.

 7. Broccoli-Paneer Bites (Air-fryer)

Recipe Overview

 

Mix Paneer and Broccoli with spices and flour, roll into balls and air-fry them. These bites are easy to make and ready in less than 20 minutes – please give them a try. 

 

Why are Broccoli Bites one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

 

As discussed above, both Broccoli and Paneer/Cottage Cheese are low in Carbohydrates and rich in Nutrients like Protein, anti-oxidants, Calcium and fiber. This is one snack which is extremely delicious and filling – doesn’t let one miss her Carbohydrates at all!   

 8. Mint Lassi

Mint Lassi Image

Recipe Overview

 

Mint Buttermilk or Mint Lassi is a refreshing beverage, especially in summers. Enjoy this buttermilk with added flavor from mint leaves!

 

Why is Mint lassi one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

 

Mint hsa a calming effect on our body which can lower the stress. Yogurt in moderation is good for blood sugar levels. 

 9. Avocado Cucumber Mint Salad

Avocado Cucumber Tomato Salad

Recipe Overview

 

Refreshing Avocado, Cucumber salad with our favorite mint dressing – low in carbs, rich in fiber and good fat!

 

Why is Avocado cucumber salad of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

 

This salad is low in carbs, and rich in fiber as well as good fat. Therefore, it can keep us full and keep blood sugar levels in check. 

 10. Avocado-Walnut Raita

Avocado Walnut Raita Image

Recipe Overview

 

This avocado-walnut raita is delicious, healthy, and filling. It goes well as a side or a perfect summer mid-day snack. 

 

Why is Avocado-walnut raita one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

 

Avocados are rich in fiber and mono-unsaturated fats. Walnuts, are rich in good fats too. As a combination with yogurt, this forms a filling, low carb snack! 

 11. Kala-Chana (Black-chickpeas) Hummus with Carrots

Kala Chana Hummus

Recipe Overview

 

This Kala Chana Hummus is a spicy take on classic hummus. Flavored with Indian spices and made with black chickpeas, it is a must-try!

 

Why is Kala Chana Hummus one of the healthy Snacks for Gestational Diabetes (GD)? 

 

Both Kala-chana or Black Chickpeas hummus and Carrots are a great snack for GD. Rich in fiber and low in carbs! Please be mindful of the portion size. 1 tablespoon of Kala Chana hummus could be as high as 6 gm carbs. Therefore, try to limit it per the recommended potion size by your dietician. 

 

A parting thought: Snacks for Gestational Diabetes

 

Although we have discussed low-carbohydrate snacks in this post, a gentle reminder – please make sure that you are having the minimum recommended Carbs in every meal and snack. They are essential for you and the baby for cell growth! Have a healthy pregnancy! Please share your favorite healthy snack with us!

 

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