Fitness & Nutrition

Healthy Eating in Early Pregnancy Lowers Risks for Gestational Diabetes

TIMEJanuary 13, 2022

Pregnant women who consume a healthy diet early in pregnancy have a lower risk for gestational diabetes, new research from Finland reveals. The study focused on the prevalence of pregnant women who are overweight or obese.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for pregnant women developing gestational diabetes, and an increasing number of women are overweight or obese. Diet plays an influential role in obesity and the onset of gestational diabetes mellitus.

The study was conducted at the University of Turku and the Turku University Hospital in Finland. It examined the connection between dietary intake and the onset of gestational diabetes in 351 overweight or obese pregnant women.

All participants had their nutrient intake calculated from food diaries and were grouped into two dietary patterns. There was a healthy dietary pattern group and an unhealthy dietary pattern group. The overall quality of diet was indexed with the inflammatory potential noted.

The first author of the study, Lotta Pajunen, concluded, “Our research results show that following a healthy diet in early pregnancy reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.”

The study clearly showed that a diet that increases the low-grade inflammatory markers in the body was connected to an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Higher consumption of saturated fats was also linked to gestational diabetes. Researchers noted that the intake of saturated fats is known to increase the body’s inflammation.

Researchers suggest consuming a diet of vegetables, fruit, berries, and whole-grain products for pregnant women to help reduce the risk of diabetes. Staying away from saturated fats is also particularly important. Mothers who are overweight or obese may benefit from dietary guidance in early pregnancy.

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Sarah has a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England, and enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press.