High protein, low carb foods for gestational diabetes management. Help!? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-22-2008, 04:16 PM
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I posted this in the general health forum too, but thought perhaps it fit here too.



Last time i was pregnant i developed gestational diabetes, so this time around i went to the dietician early to set up an eating plan to help avoid and/or control if it should happen to return during this pregnancy...the chances are good that it will return.

Because I'm trying to control my carbs and spread them out during the day, I was told to increase my protein intake and try to have some protein with every meal. When I told her I'm a veg*n, of course she gave me the usual "only animal products give you proper iron intake, blah blah". I'm at a loss of what to eat that is a good source of protein, but lower in carbohydrates. Last time I was pregnant I was omni, so I had no problems, but now that I'm vegan I'm at a loss.

Any suggestions?
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#2 Old 11-22-2008, 05:49 PM
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So this dietitian just told you that plant proteins were inferior without giving you any veg*n alternatives? She just left it like that? Completely disrespected your lifestyle? Sounds like she is blaming you for her shortcomings in her knowledge of vegetarian nutrition. My recommendation would be to find a new dietitian... (check out www.eatright.org for a dietitian in your area that will respect your choices). And if animal products are such good sources of iron, why does practically every omni woman need an iron supplement too? Almost every pregnant woman needs an iron supplement, regardless of her diet choices.



Focus on healthy proteins like beans (the carbs here are complex), tofu, lentils, nut butters (if you have a family history of peanut/nut allergies - probably best to avoid that particular food during pregnancy). Whole grains also offer a good source of protein and complex carbs that should be included in your diet. It's the simple sugars/white flour/etc that you should be avoiding. And probably best to stay away from fruit juices - whole fruit is a better choice.



They key here is healthy proteins and healthy, complex carbs. A nice, well balanced diet that everyone would ideally be eating.



This is just generalized advice without really knowing much about you. Best to get personalized advice from a good dietitian who can respect your choices and work with you.



I wish you the best of luck!
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#3 Old 11-22-2008, 05:56 PM
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The dietician is in the diabetes clinic in the hospital, so I have to go through them, as all my diabetes management/education will be through the clinic.



As for the iron thing, yes, I was quite irritated that even I knew more than her in regards to this, that's why I kinda brushed it off and didn't go into more detail.

I don't have a history of allergies, and I love peanut butter, so that's not a problem, she also told me to eat more nuts as they help to lower my sugars as well.

Are edamame beans higher in carbs?

The reason I ask about the carbs is because I'm supposed to eat a certain amount at every meal, but also include protein sources, so I was hoping they could be seperate things without bumping up my carbs.



Thanks for the advice
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#4 Old 11-22-2008, 06:16 PM
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Edamame is a good source of protein that is relatively lower in carbs.



Did your dietitian not give you a handout of food exchanges so that you could plan your meals? Generally beans are considered one protein and one starch exchange since they contain both.



A simple (but basic) way to balance your meals is to have half your plate be non-starchy veggies, 1/4 starch and 1/4 protein, add a 'milk' and a fruit for dessert. This may or may not be appropriate for you given your circumstances.



Also be aware that the USDA food database is very useful for looking up nutrient information (you can change the serving size and it will calculate it for you)
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#5 Old 11-22-2008, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the link. She did give me a sheet with different food ideas (pick one of these for breakfast, one of these for lunch, etc) but she did also say to include a protein with every meal, that's why I was looking for more protein choices to add onto the meal.
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#6 Old 11-22-2008, 07:06 PM
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Ah ok. I do find it odd that she didn't give you any vegetarian protein recommendations. I'm betting she is just unfamiliar with the subject. This is something she really should have researched for you - just not for you but for her own education as well.
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#7 Old 11-24-2008, 07:12 PM
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I posted on your other thread as well, Masja...

But if i want to add more protein to a meal, i add tofu or seitan usually. Round out the meal w/ alot of veggies and a small portion of a hi protein carb, like quinoa or beans.



Generally, beans are considered 2 cho exchanges, one protein.

Were you given a carb counting or exchange llist?



One carb exchange generally = 15-21 gms cho

one protein exchange =7-9 gms pro



and nuts wont "lower" your BS, but they are pure protein, so it will raise it only slightly.
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#8 Old 07-06-2011, 07:36 PM
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Hi, I'm not sure if you were aware but there is a diabetes research centre in Winnipeg where you can get special treatment and participate in studies. If you are interested the website address is www.winnipegdiabetesresearchgroup.com and it is based at the Health Sciences Centre.
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#9 Old 07-06-2011, 08:22 PM
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Ok, there are basically two directions you can take.

You can follow her advice and do the standard "counting carbs" method of controling diabetes. If you do that, then you should pick up a copy of one of the variety of cookbooks aimed at eating a low-carb diet the vegan or vegetarian way. (Here are some cookbooks: Carb Conscious Vegetarian, Low Carb Vegetarian Diet,Low GI Vegetarian, Low Carb Vegetarian). There are also some blogs that offer some advice and recipes on the topic, for example, Low Carb Vegan.

The other option is to follow the advice of other doctors who don't count carbs. A number of doctors who promote plant-based diets have been able to control or reverse diabetes through a plant-based diet without counting carbs. Generally, they promote a low-fat low-sugar vegan diet that includes lots of whole foods. Essentially, it's simply about acknowledging that simple sugars effect the body differently than complex carbohydrates. Look into the writings of Dr Barnard, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn, Colin Campbell, Dr. Dean Ornish and PCRM. And if you can, find yourself a doctor of dietitian that supports this route.

Also, do you exercise? That can help.

Here are some general resources:
Detailed info and links to articles about veganism during pregnancy: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/preginfchil
Vegetarian food pyramid for gestational diabetes: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/he...PyramidVeg.pdf (to make it vegan, just replace the milk section with calcium-rich vegan foods like kale or fotrified foods).
Articles about vegan health during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newar...2007pg38.shtml
http://www.vegfamily.com/dietician/1004a.htm

Please note: I'm not a dietitian or doctor. I haven't been pregnant. My only credentials are that I'm smart, been vegetarian or vegan nearly 3 decades, have a (hopefully adopted soon) vegan toddler who is healthy, and I am very good at using Google
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