Diet makes a big difference
This diet is heavy on fruits, vegetables, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, unrefined grains, and legumes.
Fish, small to medium amounts of poultry and dairy, and small amounts of red and processed meats are also part of this popular way of eating.
Researcher Shakila Thangaratinam of the Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University London found that women who ate according to the Mediterranean diet protocol were less likely to develop gestational diabetes, Newsweek reports.
Gestational diabetes affects up to ten percent of pregnancies and can lead to complications for expectant mums.
And it’s not just women, babies of mums with gestational diabetes are more likely to be born big, be delivered via c-section, or be born early.
Some women with gestational diabetes may exhibit no symptoms, while others might find they are thirstier than usual, urinating more than usual, fatigued and/or prone to thrush. A glucose test is undertaken to diagnose this condition.
MORE Pregnancy Health
Fight back with food
The findings of this important study have just been published in the journal PLOS Medicine.
They reveal that 1,252 pregnant women from the UK took part in the research and that the diet change-up made a huge impact.
Split into a control group and a research group, the women in the Mediterranean diet research group experienced clear benefits.
They were advised to eat according to the Mediterranean protocol and avoid sugary drinks, fast food, and foods rich in animal fat.
As a result of this healthy diet, their odds of developing gestational diabetes dropped by 35 percent. They also gained significantly less weight than the control group, adding 6.8 kilograms to their frame compared with 8.3 kilograms on average for those not on this diet.
While the diet did not appear to reduce any other birth complications or improve other outcomes, the study authors suggest that it would be prudent to consider how ingesting nuts and olive oil during pregnancy might impact the child’s health. They are particularly interested in how maternal diet might affect childhood obesity, allergy, and asthma.
So interesting, non?!
Meanwhile this is another excellent reason to eat like you’re on the shores of Med, expectant mums.