Getting Rid Of Sugar From Your Diet

I hung up the phone in horror and shame, then promptly called my husband. “Gestational diabetes, babe! I have to change everything, and I don’t know how!”

I was pregnant with my second child when I got this diagnosis, and it’s so annoying how they put you through the motions: at about weeks 24-28 of pregnancy, the doctor prescribes a sugar test for the pregnant mom. The phlebotomist checks the mom’s blood sugar before drinking the sugary drink and again one hour later after she consumes the sweet beverage. The goal is to see how quickly the body breaks down sugar.
I said the test was annoying because I didn’t get a good result for the one-hour test, so the doctor requested that I take the three-hour test a couple of weeks later. The one-hour test requires two blood draws, but with the three-hour, the number of pinpricks goes up to four. These are fasting blood tests and as I mentioned, they take place in the third trimester of pregnancy. To say I was hungry would be an understatement!

I had to make significant changes to my diet for my personal health but mostly for my growing baby. I knew a bit about a diabetic diet because my dad was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in my late teenage years. I needed to control my blood sugar by improving the food I consumed, and I’ll admit that it wasn’t easy to do at first.




Sugar is a component in most prepared foods. Even things that we don’t think of as sugar are converted to sugar in our bodies. Through pinpricks a few times a day, I gained an understanding of what caused my sugar to spike. For example, I thought I could eat brown rice because it’s “healthier,” but rice is rice, and my body saw it as sugar. My blood sugar went up when I ate rice, bread, pasta, or fruit, but I noticed that the fresher my diet, the more I could eat. I started cook fewer starchy foods and more vegetables. I missed the sugar, but I didn’t miss its effects:

- It made me tired.
- It made me slow.
- It made me want more sugar.
- It made my teeth hurt (pregnancy is hard enough on your teeth as it is).

I got through the remaining weeks of my pregnancy, controlling my sugar by eating healthily. I had my 32nd birthday right before my daughter was born and I didn’t get to eat all the cake that I wanted. I talked to my midwife about my birthday, and her advice was to have some, but don’t go crazy. I actually only had a few bites of cake. Then I put it away and ate it bit by bit over the next few days.
I was relieved when my daughter was born because I could go back to what I felt was the usual way of eating. Sadly, the feelings of being tired and slow persisted as long as I kept eating sugar. I recently cut it out of my diet again because I sincerely dislike those sluggish feelings. I’ve noticed that I feel better and I’ve dropped a few pounds too.

It can be hard to get rid of sugar from your diet, but here are some things that worked for me:

- Read the labels. Sugar has many names. If you’re interested in avoiding it, learn all of the tricky names that are hiding in plain sight.
- Seek the glycemic index to determine how foods will affect your blood sugar. Some foods break down slower than others, making them more ideal foods to eat.
- If you love soda, try switching to seltzer water. It’s definitely not the same but compare the nutrition facts.
- Don’t assume that everything that is marketed as low-fat, -sugar, or -carb is right for you. There are so many tools out there for you to find out if something is actually good.
- Ask for your dressings and sauces on the side. Most condiments such as these are not made of healthy ingredients so use sparingly!
- Try to keep a healthy snack in your purse or car so you can skip that trip to the fast food joint. Most restaurants aren’t doing your waistline or blood sugar any favors, ladies!


Don’t wait for a dire diagnosis to make a change as I did. Your diet is one of a few things in your life that you have control over, so do your best to take care of the vessel that God gave you, for this vessel is what must carry you.



Jeannelle "Jean" Burton
@thefitfreshmom

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