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7 Day Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan (PDF & Menu)

Gestational diabetes causes high blood pressure that can cause pregnancy complications.

It occurs due to changes in the way your body uses insulin. Insulin helps absorb and convert glucose (sugar) into energy.

Gestational diabetes causes either not enough insulin to be produced during pregnancy, or makes the body more resistant to insulin.  Both of these issues mean that not enough sugar gets converted into energy, causing high blood sugar levels. This eventually causes gestational diabetes.

However, one of the most effective ways to manage and prevent gestational diabetes is with a healthy diet.

This article will cover everything you need to know about a following a gestational diabetes diet plan and offer a sample 7 day plan to follow.

You can jump straight into the 7 day pdf of the plan here.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

General Guidelines for a Gestational Diabetes Diet

Generally, you should focus on general heart-healthy eating practices. These can help manage your symptoms without medication. Good practices to follow include:

  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – be sure to choose fresh or frozen foods. Canned fruit and vegetables can be higher in sugar.
  • Choose fiber-rich foods – fiber helps you stay full and helps control blood sugar levels.
  • Consume enough protein – protein is essential to build and repair tissue. Generally the recommended amount of protein is 0.36 x your body weight in pounds. E.g a 140 lb woman would need to eat 50 grams of protein a day.
  • Eat healthy carbohydrates – complex carbohydrates and take longer to break down into glucose. Too many unhealthy carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar. Be sure to choose carbohydrates like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy.
  • Choose healthy fats – these include unsaturated fats found in foods like olive oil, avocadoes and nuts. Saturated fats are found in foods like red meat and processed foods.
  • Keep an eye on portion sizes so you don’t overeat.

Foods to Eat on Gestational Diabetes Diet

Vegetables

Vegetables are low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and vitamins. This means that they keep you fill without you need to consume a lot of calories.

Try to consume a vegetables of a wide variety of color as they contain different nutrients.

Fresh, unprocessed vegetables are best. Canned vegetables are more likely to be higher in salt or sodium. Cooking with a lot of butter or sauces can also add too many calories, so be careful what extras you add with them.

Fruit

Many fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, as well as being low in fat and sodium. 

Because they contain more carbohydrates and sugar than vegetables, you might be wondering if you should limit your fruit intake.

However, almost all fruits have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they decrease blood sugar less compared to foods with a high GI.

Evidence shows that the quality of the carbohydrates is more important to general health than the amount we eat. One study found higher fruit intake was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (1).

Fresh or frozen fruit is best. Canned fruit and fruit juices contain a lot of sugar which can spike blood glucose levels.

Whole grains

Whole grains are complex carbs with a low GI rating.

Eating whole grains has been linked with several health benefits, including a lower risk of inflammation and heart disease (2, 3, 45), decreased body fat and BMI index (6) as well as a reduced risk of diabetes (7).

Good examples of whole grains to include in the diet are:

  • quinoa
  • bulgur
  • whole-grain bread
  • whole-grain pasta
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can only be found in food. However, they are most abundant in fatty fish. These fats help the body function properly and aid heart and brain health.

Fatty fish is high in unsaturated fats (the ‘healthier’ type of fat). One study found people eating lots of fats improves blood sugar level control and blood lipid profiles in diabetic people (8).

However, not all types of fish contain these omega-3 fatty acids. White fish like cod, hake and haddock don’t contain many omega-3 fatty acids, though they still are a healthy option.

Fatty types of fish include:

  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Trout

Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are an excellent plant-based protein to eat. They are very filling, low on the Glycemic Index and contain lots of fiber.

One study found that people who were given pasta and tomato sauce containing lentils had lower blood sugar than those who ate the same meal without lentils (9).

Another study found people who eat the most legumes have also been shown to have the lowest rates of type 2 diabetes (11).

Good examples of beans and legumes include:

  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain lots of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Various studies have found they can help you reduce your weight despite how calorie-dense they are (1213).

One study found women who ate peanut butter 5x per week or more lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 21% (14).  Another study found eating nuts daily was linked to a 28% reduced risk of heart disease (21).

Great nut and seed additions to your diet include:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds

Foods to Limit

These are foods you should generally avoid when trying to manage type 1 or type 2 diabetes or if you’re prediabetic.

By all means, treat yourself occasionally – but don’t make a habit of eating these foods regularly:

  • Junk foods: fast food and potato chips
  • Refined carbohydrates: white bread, pasta, crackers, flour tortillas, biscuits
  • Fried foods: french fries, donuts, fried meats
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, tea with added sugar, sports drinks
  • Processed meats: bacon, canned meat, salami, sausages
  • Trans fats: vegetable oil and margarine

What’s the Best Diet Plan for Gestational Diabetes?

The Mediterranean diet has been clinically proven to help with diabetes (21, 22, 23, 24, 25).  It contains the type of eating patterns recommended previously.

One study found that there was an 83% lower risk of diabetes among those who closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet (26).

The Mediterranean diet is a plan that encompasses all the points made above and is highly regarded within the scientific community as a heart-healthy diet to follow. It was ranked the number 1 diet according to the U.S. News & World Report.

It comes out on top when it comes to its healthiness and how easy it is to follow. This makes it a perfect diet to follow if you want to reduce inflammation long-term and find a sustainable way of eating.

Various credible organisations recommend following a Mediterranean diet to help with diabetes, including:

Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan

Gestational Diabetes Diet Sample Menu

In the meal plan are recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 BreakfastLunchDinner
MondayBanana Yogurt PotsCannellini Bean SaladQuick Moussaka
TuesdayTomato and Watermelon SaladEdgy Veggie WrapsSpicy Tomato Baked Eggs
WednesdayBlueberry Oats BowlCarrot, Orange and Avocado SaladSalmon with Potatoes and Corn Salad
ThursdayBanana Yogurt PotsMixed Bean SaladSpiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
FridayTomato and Watermelon SaladPanzanella SaladMed Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Salad
SaturdayBlueberry Oats BowlQuinoa and Stir Fried VegGrilled Vegetables with Bean Mash
SundayBanana Yogurt PotsMoroccan Chickpea SoupSpicy Mediterranean Beet Salad

Snacks are recommended between meal times. Some good snacks include:

  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • A piece of fruit
  • Carrots or baby carrots
  • Berries or grapes

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Day 1: Monday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Nutrition

  • Calories – 236
  • Protein – 14g
  • Carbs – 32g
  • Fat – 7g

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 225g /⅞ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 bananas, sliced into chunks
  • 15g / 2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped

Instructions

  1. Place some of the yogurt into the bottom of a glass. Add a layer of banana, then yogurt and repeat. Once the glass is full, scatter with the nuts.

Lunch: Cannellini Bean Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 302
  • Protein – 20g
  • Carbs – 54g
  • Fat – 0g

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 600g / 3 cups cannellini beans
  • 70g / ⅜ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small bunch basil, torn

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the beans and mix with the tomatoes, onion and vinegar. Season, then add basil just before serving.

Dinner: Moussaka

Nutrition

  • Calories – 577
  • Protein – 27g
  • Carbs – 46g
  • Fat – 27g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250g / 9 oz lean beef mince
  • 200g can / 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g can / 1 cup chickpeas
  • 100g pack / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Mint (fresh preferable)
  • Brown bread, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the mince and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  2. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir in the tomato purée and cinnamon, then season. Leave the mince to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas halfway through.
  3.  Sprinkle the feta and mint over the mince. Serve with toasted bread.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Day 2: Tuesday

Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 120g / ⅝ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 50g / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, Mix the oil, vinegar, chilli flakes and mint and then season.
  2. Put the tomatoes and watermelon into a bowl. Pour over the dressing, add the feta, then serve.

Lunch: Edgy Veggie Wraps

Nutrition

  • Calories – 310
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 39g
  • Fat – 11g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 Kalamata olives
  • 2 large wholemeal tortilla wraps
  • 50g / ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp hummus

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes, cut the cucumber into sticks, split the olives and remove the stones.
  2. Heat the tortillas.
  3. Spread the houmous over the wrap. Put the vegetable mix in the middle and roll up.

Dinner: Spicy Tomato Baked Eggs

Nutrition

  • Calories – 417
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 45g
  • Fat – 17g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped separately
  • 800g can / 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • brown bread, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan with a lid, then cook the onions, chilli, garlic and coriander stalks for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, then simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 dips in the sauce, then crack an egg into each one. Put a lid on the pan, then cook over a low heat for 6-8 mins, until the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with bread.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Day 3: Wednesday

Breakfast: Blueberry Oats Bowl

Nutrition

  • Calories – 235
  • Protein – 13g
  • Carbs – 38g
  • Fat – 4g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 60g / ⅔ cup porridge oats
  • 160g / ⅗ cup Greek yogurt
  • 175g / ¾ blueberries
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions

  1. Put the oats in a pan with 400ml of water. Heat and stir for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add a third of the yogurt.
  2. Tip the blueberries into a pan with the honey and 1 tbsp of water. Gently poach until the blueberries are tender.
  3. Spoon the porridge into bowls and add the remaining yogurt and blueberries.

Lunch: Carrot, Orange and Avocado Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 orange, plus zest and juice of 1
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthways and sliced with a peeler
  • 35g / 1 ½ cups rocket / arugula
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the segments from 1 of the oranges and put in a bowl with the carrots, rocket/arugula and avocado. Whisk together the orange juice, zest and oil. Toss through the salad, and season.

Dinner: Salmon with Potatoes and Corn Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 479
  • Protein – 43g
  • Carbs – 27g
  • Fat – 21g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 200g / 1 ⅓ cups baby new potatoes
  • 1 sweetcorn cob
  • 2 skinless salmon fillets
  • 60g / ⅓ cup tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Bunch of spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • handful basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, adding corn for final 5 minutes. Drain & cool.
  2. For the dressing, mix the vinegar, oil, shallot, capers, basil & seasoning.
  3. Heat grill to high. Rub some dressing on salmon & cook, skinned side down, for 7-8 minutes. Slice tomatoes & place on a plate. Slice the potatoes, cut the corn from the cob & add to plate. Add the salmon & drizzle over the remaining dressing.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Day 4: Thursday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Lunch: Mixed Bean Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 240
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 22g
  • Fat – 12g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 145g / ⅘ cup jar artichoke heart in oil
  • ½ tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g can / 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g / ¾ cup tomatoes, quartered
  • handful Kalamata black olives
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 100g / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Drain the jar of artichokes, reserving 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the oil, sun-dried tomato paste and vinegar and stir until smooth. Season to taste.
  2. Chop the artichokes and tip into a bowl. Add the cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, spring onions and half of the feta cheese. Stir in the artichoke oil mixture and tip into a serving bowl. Crumble over the remaining feta cheese, then serve.

Dinner: Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Nutrition

  • Calories – 238
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 34g
  • Fat – 7g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g /2 cups carrots, washed and coarsely grated
  • 70g / ⅓ cup split red lentils
  • 500ml / 2 ¼ cups hot vegetable stock
  • 60ml / ¼ cup milk
  • Greek yogurt, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 minute. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils have swollen and softened.
  2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste and finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Day 5: Friday

Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Lunch: Panzanella Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 452
  • Protein – 6g
  • Carbs – 37g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 400g / 2 cups tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of brown bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small handful basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Season well and add the garlic, capers, avocado and onion. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, tear the bread into chunks and place in a bowl. Drizzle over half of the olive oil and half of the vinegar. When ready to serve, scatter tomatoes and basil leaves and drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar. Stir before serving.

Dinner: Med Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 473
  • Protein – 36g
  • Carbs – 57g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ⅗ cup quinoa
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150g / ¾ cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • handful pitted black kalamata olives
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 50g / ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • juice and zest ½ lemon

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa following the pack instructions, then rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the chicken fillets in the olive oil with some seasoning, chilli and garlic. Lay in a hot pan and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside
  3. Next, tip the tomatoes, olives, onion, feta and mint into a bowl. Toss in the cooked quinoa. Stir through the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and season well. Serve with the chicken on top.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Day 6: Saturday

Breakfast: Blueberry Oats Bowl

Lunch: Quinoa and Stir Fried Veg

Nutrition

  • Calories – 473
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 56g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ⅗ cup quinoa
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 150g / 1 ⅔ leek, sliced
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into small florets
  • 50g / ¼ cup tomatoes
  • 100ml / ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • juice ½ lemon

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a pan, then add the garlic and quickly fry for 1 minute. Throw in the carrots, leeks and broccoli, then stir-fry for 2 minutes until everything is glistening.
  2. Add the tomatoes, mix together the stock and tomato purée, then add to the pan. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the quinoa and toss in the remaining oil and lemon juice. Divide between warm plates and spoon the vegetables on top.

Dinner: Grilled Vegetables with Bean Mash

Nutrition

  • Calories – 314
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 33g
  • Fat – 16g

Prep time + cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 pepper, deseeded & quartered
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 2 courgettes, sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • For the mash
  • 400g / 2 cups haricot beans, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100ml / ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill. Arrange the vegetables over a grill pan &brush lightly with oil. Grill until lightly browned, turn them over, brush again with oil, then grill until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, put the beans in a pan with garlic and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Mash roughly with a potato masher. Divide the vegetables and mash between 2 plates, drizzle over oil and sprinkle with black pepper and coriander.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Day 7: Sunday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Lunch: Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Nutrition

  • Calories – 408
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 63g
  • Fat – 11g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 300ml / 1 ¼ cups hot vegetable stock
  • 200g can / 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 200g can / 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 50g / ¼ cup frozen broad beans
  • zest and juice ½ lemon
  • coriander & bread to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, then fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes until softened. Add the cumin and fry for another minute.
  2. Turn up the heat, then add the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas and black pepper. Simmer for 8 minutes. Add broad beans and lemon juice and cook for a further 2 minutes. Top with lemon zest and coriander.

Dinner: Spicy Mediterranean Beet Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 548
  • Protein – 23g
  • Carbs – 58g
  • Fat – 20g

Prep time + cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 8 raw baby beetroots, or 4 medium, scrubbed
  • ½ tbsp sumac
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 400g can / 2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 200g / ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • mint leaves, chopped, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Halve or quarter beetroots depending on size. Mix spices together. On a large baking tray, mix chickpeas and beetroot with the oil. Season with salt & sprinkle over the spices. Mix again. Roast for 30 minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, mix the lemon zest and juice with the yogurt. Swirl the harissa through and spread into a bowl. Top with the beetroot & chickpeas, and sprinkle with the chilli flakes & mint.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Gestational Diabetes Diet Shopping List

This shopping list corresponds to the 7 day plan, serving 2 people. No snacks are included.

View 7 Day Diabetes Diet Meal Plan PDF

Life after the meal plan

Find more recipes on our site

Your journey doesn’t end after 7 days of Mediterranean recipes for gestational diabetes. It’s about finding recipes that can become staples in your household and creating eating habits that actually last.

We’ve got plenty of recipes online already. Just use the search function on our home page if you’re looking for a specific ingredient or check out our recipe page.

Disclosure

We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.