I think there are a couple of reasons for this... long reply below! For those of us with GD or borderline GD, yes, low- or moderate-carb is probably much healthier. Certainly for now and likely in general. I lost 35 pounds effortlessly and kept it off by going back on a much more moderately low-carb diet when my second was 8mo.
Originally Posted by RosemaryS-F
I am noticing a trend here. Most of you who are pleased with your diets have or suspect GD. Would you say that, philosophically, low carb is a healthier, more sustaining way for people in general, or more for yourself? I am just curious. Did you used to be a carb lover before you experienced GD or Diabetes?
Us GD moms have to be SUPER conscious of what we eat. So, it really forces us into planning and tracking our food. You asked who is pleased with their diets... we sort of have to be, most of us have more than one health care practitioner reading our food and blood sugar logs, so it feels a bit as if though you have someone looking over your should and judging you every time you eat. Not a great feeling, but it definitely makes me eat better! (for example... for dinner tonight I had a large bowl of homemade sprouted-lentil/veggie soup-- no potatoes-- with some plain yogurt, 1/4 piece of whole wheat bread with butter and a fried egg and water to drink. My one-hour blood sugar was 8pts above my target. Why? Was in the 1/4-piece of bread? Are lentils a problem for me now? Was it because I didn't have a good mid-afternoon snack? I was hungry but not near any food and I ate a handful of homemade popcorn that the kids were having about an hour before dinner. could that be it? I wrote a note on my log for my midwives, and tomorrow I'll be sure to remember to bring some almonds for myself... It makes me pick apart my diet for sure. And I looked back at Sunday night's log, where I was a little high, I thought it was from some ice cream I ate but maybe it was also the lentils? See what I mean? I spend more time thinking about my food with GD than I EVER would otherwise).
I actually think that food logging would probably help anyone concerned that diet is not optimal. And if you are ravenously hungry, then that is a sign that maybe something is not balanced and a food log might help you see that. We all log our food and we are looking at carbs (and other things of course). But upping protein and fat (and I would say, unprocessed fat-- like butter, nuts/seeds and their oils, EVOO, virgin coconut oil, fatty meats and fish, full-fat dairy, etc) would be good ways to get more densely nutritious foods, kind of... more bang for your buck. Sometimes hunger comes from lack of calories, sometimes from lacking some particular nutrient or type of food, sometimes from something being out of whack. When you are pregnant you may well need more protein than you are used to eating. You are growing another person- not to mention all the things your body needs to support that person!
I am not prepared to say that what is healthy for me is healthy for everyone. But I think that a diet which is lower carb than what many of us think of as "normal", is probably healthier. I guess I mean a diet where grains are not the staple of *every* meal. Certainly we all know that sugar and sweeteners are not optimal for us- at best they are "empty" calories, at worse they interfere with our metabolisms and sense of hunger/saiety and can be pretty addictive. I have watched my kids eat so differently when I offer fewer grains. I now mix it up for them (give them different grains at different meals), and don't offer it for every meal and snack. My kids are not fat or unhealthy in any way, this is no attempt to make them lose weight that is for sure! Its just that I see them choosing to eat more protein, more veggies, more fruits when that is what is on the table. Yesterday they had oatmeal (and eggs and fresh apricots) for breakfast, PB sandwiches (and apples and carrots) for lunch, kefir and fruit for snacks, and then, for dinner, I offered them pan-fried tofu, mashed sweet potatoes, and sauteed cabbage, with blueberries and cream for dessert. If I had put out pasta or rice (or cake for dessert), they would have eaten less of those other things. Anyway, does that make sense?
I wouldn't say I was a "carb-lover" but I definitely have a sweet tooth. I was raised eating, and have pretty much always eaten, a whole-foods based diet, mainly home-cooked, lots of veggies, fruits, etc. But I used to eat steel-cut oats for breakfast, 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, etc. with lunch and dinner. I probably had some kind of grain serving at most meals. It was a weird shift to stop eating that but man did I feel better when I got used to it. And, my sweet tooth is still there, but much less... toothy.