You'd be surprised who's contended with gestational diabetes (GD), a type of diabetes that usually appears around weeks 24 to 28 of pregnancy, although it can come earlier. Salma Hayek developed it in 2007, Angelina Jolie in 2008, and Mariah Carey in 2011.
The rise in blood sugar levels that signals GD, along with the increased predisposition it causes for preeclampsia (high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine during the second half of pregnancy), puts both mother and child at risk.
With GD, you may give birth prematurely, or have a miscarriage or stillborn baby. GD can also cause the fetus to gain excess weight, have breathing problems and low blood sugar as a newborn, and as a growing child develop obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
According to a study in the European Journal of Nutrition, each tick up on the Inflammatory Dietary Index is associated with a 27% higher risk of gestational diabetes.
That's why pregnant women (whether overweight or not) need to lower their intake of inflammatory foods — especially simple sugars, added syrups, refined carbs, red and processed meats, ultra-processed and fried foods, and trans and saturated fats. That can dramatically lower the risk of GD and associated complications.
From the first moment you know (or suspect) that you're pregnant, make sure your diet is full of fresh vegetables, fruits, and 100% whole grains.
That will make the next nine months — and years to come — as healthy and happy as possible for all involved.