Skip to main content

Understanding carbohydrates

  • All foods can affect blood glucose levels, but carbohydrates affect blood glucose the most. Carbohydrate foods give you and your baby energy.

    Carbohydrate foods should make up 40 to 45 percent of the total calories you eat each day.

    Did you know?

    Sweets may make your blood glucose go too high. Save eating something sweet for a very special occasion or a rare treat.

    Carbohydrate foods are:

    • beans and lentils
    • breads
    • cereals
    • fruits
    • grains
    • milk and yogurt
    • starchy vegetables
    • sweets
    • fruit and vegetable juices

    Carbohydrate counting

    Tip

    To help control your blood glucose, avoid carbohydrates that often cause blood glucose to go up too high, such as soda, fruit juices or drinks, lemonade or Kool-Aid®, chocolate milk, or sugar-sweetened coffee, tea or other beverages.

    Learning to count carbohydrates is a way to help you manage the amount of carbohydrate you eat each day at your meals and snacks.

    A carbohydrate choice is a serving of food that contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Pregnant women need between 12 to 16 carbohydrate choices every day.

    Remember: It is not healthy to leave out carbohydrate foods to control your blood glucose. Our examples of carbohydrate choices worksheet (requires Adobe Reader) will help you choose a healthful variety of carbohydrate choices each day. Try to choose a healthful variety of carbohydrate choices each day.

  • Source: Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Gestational Diabetes: When You Have Diabetes During Pregnancy, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-21-6
    Reviewed by: Reviewed by Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
    First reviewed: 11/27/2006
    Last reviewed: 01/20/2014


  • If you see this message, you must refresh before proceeding with editing!


Copyright Information

This site is presented for information only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Allina Health®, Allina®, the Allina Health logo, and Medformation® are registered trademarks of Allina Health System. Presentation and Design ©2014 Allina Health. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED