Eating healthier early on lowers risk of diabetes in pregnant women

(ORDO NEWS) — Gestational diabetes is one that occurs in pregnant women. The risk of its development exists primarily in obese women. Its presence in the anamnesis is considered by many doctors as a wake-up call about a woman’s predisposition to type 2 diabetes, and sometimes as a state of obvious prediabetes.

Moreover, even if, after childbirth, the parameters of carbohydrate metabolism in a woman returned to normal and no signs of pathology could be detected.

Risk factors for the development of gestational diabetes are the so-called increased dietary inflammatory index (which indicates a high level of markers of inflammation in the body) and excessive consumption of fats, especially saturated ones.

Scientists from the University of Turku (Finland) studied the relationship between eating habits and the occurrence of gestational diabetes in 351 overweight and obese women. Their diet was reviewed based on food diaries. As a result, the authors of the work identified two dietary patterns: healthy and unhealthy. In addition, they calculated the dietary inflammatory index of women .

“Our research shows that following a healthy diet early in pregnancy reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes,” said first author, doctoral student Lotta Pajunen from the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Turku. An unhealthy diet that exacerbated inflammation in the body increased the risk of developing it.

Scientists also found that switching to a healthier diet with an increase in the proportion of vegetables and rye bread by 73 percent reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes in expectant mothers , and unhealthy eating, on the contrary, increases these risks by 27 percent.

In general, pregnant women with diabetes had more fat, saturated fatty acids, and trans fats in their diets, but less fiber than expectant mothers who did not have the disease. The results of the work were published in the European Journal of Nutrition .


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