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Why Real Food is the Ideal Gestational Diabetes Diet

Ever notice how good it feels to thank someone? Or how awesome it feels to receive a compliment yourself?

It’s not all in your head.

As hard as it is to study, expressing gratitude has been shown to improve well-being – both to the giver and receiver of those positive words.

(Seriously, I just read a research article on it entitled: “Gratitude and happiness: development of a measure of gratitude, and relationships with subjective well-being.“)

So maybe that explains why I’m feeling especially grateful for the outpouring of support for my book.

Here’s the latest from Heather of the popular blog, Mommypotamus:

Lily is the author of Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, a thoroughly researched guide filled with practical guidance and easy-to-follow instructions. It is, hands down, the best resource on the subject that I have found so far. If you or someone you know is looking for information on managing GD with real food, I highly recommend it!”

As a thank you to Heather and her Mommypotamus fans, I wrote a guest post all about gestational diabetes that’s been making rounds in the past few weeks.

I cover everything from the basics to the complex, including:

  • What is gestational diabetes? (and my favorite way to define it)
  • How gestational diabetes develops
  • How insulin resistance can both help – and harm – pregnancy
  • Why early screening for gestational diabetes is helpful
  • Can gestational diabetes be prevented? (what exercise, protein, and vitamin D have to do with it)
  • What’s the problem with high blood sugar during pregnancy?
  • Why even mildly elevated blood sugar matters
  • What’s considered “normal” blood sugar during pregnancy
  • How is gestational diabetes managed
  • Why the typical gestational diabetes diet fails
  • Why real food is the ideal gestational diabetes diet
  • What level of carbohydrates is best?
  • How to proactively manage your blood sugar during pregnancy (including what foods raise blood sugar levels, what foods don’t, and how to combine foods to maintain good blood sugar control)
  • How gestational diabetes is sometimes a good thing

I’ve touched upon all of these points in interviews, like this one, but if you learn better by reading (or want to read the research for yourself), you’ll enjoy this article.

It’s a veritable thesis for my book – all 40,000+ words – condensed into about 2,000.

Check out the article here!

If you have any questions about gestational diabetes that I did not address in the article, leave them in the comments below.

I’ll be addressing these in future blog posts.

If you want to learn more about Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, be sure to snag my FREE guide on managing gestational diabetes over at (or via the box below this post)

Until next week,

PS – Exercise is key to a healthy pregnancy, especially for moms who have gestational diabetes. As a Pilates instructor who’s worked extensively with pregnant + postpartum moms, I have a lot to share on the topic.

I’m giving a 100% free (and pitch-free) webinar via the California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program: Sweet Success on the latest ‘exercise during pregnancy’ research on March 18th, 2015.

It’ll be fairly medical-y since it’s geared towards health care providers (and if you happen to be a RD, RN, MSW/LCSW, you’ll get a free CEU for attending), but per my usual approach, I make sure the info is simple enough for everyone to benefit.

You can sign up for the webinar HERE.

Manage gestational diabetes without fear.

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. Lily, for non-pregnant women, what fasting blood sugar levels do you recommend?

    • TT, The American Diabetes Association suggests less than 100mg/dl is “normal” fasting blood sugar for adults, but ideally that # is slightly lower per research.

      • Thanx, Lily. I know the ADA levels are set pretty high. What would be your recommendation for ideal fasting blood sugar levels?

        • In the 80s.

  2. Obviously this is well past the date, but do you have the webinar archived somewhere? Would love to listen in. Thanks!

    • Hi Heather – Not that I’m aware of, but this podcast interview on Pregnancy Exercise Myths goes may interest you. 🙂

      • I’ll look into this — thanks, Lily!

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