Feb 21, 2023 • 4 min read

20 Bedtime Snacks for Gestational Diabetes

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It can be nerve-wracking to make sure you’re eating the right foods for yourself and your baby when you have gestational diabetes. Luckily, there are many healthy choices when it comes to late-night snacks.

Eating a bedtime snack can provide several benefits for women with gestational diabetes, including:

  • Maintaining stable blood sugar levels: Eating a snack before bed can help prevent low blood sugar levels during the night and keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
  • Reducing morning sickness: Many women with gestational diabetes experience nausea or vomiting in the morning due to low blood sugar levels. A bedtime snack can help prevent this by keeping your blood sugar levels stable throughout the night.
  • Improving sleep quality: A small, protein-rich bedtime snack can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce nighttime hunger pangs, which can improve your overall sleep quality.
  • Promoting healthy weight gain: Choosing a healthy bedtime snack that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber can help promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Providing essential nutrients: Eating a balanced bedtime snack that includes nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds can provide important vitamins and minerals that are essential for fetal development.

It’s important to work with your doctor or registered dietitian to determine the best types of snacks for pregnancy and portion sizes that are appropriate for you based on your individual needs and health status.

This article goes over some bedtime snack ideas for women with gestational diabetes.

20 bedtime snack ideas for people with gestational diabetes

When it comes to eating at night time with gestational diabetes, it’s important to choose foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber. Here are some examples of foods that are generally safe to eat at night time:

  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • A handful of almonds
  • Cottage cheese with sliced peaches
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Turkey roll-ups with cheese and avocado
  • Hard-boiled egg with whole wheat toast
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Edamame beans
  • Low-fat string cheese with whole-grain crackers
  • Grilled chicken skewers with veggies
  • Sugar-free jello or pudding cups
  • Celery sticks with cream cheese spread
  • Baked sweet potato chips
  • Kale chips
  • A small fresh fruit salad
  • Rice cakes topped with peanut butter and banana slices
  • Homemade trail mix (nuts, seeds, and dried fruit)
  • Popcorn sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Vegetable soup

Here at Zaya Care, we can help you find a nutritionist specializing in pregnancy so you can make sure you are eating the optimal foods for gestational diabetes and getting enough protein. They will work with you to tailor a diet plan that fits your needs while keeping you and your baby safe.

If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out our guide to healthy dessert ideas for those with gestational diabetes. In that guide, we go over tasty dessert ideas that won’t spike your blood sugar and are also safe to eat as a bedtime snack. You can also see lunch ideas for gestational diabetes here and healthy breakfast choices for gestational diabetes here.

>> Read More: How a Prenatal Nutritionist Can Help During Pregnancy

What to avoid for bedtime snacks if you have gestational diabetes

If you have gestational diabetes, it’s important to avoid certain types of foods that can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Here are some examples:

  • Sugary and sweetened beverages: This includes regular soda, fruit juice, sweetened tea or coffee, energy drinks, and sports drinks. These beverages are high in added sugars and can quickly raise your blood sugar levels.
  • Processed snacks and sweets: This includes candy, cookies, cakes, pastries, chips, and other snack foods that are high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars.
  • White bread, rice, and pasta: These refined grains are quickly broken down into glucose by the body and can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.
  • High-fat meats: Fatty cuts of meat like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs should be limited because they can contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance.
  • Fried foods: Foods that are deep-fried or battered should be avoided because they’re often high in calories and unhealthy fats.

It’s important to work with your doctor or registered dietitian to develop a personalized meal plan that takes into account your individual needs and health status. 

They can provide guidance on portion sizes and help you make healthy food choices to manage your gestational diabetes effectively.

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Why does your blood sugar drop at night with gestational diabetes?

In women with gestational diabetes, blood sugar levels may drop at night due to a condition called “overnight hypoglycemia.” This occurs when the body produces too much insulin in response to carbohydrate consumption during meals, leading to low blood sugar levels several hours later.

During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that can interfere with insulin’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This can cause insulin resistance, which means that your body needs more insulin than usual to process glucose (sugar) from the foods you eat.

When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose and absorbed into your bloodstream. Insulin helps move glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells where it can be used for energy or stored for later use. 

In women with gestational diabetes, however, the body may produce too much insulin after a meal, causing blood sugar levels to drop too low several hours later.

This is particularly common at night when there is no food intake for an extended period of time and can lead to symptoms like sweating, shakiness, dizziness, confusion, or even loss of consciousness. 

Eating a small snack before bedtime can help prevent overnight hypoglycemia by providing a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream throughout the night.

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