Helsinki: All women please take note. If you are having a healthy diet in your early pregnancy, it may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, finds a new study.
The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, said that obesity is a significant risk factor for developing gestational diabetes mellitus and an increasing number of pregnant women are overweight or obese.
“Our research results show that following a healthy diet in early pregnancy reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, says the first author,” said researcher Lotta Pajunen from the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Turku (Finland).
According to the research, dietary habits have an impact on both obesity and the onset of gestational diabetes mellitus.
For the study, the team included 351 overweight or obese women to examine the connection between dietary intake and the onset of gestational diabetes.
The women’s nutrient intake was calculated from food diaries, on the basis of which two dietary patterns, a healthier and an unhealthier dietary pattern, were recognised.
In addition, the overall quality of the diet in reference to that recommended was described with a diet quality index and the inflammatory potential with a dietary inflammatory index.
The study also found that a higher dietary inflammatory index, meaning a diet that increases the low-grade inflammatory markers in the body was connected to an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus.
Furthermore, higher consumption of fat and especially saturated fats was connected to gestational diabetes. This is of interest as the intake of saturated fats is known to increase the body’s inflammation.
“Eating vegetables, fruit, berries, and wholegrain products, as well as unsaturated fats, is particularly important. These nutrients and foods reduce inflammation in the body and therefore also the risk of gestational diabetes,” the researchers said.