Research has investigated what factors contribute to development of gestational diabetes, with diet being an important contributor. However, scientific evidence has been inconsistent on whether the diet that we adhere to here, in the Western World, has a lot to do with it.
A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of studies included 21 studies (chosen from more than 1500) to see whether the evidence indicates higher risk of developing gestational diabetes when consuming a Western diet. Altogether more than 12,000 women were included in the research, and consistent evidence showed that western dietary patterns (high intake of red meat, processed meat, refined grain products, sweets, fast food and deep-fried foods) significantly contribute to the development of gestational diabetes, when consumed pre- or during pregnancy. These foods are associated with the risk of developing gestational diabetes:
- Animal meat
- Fast food
- Red and processed meat are riskier than poultry or fish
The good news is that potatoes were not found to put you more at risk of developing gestational diabetes. However, that may be due to the quality of included studies or the variety of ways potatoes can be cooked (chips versus baked potatoes). Thus, researchers conclude that reduction in consumption of processed and red meats, as well as junk food, may potentially decrease risk of development of gestational diabetes.
Prepared from the following research articles/extracts/publications etc:
Wei Quan, Maomao Zeng, Ye Jiao, Yong Li, Chaoyi Xue, Guoping Liu, Zhaojun Wang, Fang Qin, Zhiyong He, Jie Chen, Western Dietary Patterns, Foods, and Risk of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies, Advances in Nutrition, 2021;, nmaa184
Correspondence to: Zhiyong He (e-mail: email@example.com) or Jie Chen (e-mail: Chenjie@jiangnan.edu.cn).