The Best Gestational Diabetes Bedtime Snacks 

gestational diabetes bedtime snack. women in white tank top eating and orange and chocolate

Managing gestational diabetes can be challenging, especially when it comes to maintaining stable blood sugar levels overnight. Gestational diabetes bedtime snacks are crucial in this process, but not all snacks are created equal. 

Understanding how your body’s hormonal changes affect blood sugar levels can help you choose which snacks will best support your health during pregnancy. In this blog, we will explore the best, patient-approved, gestational diabetes bedtime snacks.

Why Gestational Diabetes Bedtime Snacks Can Help

During pregnancy, especially with gestational diabetes, maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is crucial. At night, your body undergoes significant hormonal changes that can impact these levels. 

Hormones such as cortisol and growth hormone are up to 75% higher, contributing to increased insulin resistance (1). This means your body isn’t as effective at using insulin to lower blood sugar levels. This can lead to higher glucose levels.

Moreover, around 3 AM, your body releases more cortisol. Steadily increasing cortisol helps wake you up in the morning (2). This spike in cortisol further increases insulin resistance. 

Additionally, your liver releases sugar throughout the night to maintain energy levels. This nocturnal release, in combination with the effects of increased hormones, elevates fasting glucose levels by morning (3).

Selecting the Right Gestational Diabetes Bedtime Snack

Choosing the right night-time snack can help counteract these hormonal effects by providing a steady source of energy that keeps blood sugar levels stable until breakfast. The key is to find snacks that offer a balance of proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. This balance of protein and complex carbs digest slowly and helps prevent spikes in blood sugar.

Here are some of the best gestational diabetes-friendly night-time snacks:

  1. Yasso Yogurt Bars: A delicious ‘dessert’ option that provides a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates.
  2. 100% Dark Chocolate Chips with Almonds or Walnuts: This snack offers antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber, helping to slow glucose absorption.
  3. Protein Drink with 20-30g of Protein: A quick and convenient way to ensure you’re getting enough protein, which is essential for blood sugar regulation.
  4. Cottage Cheese with 1/4 Cup Blueberries: A perfect combination of protein and antioxidants, plus the sweetness of blueberries to satisfy any late-night cravings.
  5. String Cheese: A simple, portable snack that provides calcium and protein.
  6. Protein Roll-up with an Egg Tortilla, Avocado, Cheese, and Chicken: This snack is packed with protein and healthy fats, making it incredibly satisfying and blood sugar-friendly.
  7. Plain Greek Yogurt with Cinnamon and 1/4 Cup Raspberries: Greek yogurt offers a high-protein content, while cinnamon can help control blood sugar levels. Raspberries add fiber and a touch of sweetness.
  8. KIND ice cream bar: A gestational diabetes favorite of many moms, KIND ice cream bars are heavy in nuts along with chocolate and is well tolerated by many women with gestational diabetes.

Individual Responses May Vary

It’s important to remember that everyone’s body responds differently to different foods. Some people may need more carbohydrates in their night-time snack to prevent low blood sugar levels overnight, while others may need less. 

Experimenting with these snacks can help you find the perfect balance to manage your gestational diabetes effectively. If you’re someone looking for more desserts, check out my blog on The Best Gestational Diabetes Desserts.

Mastering Gestational Diabetes

For those looking to dive deeper into managing gestational diabetes, including controlling fasting blood sugars, consider enrolling in a Better Blood Sugars and Outcome Gestational Diabetes Course. Use code NEWSLETTER for $20 off.

In this on-demand course, we review all the secrets and strategies needed to navigate gestational diabetes successfully. I’ve worked with thousands of women and have compiled all my education into over 72 pages and 15 videos, plus one one-on-one text coaching to tailor to your needs. 

Conclusion

Managing gestational diabetes requires careful attention to your diet, especially when it comes to choosing the right night-time snacks. By understanding how hormonal changes affect your blood sugar levels and selecting snacks that provide a balanced mix of nutrients, you can help maintain stable blood sugar levels overnight.  Try these bedtime gestational diabetes snacks first when trying to manage your fasting blood sugars.

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Ginger Cochran is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, Certified Diabetes Educator & Care Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist, and owner of Nutritious Ginger, an integrative and functional nutrition practice focusing on full body self-care and nourishment. Ginger’s primary specialty is women’s health, with a special emphasis on gestational diabetes, weight management, infertility, digestive wellness, and overall health + happiness.
Ginger serves on the board of director for the Nutrition Care Manual by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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