Pregnant women with gestational diabetes need to careful about their diets during pregnancy—but recent research indicates that one surprising health risk could be reduced through eating healthier your whole life long.
Pregnant women who get gestational diabetes are at risk of multiple health issues—and not all of them end after their pregnancy. One such health issue is the chance of developing high blood pressure later in life.
On the flip side, there’s one very simple way to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. According to recent research—and it’s all to do with what you eat.
A study from the American Heart Association reached this conclusion after observing 3,818 women who had histories of pregnancy-related diabetes. The ongoing study went on for 22 years and found that 1,069 of the women developed high blood pressure, which increased their risk of having heart attacks or strokes later in life.
According to the researchers, women who maintained healthy diets were 20 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not. Weight played an important role too: Increased BMI (body mass index) explained 20 to 30 percent of the link between diet and high blood pressure risk.
What you can do to reduce risks associated with gestational diabetes?
Obviously, the idea of eating a healthy diet is nebulous. Will indulging in a meal of burger or fries every now and then increase your odds of developing high blood pressure later in life? Probably not, but it’s important to eat healthy more often than not. Other factors that pronounce the risks of pregnancy diabetes—smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity. According to the study, those who ate healthy diets were less likely to smoke, drink to excess and live sedentary lifestyles.
In order to reduce your risk, aim to eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, pulses and whole grains and reduce red meat, salt and processed meat intake, as the study found that those who stuck to similar eating plans had lower odds of growing into hypertension.