Following the Mediterranean diet has been correlated with preventing heart disease, stabilizing blood sugar, and reducing blood pressure. But now, researchers have found another potential benefit of this thoroughly studied eating plan: a healthier pregnancy.
A study published on July 23 in the journal PLOS Medicine found that the Mediterranean diet led to a significantly lower risk of gestational diabetes and a reduction in excess weight gain during pregnancy.
Health benefits of the Mediterranean diet
In the study, researchers in the United Kingdom studied more than 1,100 moms-to-be of various ethnicities who had certain risk factors for pregnancy complications, like obesity and chronic high blood pressure, at five inner-city hospitals.
The study found that the Mediterranean-style diet resulted in a 35 percent reduction in the risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy and 2.75 pounds less in weight gain while carrying a fetus, compared with the control group of expectant mothers who received dietary advice in line with the United Kingdom’s national recommendations.
importance of reducing gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes can occur in pregnant women. However, people with certain risk factors, such as a family history of diabetes, being over the age of 25, or a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are at greater risk of the condition. Women who are black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian are also at higher risk.
Around 6 to 9 percent of pregnant women trusted sources in the United States develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancies.
The condition causes high blood sugar that may lead to pregnancy complications.
Continue reading at Healthline Parenthood