Eating less meat might help women avoid a common pregnancy problem. Up to 10% of women develop gestational diabetes while they’re pregnant. This means they have high blood sugar during the pregnancy, even though they’ve never had diabetes.
In a new study, researchers included more than 13,000 women who had a baby over a 10-year period. More than 800 developed gestational diabetes.
Women whose diets were higher in animal fat had a higher risk of this problem. Those who ate the most animal fat were 88% more likely to develop gestational diabetes. More cholesterol in the diet was also linked to a higher risk.
Women who make changes to their diet now could help protect themselves from this problem during a pregnancy down the road. According to the researchers, shifting just 5% of your calories from animal fat to plant foods may lower your risk by 7%.
If you’re planning to get pregnant, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor to discuss other things you can do now to lower your risk of gestational diabetes and other problems during pregnancy.