If you have coeliac disease or gluten intolerance, you may be wondering if you can follow a gluten-free gestational diabetes diet without added complications.

The great news is that following a gluten-free gestational diabetes diet is no more difficult than following a gestational diabetes diet that will help blood glucose levels, especially if you opt for natural sources of gluten-free foods.

list of the GD UK 8 Golden Rules for a gestational diabetes diet

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. These grains are predominantly found in high-carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, cereals, cakes and biscuits.

Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels rapidly. A good gestational diabetes diet limits carbohydrates in order to help control blood glucose levels and incorporates plenty of protein, fibre and healthy fats.

Macronutrients impact on blood glucose

Can gluten-free products help blood sugars?

If gluten is found in high-carbohydrate foods that raise blood sugar levels, you may presume that foods labelled as gluten-free could be better for blood glucose levels, right? Unfortunately not.

Many foods created and marketed as gluten-free alternatives to grain products contain other high-carbohydrate ingredients, which means they can cause high blood glucose levels; in some cases, many gluten-free foods are higher in carbohydrates than those containing gluten.

Which gluten-free products are suitable?

When looking for gluten-free alternatives to wheat products, such as bread and pasta, look for the lowest total carbs and products which do not replace wheat with other high-carb ingredients, such as potato and rice.

Opt for pasta made from legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils, which are also higher in protein, making them a much better choice.

red lentil pasta

Some gluten-free bread is extremely high in carbohydrates, so comparing the total carbs per slice is best.

Schär gluten-free products are widely available in most major supermarkets, with the Schär Gluten Free Wholesome Seeded Loaf (300g) having the lowest carbs at 9.5g per small slice, and it is suitable for vegetarians. For those who need gluten-free Vegan bread, the Schär Wholesome Vitality Loaf (350g) is still a lower carb option at 11g carbs per small slice.

A biscuit which is lower in carbs and tastes delicious is the Nairns Gluten-Free Biscuit Breaks. I highly recommend these for a sweet fix snack and use them in many of my GD-friendly cheesecake recipes.

Chocolate cheesecake
Chocolate no-bake cheesecake
Check out this recipe
chocolate cheesecake

What about gluten-free cereal?

Cereal is something that we have nicknamed ‘GD Kryptonite’ due to its impact on most people’s blood glucose levels. Cereal is very hard to tolerate and requires heavy pairing with additional healthy fats and protein to make it more tolerable. With the majority of gluten-free cereals being carb-heavy, I cannot recommend a cereal other than heavily paired gluten-free porridge oats.

Porridge
Porridge | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
porridge

GD UK Gluten-Free Recipes

When browsing the recipes on here, you can filter for gluten-free gestational diabetes recipes. However, you will notice that the majority of recipes are gluten-free, as I do not create many recipes containing things like flour due to the impact these high-carb ingredients have on blood sugar levels. For example, hardly any of my sweet recipes use wheat flour. Instead, I use ground almonds, nut flour, or coconut flour, which is lower in carbs and higher in protein and fat, meaning they are naturally gluten-free!