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Mediterranean diet helps women dodge gestational diabetes

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Actress Salma Hayek admitted to Oprah Winfrey that her pregnancy, at age 40, was tough: "I gained a lot of weight. I had gestational diabetes. The pregnancy was really difficult for me." She's not alone. Every year, 2-10% of pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes, putting the woman at risk for high blood pressure during the pregnancy, a C-section delivery and full-blown diabetes down the road. The fetus is also affected, with increased risks of a large birthweight, premature birth and developing diabetes later in life.

What can you do to avoid that plight? Well, if you have obesity, high blood pressure and/or high triglycerides, a recent study published in Plos Medicine may have found a powerful solution. It seems sticking to a Mediterranean-style diet -- that's lots of nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fish, and a low to moderate intake of poultry -- and avoidance of sugary drinks, fast food and foods rich in animal fat can slash your risk of developing gestational diabetes by 35%. Plus, you may gain less excess weight!

If you're at risk for gestational diabetes (have elevated blood sugar, triglycerides, obesity, or are, like Selma, older), get a glucose screening or tolerance test at week 24 or earlier (ask your doc). Want to get into the Med diet? Pick up a copy of "YOU: Having a Baby." We have recipes developed by master chef Jim Perko, nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick and medical director Elizabeth Ricanati. So, eat well and prosper!

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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