Role of Medical Nutrition Therapy in the Management of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Curr Diab Rep. 2016 Apr;16(4):22. doi: 10.1007/s11892-016-0717-7.


Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) plays an important role in the management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and accordingly, it has a significant impact on women and newborns. The primary objective of MNT is to ensure adequate pregnancy weight gain and fetus growth while maintaining euglycemia and avoiding ketones. However, the optimal diet (energy content, macronutrient distribution, its quality and amount, among others) remains an outstanding question. Overall, the nutritional requirements of GDM are similar for all pregnancies, but special attention is paid to carbohydrates. Despite the classical intervention of restricting carbohydrates, the latest evidence, although limited, seems to favor a low-glycemic index diet. There is general agreement in the literature about caloric restrictions in the case of being overweight or obese. Randomized controlled trials are necessary to investigate the optimal MNT for GDM; this knowledge could yield health benefits and cost savings.

Keywords: Carbohydrates; Diet; Gestational diabetes; Gestational diabetes mellitus; Medical nutrition therapy; Nutrition therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caloric Restriction
  • Diabetes, Gestational / diet therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Therapy*
  • Overweight
  • Pregnancy