If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant in the future, you will no doubt be instructed by your doctor to do a blood glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. This is a routine test given to practically all pregnant women in the U.S. Basically you go to the lab or your doctor’s office and drink an extremely sweet beverage full of sugar and other toxic crap, and then wait around for an hour. After that hour, you have your blood drawn to see how high your blood glucose is.
The problem with this “oral glucose tolerance beverage” also known as “Glucola” is that it has ingredients in it that pregnant women should never be consuming. Most mothers-to-be are watching what they put in their bodies to make sure that baby only gets the best nutrition to thrive. Doctors should be on board with this motherly instinct, yet they are instructing them to drink this nasty drink. Let’s take a look at what is inside this toxic beverage.
Vani aka the “Food Babe” recently posted about this topic and shared a picture of what the ingredients are:
This beverage is full of artificial colorings and preservatives that pregnant women shouldn’t be consuming. It also has Brominated Soybean Oil which is known to accumulate in the body and is linked to heart lesions. In the 1970’s the FDA questioned the safety of BVO (Brominated Vegetable Oil) and put the ingredient on “interim status” which means that food companies could legally put it into food products until further toxicology research was done. Well that research has still not been done and it’s been 40 years. Looks like someone dropped the ball.
BVO contains bromine, which is known to cause thyroid issues. It is also found in brominated flame retardants that are used in upholstered furniture. BVO leaves residues that accumulate in the brain, breast milk, liver and other organs and is linked to impaired growth and behavioral development, liver disease, fertility issues, neurological problems and early puberty.
I’m sure most pregnant women who are sent to do this lab test and even their doctors, don’t know this is in it or why they should even care.
“If you haven’t had it yet – think about saying “NO!” as part of the revolutionary movement to keep toxic chemicals away from our unborn babies.” -Dr. Aviva Romm
Gestational Diabetes is serious and dangerous for both mother and baby. It is absolutely important to monitor your blood glucose when pregnant but there are healthier alternatives. Bring it to your doctor’s attention and if they don’t understand why you are concerned, educate them! The requirements of the test are to ingest 50-100 grams of sugar and then monitor how your body handles the influx of glucose. Some doctors/labs will accommodate you by allowing you to consume an alternative that equals to 50 grams of sugar in it.
Here are some glucose counts for more “natural” foods/drinks:
- 6 oz. Grape juice = 30 grams
- 9 oz. apple juice = 40 grams
- Slice of bread = 15 grams
- cup of cereal = 30 grams
- banana = 20 grams
- cup of milk = 12 grams
- two slices of bread = 30 grams
- 16 oz. orange juice = 40 grams
So you could do a combo of grape juice and a banana, 2 slices of bread and a banana or 2 bananas and a cup of milk. Banana sandwich anyone? You must call ahead and see if the lab or doctor will even allow you to do this of course. Don’t just show up and expect that they’ll be understanding because they will probably look at you like you’re crazy. You’ll probably be labeled the “difficult patient” either way!
There was a study done that shows that you can eat 28 jelly beans to get 50 grams of sugar instead of the glucose drink. I personally don’t think it’s that much better of an alternative but I suppose you could get organic, non-GMO jelly beans to do it! Read more about the study here.
Blood Glucose Monitoring at Home
This is perhaps the best alternative if you want to avoid the dreaded blood sugar spike and subsequential crash that comes after consuming 50 grams of sugar. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant, yay me! I chose to do this completely different option since my lab would not allow me to do an alternative to this drink and accommodate my wishes to avoid high amounts of sugar that I wouldn’t normally put in my body. My doctor allowed me to check my blood glucose four times a day to see how my body was reacting to sugar. I checked it with a glucometer that you can purchase at most drug stores or online. Your insurance may even cover it. You need a glucometer, lancets to “prick” your finger and the strips that are compatible with your brand of meter. Don’t worry, the pricking does not hurt at all. You can’t even feel it! Here’s an inexpensive kit to start out with.
I checked it once upon awakening and then an hour after breakfast, lunch and dinner. I did this daily and recorded it for seven days. I brought it back to my doctor and she was pleased with my numbers. I passed. This is also a great way to keep track of which meals/portions of food work for you. Your morning or fasting glucose should be between 70-90. An hour after a meal, it should be under 140.
No pregnant women should have to drink this nasty beverage if they don’t want to. It is not mandatory and women need to know that they have a choice. You should definitely get your blood glucose monitored in some way while pregnant with your doctors approval. Do not skip it all together for the safety of you and your baby. You do however have choices and options.
Please share this article with any pregnant or TTC friends of yours. Spread the word so they can be informed and stay healthy!