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Diabetes Care. 2011 Nov;34(11):2341-6. doi: 10.2337/dc11-0985. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

A randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of a low-glycemic index diet on pregnancy outcomes in gestational diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1School of Molecular Bioscience and Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.



The prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is rising. There is little evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of one dietary therapy over another. We aimed to investigate the effect of a low-glycemic index (LGI) versus a conventional high-fiber diet on pregnancy outcomes, neonatal anthropometry, and maternal metabolic profile in GDM.


Ninety-nine women (age 26-42 years; mean ± SD prepregnancy BMI 24 ± 5 kg/m²) diagnosed with GDM at 20-32 weeks' gestation were randomized to follow either an LGI (n = 50; target glycemic index [GI] ~50) or a high-fiber moderate-GI diet (HF) (n = 49; target GI ~60). Dietary intake was assessed by 3-day food records. Pregnancy outcomes were collected from medical records.


The LGI group achieved a modestly lower GI than the HF group (mean ± SEM 47 ± 1 vs. 53 ± 1; P < 0.001). At birth, there was no significant difference in birth weight (LGI 3.3 ± 0.1 kg vs. HF 3.3 ± 0.1 kg; P = 0.619), birth weight centile (LGI 52.5 ± 4.3 vs. HF 52.2 ± 4.0; P = 0.969), prevalence of macrosomia (LGI 2.1% vs. HF 6.7%; P = 0.157), insulin treatment (LGI 53% vs. HF 65%; P = 0.251), or adverse pregnancy outcomes.


In intensively monitored women with GDM, an LGI diet and a conventional HF diet produce similar pregnancy outcomes.

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