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Guide to Diabetes

Dietary Advice During pregnancyWoman eating

Food Safety in pregnancy for people with Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. All foods in pregnancy should be cooked all of the way through, certain foods which should be avoided to prevent illness are listed below.

Foods to avoid


  • Fish: raw or undercooked shellfish
  • Meat and eggs: raw or partially cooked eggs and meat as these can cause food poisoning.
  • Cheese & Diary: such as Camembert, Brie or chevre (a type of goats' cheese), or others that have a similar rind & soft blue cheeses. This is because there are bacteria called Listeria which may harm your unborn baby. Cheese made without mould and rind are ok to have in pregnancy e.g. cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella, cottage cheese and spreadable cheese.
  • Unpasturised milk and unpaturised dairy products.
  • Vitamin A: Too much vitamin A can cause problems with the development of the baby. Avoid Liver, Pate (even vegetable varieties, as pate also contain bacteria which could potentially cause food poisoning) , Offal
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements which are not designed for pregnancy
  • Caffeine: The food standards agency recommends that pregnant women should limit their intake of caffeine to 200mg per day. 200mg would add up to; 2 mugs of filter coffee, 2 mugs of tea or 5 cans of cola (try to have diet to limit the effect on blood glucose levels)
  • Avoid Alcohol If you do choose to drink alcohol in pregnancy, it is recommended that you do not exceed 1-2 units once or twice per week Unit calculator



Booklet image

Download the Gestational Diabetes Dietary Advice booklet

For more detailed advice

Food Supplementation in Pregnancy

  • Vitamin D: Our main source of vitamin D is from daylight. If you are somebody who stays indoors a lot or if you are covered up often, then you may require supplementation of Vitamin D.
  • Folic acid: is a natural vitamin found in green vegetables, rice and fortified cereals. This vitamin has been proven to lower the incidence of neural tube defects in pregnancy. For people with diabetes prior to pregnancy it is recommended that you have a higher dose of folic acid (5mg). This dose is only available on prescription, so if you are planning a pregnancy ensure you are taking this at the time of conception and for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy.

Nausea and vomiting

It is not unusual to experience some nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Most women find this has settled by 16-20 weeks. Research has found that taking ginger can help to relieve nausea. Choosing ginger drinks or ginger infused water may help to settle some of your symptoms. Try to avoid the high sugar ginger drinks, unless using them to treat hypoglycaemia.
Having small but regular meals may help to reduce some symptoms of nausea. If strong food smells are causing nausea, keep the windows open while you are cooking or try to avoid the problem food until the nausea settles. It is important to maintain a balanced diet during this time.


Future pregnancies 

It is important to continue with the healthy changes after pregnancy, as this can help to lower your risk of gestational diabetes in future pregnancies and reduce or delay the risk of Type 2 Diabetes later in life.

If you would like any support with making healthy changes after your pregnancy, please discuss this with your midwife at your 6 week post-natal check.



Gestational Diabetes Dietary Advice booklet

Leicestershire diabetes Information booklet 2012 Download Document