The recurrence of gestational diabetes: Could dietary differences in fat intake be an explanation?
OBJECTIVE: To present the results of a comprehensive dietary review of a group of women with a recurrence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), compared with a group of women with no recurrence of GDM during a subsequent pregnancy. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The dietary intake of 14 women with a recurrence of GDM was compared with 21 women with no recurrence of GDM. Women with GDM in one pregnancy have a recurrence rate of only 30-50%. While the reasons for this have not been determined, dietary factors have been considered probable. RESULTS: The women with a recurrence of GDM consumed 38.4 (by diet history) and 41.4% (by food record) of their total energy intake as fats, compared with 34.1 (P < 0.01) and 33.1% (P < 0.001), respectively, for women with no recurrence. The percentage intake of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fatty acids was similar in both groups. There was a proportionate reduction in carbohydrate intake as a percentage of total energy and in fiber intake in grams for the women with a recurrence of GDM. CONCLUSIONS: When the relationship between saturated fat intake and insulin resistance is considered, the possibility exists that dietary modification of fat intake before and during pregnancy may reduce the recurrence rate of GDM.