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Healthy Alternative to Popular Glucose Drink

This one is for the pregnant mamas out there!

Between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, most women ubdergo testing for gestational diabetes mellitus. For those who don't know, gestational diabetes is a condition that can occur in pregnancy in which the pregnant woman's body becomes resistant to insulin, the hormone responsible for converting glucose into energy for the body's cells to use. When the body because insulin resistant, glucose levels in the blood become higher than normal and can cause a slew of health issues for mama and baby.

Although there are a few factors that can increase your risk for developing gestational diabetes, it commonly develops as a results of hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Read more on those changes here:

So, how do we test for GDM? As mentioned already, it's pretty standard for most practitioners to test for gestational diabetes between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy by performance a glucose tolerance test or glucose challenge. Typically, the mama-to-be is instructed to come into the office or lab having not eaten or drank anything (with the exception of water) in the last 12 hours. Then she is given a drink that contains either 50g, 75g or 100g of glucose - most people know this drink as GLUCOLA (which is the majorsubject of our safe swap chat today). One hour after consumption her blood glucose levels are tested; usually a "passing score" is below 140mg/dL and she's sent on her merry way.

What exactly is in this drink?

Typically you'll find water, dextrose (D-glucose from corn, likely GMO), citric acid, natural flavoring, food starch modified, glycerol ester of wood rosin, brominated soybean oil, food dye and coloring: Yellow #6 & Red #40 most commonly, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, BHA, and .10% Sodium Benzoate.

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is a highly toxic preservative which is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is banned in multiple countries, yet readily available for use in the US. It can cause abdominal pain on ingestion and evidence has shown it can interfere with normal hormone function.

Brominated vegetable oils are a class of emulsifying agents typically used in citrus flavored drinks to prevent separation. BVOs are created by adding the chemical bromine to a vegetable oil and since bromine is heavy, it keeps the oil in the drink from floating to the top. This food additive is banned in Japan ans Europe and has been shown to build up in the body and can cause serious health issues including chronic headaches and even heart leisons. Brominated compounds are also used as flame retardants...not exactly something I'm interested in consuming, especially while pregnant.

Another serious concern with this drink is the addition artificial dyes. Yellow 6 and Red 40 are FD&C dyes that are made from petroleum. These artificial dyes have bee. associated with increased cancer risks and behavior changes. Many people also report headaches as a result of consuming them.

So what alternative options do you have?

First, talk to your Doctor about your options! I asked If I could drink an organic fruit juice instead and she said yes. I drank 10 oz of organic apple juice before the test. I felt good after the test because I didn’t drink a massive amount of artificial sugar, preservatives, and colors and it was just as effective!

Some other alternatives that may be accepted by your practitioner are organic juice, or glucola alternatives like The Fresh Test found at If you really want something sweet, I’ve heard of mamas picking up a bag of Surf Sweet jellybeans and eating 28 of them! Your Doctor may allow you to test at home yourself or even simply eat breakfast. Talk to your Dr. to determine your best plan of action.

Did you or are you considering asking your doctor for an alternative to the traditional glucola? Share your experiences down below!


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