Best Tips to Pass Glucose Test in Pregnancy

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Are you wondering how to pass glucose tolerance test during pregnancy? Many pregnant Moms dread this routine prenatal test because of the taste of the glucose drink, but also because a positive result could mean you are at high risk for gestational diabetes and lead to the necessity for more medical interventions. So it’s important to know what you can do to pass the glucose test and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Research indicates that every year, about 2% to 10% of pregnant women are receive a gestational diabetes diagnosis, with women who suffer from this type of diabetes being at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in their lives.

Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman’s blood sugar is abnormally high, posing a risk to both the mother and her unborn child. Even pregnant women who did not have diabetes before pregnancy can develop Gestational diabetes. A glucose screening test is the best way to ascertain if you are low risk.

Here are some tips on what to eat before glucose test pregnancy, tips on how to pass the glucose test, and what the gestational diabetes risk factors are. 

The advice included in this article is meant for informational purposes only. Please consult your care provider before making any decisions regarding your pregnancy.

{Disclosure: This post contains affiliate or referral links. Read more about that here.} 

So, what is the oral glucose tolerance test in pregnancy? 

A glucose test in pregnancy is a routine test that checks the blood glucose level (sugar) in the expectant mother’s blood. You will be asked to consume a sugary drink then have your blood tested an hour later, checking the glucose levels at that point. 

Between the 24th and the 28th weeks of pregnancy, your health care provider will ask you to undergo the glucose screening test, also known as the 1-hour glucose test or the two-step glucose test. This test is normally done in the morning. 

If the one-hour glucose test comes back positive, you will likely be asked to take a second test. This time the three-hour glucose test, in order to further determine your risk of gestational diabetes. This test requires 4 blood draws over a 3 hour period.

The good thing is as long as you past the first test, you do not have to worry about the three-hour test.

It’s important to note, that there are alternatives to taking the oral glucose tolerance test, so talk with your care provider to determine what is best for your situation.

What to eat before glucose test pregnancy?

When taking the one-hour test, you do not have to fast, so be mindful that what you eat before can influence the outcome of your test.

Since the body’s main energy source is glucose, when we eat, food (carbs) is broken down and converted into glucose. Many women therefore wonder what to eat before glucose test pregnancy, to stand a better chance of passing the test. 

As recommended in the book Real Food for Pregnancy, eating protein is the best way to start your day while pregnant to maintain a normal range of blood sugar. In our interview with Lily Nichols, the author, she describes herself as an “advocate for an omnivorous, low glycemic real food diet” throughout pregnancy.

Not only can this prevent gestational diabetes and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, but it can also help Moms normalize weight gain during pregnancy.

High Protein Ideas to eat before the glucose test:

Also foods that have complex carbs are usually higher in their fiber content and will take longer to be digested. Because of this, their entry into the bloodstream will be gradual, therefore not spiking your blood sugar levels. Eating some foods with complex carbs with a serving of protein is also a good option.

Foods with complex carbs include: 

  • Vegetables – green beans, cucumbers, leafy greens, broccoli, and non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes
  • Low Glycemic Fresh fruit apples, berries, and watermelon
  • Legumes black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans  

Not eating can also spike your blood sugar for the test, so make sure to have some combo of the foods above before testing.

Learn more about the best foods for pregnancy here.

Tips on how to pass the glucose test

For the best test results, you can do the following three things to make sure you pass the one hour glucose test: 

1 – Eat a balanced breakfast 

Before going for the glucose screening test, have a good breakfast that will include both protein and complex carbohydrates as discussed above. These pregnancy breakfast ideas are a good place to start.

2 – Avoid refined carbs and high-sugar foods 

It is better not to eat simple carbs such as refined grains or high-sugar foods on the morning of the glucose screening test. The body tends to break down these foods quickly, which can easily lead to a temporary spike in your blood sugar levels. 

Foods NOT to eat before glucose test: 

  • Any fruit juices like orange juice
  • Refined cereal 
  • Sugary granola 
  • Pancakes
  • White bread 
  • Doughnuts
  • Sugary toppings e.g., syrup or jam 
  • Any sweetened baked foods made from refined white flour. This may include muffins, croissants, or banana bread.

3 – Take a walk

A recent study indicated that taking a brief walk after your meal helps to lower the risk of diabetes, as even 10 to 15 minutes’ walk helps to reduce insulin levels and blood sugar. 

Read more on How to Start a Healthy Pregnancy Routine here.

What happens if you do not pass the screening test? 

When doing the glucose screening test, getting a positive test result that is considered “medically insignificant” is possible, but this shouldn’t worry you. This is because the positive result does not necessarily mean you have gestational diabetes. Rather it is just an indication that you are at “high risk” for this condition.

It is possible for pregnant Moms who eat a low carb, or low glycemic diet to actually test positive for gestational diabetes but not really have the condition. So if this is you, make sure to discuss alternative options with your health care provider.

On the other hand, should your test come back as positive and your doctor ultimately diagnoses you with gestational diabetes, it is important to keep in mind that the condition can easily be managed with lifestyle changes, and it will likely go away soon after delivery. 

In the meantime, you will be asked by your doctor to keep an eye on your blood sugar, offering you strategies for keeping the levels stable, including but not limited to cutting back on processed and sugary foods, while following a healthy diet. 

Helpful Resources

  1. Make sure to get a copy of Lily Nichols’ other book Real Food for Gestational Diabetes so that you can learn how to manage diabetes during pregnancy intelligently using a real food approach.
  2. Make a plan for a healthy pregnancythis online course lays out exactly what to eat while pregnant (with over 80 recipes!), plus there’s a fitness option too, so that you can feel your best & have a healthy baby. Get the Perfect Pregnancy Plan HERE!

What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?

Most women who have gestational diabetes will not show any symptoms, and anything that feels out of the ordinary might be linked to the pregnancy. 

Most of them will find out about it during a routine glucose test screening. This is the reason why taking the prenatal glucose screening test is so important.  Some of the symptoms might include: 

  • Feeling thirstier than usual
  • Feeling hungry literally all the time, therefore eating more than usual
  • Peeing more than usual

Read – 11 Pregnancy Diet Mistakes to Avoid

What are the gestational diabetes risk factors? 

The glucose test in pregnancy is a screening test for gestational diabetes, with women who are at an average risk being screened during the second trimester, that is between 24 weeks and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Women who are at a higher risk will be screened in the first trimester, with the help and guidance of your healthcare provider. The test may be done as early as the first prenatal visit. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include: 

  • Obesity – when you were overweight before getting pregnant 
  • Lack of physical exercise 
  • Having relatives who have diabetes
  • Suffering from a medical condition that is associated with diabetes e.g., polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Having had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy 
  • Previously given birth to a large baby with a weight of 9 pounds or more 
  • Race and ethnicity – African American, Hispanic, Alaska Native, Asian American, and American Indian women are more likely to develop gestational diabetes
  • Having high blood sugar levels, though not high enough for it to be termed diabetes 
  • Having has a miscarriage before 
  • Having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease or any other medical complication. 

The good news is that gestational diabetes can be managed with healthy diet and lifestyle changes.


Pregnant women face many challenges, gestational diabetes being one of them. It is important to take the blood sugar test early enough because in most cases gestational diabetes has no symptoms, with only a handful of women experiencing the symptoms mentioned above. 

Managing blood sugar is one way to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. However, without careful management, there is risk of developing further pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and high blood pressure.  


CDC Information (August 10, 2021), “Gestational Diabetes”. Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

WebMD, LLC. (2022), “Short Walks After Meals Can Cut Diabetes, Heart Risks: Study”

More on Healthy Pregnancy

How to Choose the Best Prenatal Vitamins

Clean Eating Pregnancy Recipes

Belly Only Pregnancy Course – full plan with workouts for each trimester and meal plan for healthy pregnancy

5 Nutritional Deficiencies Common During Pregnancy (And How to Prevent Them)

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