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143: Real Food for Pregnancy & Understanding Gestational Diabetes

May 2, 2022 | Season 3


Lily Nichols joins us today to chat all about how women can support their bodies before, during and after pregnancy. She debunks several food myths during pregnancy, including the concern around ketones and a plant-based diet. She also discusses the importance of a nutrient-dense diet, gives insight into managing gestational diabetes, and shares what biomarkers should be tracked during pregnancy.

Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition. Drawing from the current scientific literature and the wisdom of traditional cultures, her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and sensible. Her bestselling book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes (and online course of the same name), presents a revolutionary nutrient-dense, lower carb approach for managing gestational diabetes. Her work has not only helped tens of thousands of women manage their gestational diabetes (most without the need for blood sugar-lowering medication), but has also influenced nutrition policies internationally. Lily’s clinical expertise and extensive background in prenatal nutrition have made her a highly sought after consultant and speaker in the field.

Lily’s second book, Real Food for Pregnancy, is an evidence-based look at the gap between conventional prenatal nutrition guidelines and what’s optimal for mother and baby. With over 930 citations, this is the most comprehensive text on prenatal nutrition to date.

Lily is also creator of the popular blog,, which explores a variety of topics related to real food, mindful eating, and pregnancy nutrition.


0:51 Welcome!

2:54 Lily Nichol’s Bio

4:20 Welcome Lily!

5:11 More on her background & story

8:52 Her lightbulb moment into low-carb

13:33 What’s the motivation behind high-carb?

15:00 The concerns around ketones

17:33 About Diabetic Ketoacidosis

19:09 Ketone levels in babies & placentas

24:12 What if your doctor recommends higher-carb during pregnancy

29:11 *BiOptimizers: Magnesium Breakthrough Ad*

31:32 A nutrient-dense diet & organ meats

35:26 Purines, Uric acid & Fructose

38:52 What did your ancestors eat?

41:25 The link between a plant-based diet & Gestational Diabetes

45:00 How to create a balanced vegetarian diet

47:44 Missing biomarkers on lab testing + genetic testing


52:03 What biomarkers fluctuate during pregnancy?

57:42 Recommendations for tracking glucose

1:05:05 Growing up during the low-fat craze

1:05:56 Where to find her

1:06:20 Her final piece of advice

1:07:34 Thanks for tuning in!



Book: Real Food for Gestational Diabetes

Book: Real Food for Pregnancy


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