Becoming a parent for many individuals is the most rewarding experience in life. A woman's health is pivotal for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. However, many women may be unaware of the foods that can spike blood sugar levels and increasing their risk of gaining too much weight during pregnancy.

Prior research has demonstrated mothers who increase their intake of choline may improve the way their child responds to stress. Now, new research demonstrates ways to maintain healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

According to a new study from Ireland, 48 percent of women who maintained their regular diet gained more weight than recommended. Compared to women who substituted their regular diet for a low-glycemic diet, only 38 percent of women gained more than the recommended weight. For women of normal body weight, the Institute of Medicine recommends 25 to 35 pounds of weight gain during pregnancy.

The study comprised of 800 women treated at National Maternity Hospital in Dublin. Half of the participants were instructed to switch their diet to a low GI diet. Researchers did not tell women to lower their calories intake but were instructed to avoid refined carbohydrates.

Women who switched diets were 20 percent less likely to gain more than the recommend weight during pregnancy. It was discovered the average weight gain in women who did not switch their diet was 30 pounds, while women who did change their diet gained 27 pounds.

Health experts suggest food with a low-glycemic index releases sugar into the bloodstream slowly and helps balance blood sugar levels. According to Harvard Medical School the lower the glycemic load, the less it will affect your blood sugar levels.

Some foods with a low glycemic levels are: vegetables, such as carrots; whole grains like pearled barley; dairy products such as, skim milk and reduced-fat yogurt with fruit; brown breads and brown rice. 

The study was published in the journal BMJ.