- by Dr Sheetal Chhabria
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- May 09 2017
PCOD-PCOS-Does your weight make a difference
Weight gain is one of the most frequent side effects of PCOS. Whilst it is crucial that sufferers look for treatment and professional medical advice for the condition, a properly qualified nutrition professional could provide individuals with extra support if they are fighting to manage their PCOS diet alone.
Not only for weight loss and maintenance, but also to regulate insulin levels, a PCOS diet plays an important role in the management of PCOS. A lot of women with PCOS are resistant to insulin, which results in the pancreas creating more insulin in order to be effective.
PCOS and Insulin
Insulin is a crucial hormone as it carries sugar from the blood into the muscles of the body, permitting the body to productively make use of the energy from glucose. High insulin levels create disaster on the body, leading to a lot of the symptoms of PCOS like, weight gain, increased hair growth, fatty liver and high cholesterol, polycystic ovaries, skin tags and an irregular menstrual cycle, not to refer increased levels of cravings and hunger. Doesn’t it sound familiar? If not all, a lot of us have many of those symptoms.
Therefore, in the management of PCOS, management of blood insulin levels is crucial. Refined carbohydrates cause a put a stop in insulin levels and should therefore be kept away. Also, foods that are rich in fat will lead to high cholesterol and weight gain.
In the management of PCOS, many doctors will suggest a low GI diet of unprocessed foods, wholegrain. Also some drugs commonly prescribed for women with PCOS, in an effort to handle insulin resistance.
Insulin is not the only hormone affected by PCOS –If it were, we would all have been identified with Type 2 Diabetes, which we do not have. So, our diets need to include low GI foods to manage insulin levels, in addition to handling other characteristics of the Polycystic Ovarian SYNDROME.
As the underlying cause of PCOS and different hormone levels will vary from woman to woman, finding the right diet to handle your PCOS is a highly complex and individual process.
Here are some of the common PCOS diet guidelines:
Foods to avoid:
High GI (Glycaemic Index) foods:
There is quick rise in blood sugar levels due to foods that have a high GI. Insulin levels follow suit to dispense the glucose in the blood stream. Usually, high GI foods have been processed to take away the fiber and other essential nutrients so they might be tasty but they are high in calories while limited in nutrients.
A few examples of high GI foods to avoid: mashed potatoes, rice cakes, muffins cakes and white rice.
PCOS and Milk: There is a rise in testosterone levels due to milk. Normal testosterone processing in the body is limited due to the protein in the milk.
With testosterone not being controlled, testosterone levels just keep rising. Dairy just makes the problem worse, as our testosterone levels are already prone to being high.
Soy has been associated in delayed ovulation. Not enough research has been done on the effect of soy on woman with PCOS and soy in small quantities may have little effect. Therefore, soy products are not suggested to women with PCOS, especially those that are trying to be pregnant.
Hydrogenated transfats and saturated, and are all fats that should be avoided. Saturated fats, found in dairy products and red meat, cause a rise in production of estrogen, hamper the absorption of some nutrients and can cause weight gain.
Hydrogenated fats and transfats, from processed foods, margarine and cooked oil, increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as a result of our PCOS, both of which we are already at risk.
So, get rid of the dairy and cut down on red meat. Also, keep away from those processed, fatty foods.
Foods to include:
Green leafy vegetables:
More than any other food, green leafy vegetables have the most nutrients per calorie. They are rich in, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, as well as many of the B vitamins and vitamins K, C, E.
Vitamin B in particular plays an important role in managing symptoms of PCOS. Here are a few of the things that Vitamin B is accountable for: hormone balance and thyroid function, sugar and fat metabolism, amongst others. It plays an important role in controlling PCOS.
PCOS and fruits: Fruit is a rich source of vitamins, fibre, phytonutrients and minerals and ought to be relished as part of a PCOS diet. As fruits can cause a rise in blood sugar levels and therefore insulin, many women with PCOS are hesitant to eat fruit or avoid fruits.
However, fruit still plays a crucial role in providing the nutrients we require to battle PCOS. So, try to eat fruits that have a lower GI and have a handful of nuts or seeds with your fruit as protein aids to manage the sugar spike resulting from fruit.
Fruit with a low GI value involve: plums, cherries, apples, grapefruit, apples, pears, grapes, coconut, coconut milk, dried apricots, kiwi fruit, prunes, orange juice.
Colored and white vegetables:
Brightly colored vegetables are a rich source of anti-oxidants and ought to be included in a PCOS diet. A higher rate of oxidative stress has been found in women with PCOS. That is, when dealing with high numbers of free-radicals, physiological stress is placed on the body. We need antioxidants to battle this oxidative stress.
Organic or pasture-fed meat:
This may be expensive, but if you do eat meat it is crucial that you eat good quality, lean meat. Compared to standard meat, grass-fed meat is inclined to be leaner and contains less hormones than. Grass-fed is also crucial because cattle’s are often fed grain and feed that has been genetically altered or contains pesticides which are not helpful for hormone balance and PCOS.
Though not all fat is bad and healthy fats are vital for your PCOS diet.
Vital fatty acids are really crucial for maintaining the cell wall, which permits nutrients in, and toxins out. They are also important for fertility, weight management and hormone balance.
These healthy fats are found in oily fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocado so be sure to include those into your diet.
Following the diet mentioned above will give you a good possibility to get all of the minerals and vitamins you need but a lot of women with PCOS are still deficient in some nutrients.
So, make sure that you take a good mineral supplement and multivitamin. It should contain the following minerals and Vitamins: Vitamin A, D, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, , magnesium, folic acid, zinc, iron, chromium, manganese and selenium.
This should supply you with a good supplemental basis. Many women with PCOS also take a Vitamin D, Vitamin B complex, chromium, Ovasitol and Omega 3.
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