PCOS & Diet - Say Goodbye to Obesity
PCOS is the result of a hormonal imbalance and it can result in weight gain and in a difficulty to lose weight. It also results in irregular periods, or lack of periods at all, facial hair, acne, infertility and other issues. In addition to health issues with weight gain, PCOS also leads to heart disease and diabetes. Only recently, diet has been thought of as an important aspect of the PCOS treatment plan. Doctors believe that diet may help to reduce insulin resistance, which may decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other issues. In order to combat the weight issues, there are a number of suggestions that doctor and nutritionists offer.
Is a Low Fat Diet Enough?
The numbers of obese women who have PCOS is quite surprising. Researchers believe that nearly 50-60% of women with PCOS are obese. Should these women lose even 5% of their body weight, it can improve their skin, regulate menstrual cycles and decrease insulin levels. The typical low fat, high carbohydrate weight loss diet may not help women with PCOS. When a woman with PCOS takes in too many carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates such as those found in white bread, white rice and sweets, it will elevate the insulin levels. A better diet would be one that works with the low glycemic index foods. This is a diet that focuses on food choices that do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
How Many Carbs To Eat?
It is not possible to make a diet recommendation that will fit every woman with PCOS. Dr. Walter Futterweit, a clinical professor of the Division of Endocrinology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine makes a number of suggestions. He recommends that non-obese women with PCOS who get regular periods should eat in moderation. They should have a balanced diet with less than 50% of the calories coming from carbohydrates. They should also try to focus on unrefined carbohydrates rather than refined ones. For a woman with PCOS who is obese and insulin resistant the diet should be 40% carbohydrates or less, depending on how serious her insulin level is. One helpful recommendation is to start a diet with 40% carbohydrates and work your way to less carbs as you see necessary. A few ways to know if your diet seems to be working for you is if you have decreased cravings and more energy. You should see weight loss, decreased insulin levels, and regular periods.
Avoid Saturated Fats
One of the pitfalls of many of the low carb diets is that they are high in saturated fats. As much as 60% of the calories in these diets comes from fats, as much of it is saturated fat. These diets can lead to heart disease, and are not recommended for someone with PCOS. In addition to the potential risk of heart disease, such a diet is low in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other essentials.
In order to tailor a diet to your needs as someone with PCOS, it is highly recommended that you consult with a nutritionist or a doctor. They can help you to create a plan that will enable you to feel good, to eat healthy foods and to help yourself, hopefully, towards conceiving a child if this is what you desire. Just because you have PCOS does not mean that you are required to be obese or to fight your weight all the time. Take the necessary steps to improve your health and to make yourself feel better. You deserve it!