The Best Kept Secret about PCOS - your diet is the key
PCOS can be greatly improved with the right diet, nutrients and foods.
Which is awesome news for so many women!
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, (PCOS), is relatively common, especially in infertile women.
Estimates put 12% to 18% of women between late adolescence and menopause affected with PCOS.
Alarmingly, almost 70% of these cases remain undiagnosed.
It’s largely caused from having higher than normal androgens, (your ‘male’ hormones), like testosterone and DHEA.
Little follicles, which don’t form properly, create small cysts on your ovaries,
Common symptoms are having “male” like characteristics, such as hair on the chin or upper lip, thinning hair on the head and facial acne.
Other symptoms include being overweight, irregular periods and infertility.
That’s the bad news.
But the good news is that research shows that PCOS is managed and controlled extremely well through diet and lifestyle, even more so than medication.
Why does PCOS improve using diet?
The underlying causes of PCOS are blood sugar issues and insulin resistance.
There’s other factors as well, but the those two are the big ones.
And they are the big ones YOU can control.
So if you can change your diet to fix those two problems, then you will go a long way to improving your PCOS.
How do I use diet to treat PCOS?
These are the main things you need to focus on to manage PCOS with your diet.
Regulate blood sugar to regulate insulin
Your best weapon to control your blood sugar is a low or moderate refined carbohydrate diet.
You want to control major blood sugar spikes during your day.
This will stop your insulin, (a master hormone in your body which stirs up your androgens), from spiking during the day as well.
Don’t skip meals
You don’t want to go too long without eating during the day.
If you do, your blood sugar will drop, which will spike your cortisol, (a stress hormone in your body).
When your cortisol spikes, so does your blood sugar.
It’s part of your body’s stress response system, often called your “Fight or Flight” response.
(For more information on how your stress response works, click here).
So it’s best not to let your blood sugar drop too low, to stop your body getting stressed.
To do that, eat 3 good quality main meals, with 2 low carb snacks in between.
This will keep your blood sugar levels nice and stable, and also your insulin.
Eat some protein with every meal
This is a vital part of your best way to use your diet to combat PCOS.
You’ll need roughly a palm sized amount of a protein rich food with every main meal.
Good protein sources are fish, grassfed meats, chicken, eggs, beans and ancient grains.
Also start your day with a protein rich breakfast.
It’ll keep you fuller for longer, balance your blood sugars better and give you more energy during the day.
Eat plenty of good fats in your daily diet
Eating good fats regularly helps your body to regulate your blood sugars and insulin levels much better.
These fats include Omega 3 fats found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, olives, olive oil, fatty fish and grass-fed, organic butter.
(For more more information on Omega 3 Foods, click here
Have a tablespoon with each main meal.
A low sugar diet is a perfect PCOS diet
Your main meals should be made up of 2/3 vegetables and/or fruit and 1/3 good protein.
Banish the pasta, bin the bread, and ditch the white rice!
Forget about pastries, soft drinks, lollies and jumbo sized lattes.
Goodbye Gin & Tonics, and any other sweet alcoholic drinks.
And don’t even think about chocolates and ice-cream - they are the devil!
A final word on PCOS and diet
You’ve got the gist of the main do’s & don’ts of what you need to do.
Make no mistake, your diet is your biggest and best weapon to take down PCOS.
But, you have other options in your arsenal also.
There’s a whole bunch of fantastic herbs & nutrients which you can take, to really give your PCOS a massive kick up the you-know-where.
Get some advice from a nutritional medicine specialist, (such as your truly!) to design the perfect herb & nutrient strategy for you.
By putting both together, you stand an excellent change of improving your health, and getting your body on track for the future.
By Melissa Aytan, Nutritionist at Living Holistic Health.