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First off, I want to thank everyone for following along these last 10 days. I hope it has been helpful in explaining WHY we suggest what we do in treating and managing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) with diet.
I was thinking that the best way to finish it off would be to recap, and give some of my tips to help you keep on track. Some of these have only come to me this week while trying to stay the course myself. It is often easier to tell other what to do, but once you walk in their shoes the truth becomes clearer. I have been telling clients what to do for PCOS for awhile now. After being strict about the diet this week, I will say, I have some new insight, and I think it will help you as much as I feel it will help me to communicate with you and clients. Here is what I found/find helpful for maintaining the Basic Principles of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Diet.
We've spent a lot of time, now, talking about what you should NOT have! I seem to say NO quite a bit in life…maybe that's why my children "lovingly" call me Mommy No-Fun!
I feel I need to redeem myself a bit with you all. I KNOW this sounds like there is just nothing in the world you can eat. I promise you, there is a world of delicious foods out there for you. It may take some experimenting and time to get use to them and how to cook them, but it is worth it.
Here are the TOP TEN foods that I think every women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) should eat regularly.
The importance of Fat Soluble Vitamins is paramount in the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Diet. As are the Dietary Fats; Saturated and un-saturated fatty acids.
We have already discussed how adding dietary fats into a meal can offset the speed at which the body absorbed sugars. Now, lets talk about the benefits these fats have, DIRECTLY, on the health of our body, hormones, and reproductive organs. My goal today is to help you navigate the excited, confusing, and interested world of dietary fats. Which ones are good (specifically for PCOS), and which ones to avoid.
For more information on Differentiating your Dietary Fats, please click here…
There has been a resurgence of a long forgotten group of vitamins. The Fat-Soluble Vitamins. Why? Deficiency is becoming epidemic here in America. A Majority of the population is walking around with at least one deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins. The most talked about are Vitamin D and K, so much so that pediatricians are now recommending supplementing infants, and giving newborns Vitamin K vaccines to prevent deadly issues with internal bleeding. YIKES! This could all be prevented with proper diet and lifestyle choices (enjoy some sunshine and eat some cholesterol…more below)
Our hormones are the rulers of our reproductive health, yet many of us don't know how they work, or where they come from. A woman's reproductive hormones are produced in the brain and in the Ovaries. The main hormones affecting a woman's reproductive cycles are; GnRH (Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), LH (Luteinizing Hormone), Estrogen, and Progesterone.
In those with PCOS, these hormones are non properly balanced. By understanding how these hormones naturally work, we can understand how imbalances can lead to PCOS, and thus how to properly support and treat it.
Building Your PCOS Meal
Let's continue to build on the Blood Sugar - PCOS connection. This is such a big and important part of treating the disease, that I feel there is more information that can be squished into a single post.
So, building upon what we know about the different sugars, and more importantly that we are all aware of the significant importance of glucose control...let's discuss how we structure our meals.
After talking sugars yesterday, I though this would be a nice roll into the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load. These are two values that many with PCOS, Insulin Resistance and Diabetes have heard about. There is actually quite a bit of confusion and controversy around these two, and honestly I am a bit torn on their benefits.
Excessive amounts of sugar are a significant component to every degenerative disease. The high amount of processed sugars in our diets; soda, cookies, cereal, chips, baked goods, etc…are affecting us at younger ages. How many children do we each know with issues of excessive weight gain, hormone disruption, or even heart disease? It's a staggering amount, in my opinion, and something that can be prevented…but that's another soap box (see my kid's lunchbox post series for more).
Sugars are complicated, I know! Kind of like trying to differentiate dietary fats, differentiating dietary sugars is a little bumpy. Hopefully, I can do a good job of helping you navigate this.
How Dairy Affects PCOS
I was originally going to dive right into insulin resistance, but a questions was brought up by someone, and I want to go ahead and address it first.
The question is "Why would someone really need to avoid dairy, if they did not test positive for dairy sensitivity or allergy?"
So, obviously, if you have a food allergy test come back with a strong positive for allergy or sensitivity, you should not consume dairy. This is just going to exasperate the already inflamed body. But as for the other reason why diary is an issue, lets break it down a bit.
Before we get started, I want to suggest that those who are really interested in making these changes wait until the end of the series to begin. There is quite a bit of information I want to bring to you, and it is going to take several posts to get it all out. Please read them all, as they will all have good information, and will build upon each other.
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is an all too common condition affecting women. It is characterized by the abnormal growth of small cysts on the ovaries, caused from the inability to ovulate. While the cysts are benign, they represents a hormone imbalance. This disruption of the normal flow of reproductive hormones can cause:
If left untreated, those with PCOS are more likely to develop:
PCOS is the most common cause of infertility and reproductive disorders in the US. At last estimate (that I have read) 1 in 15 women is diagnosed with PCOS. PCOS is often difficult to diagnose, and in many cases the only symptom is irregular menstruation.