- Hormonal imbalance leads to PCOS in women
- Following an appropriate PCOS diet can help manage insulin resistance
- Regular exercise is important to manage PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition which affect's a woman's hormone levels. Women affected with PCOS produce higher than normal levels of male hormone testosterone. This kind of hormonal imbalance causes a woman to skip menstrual periods. PCOS also makes it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Common symptoms of PCOS include unwanted facial hair, baldness, weight gain, etc. In the long-term, PCOS can cause problems like heart disease and diabetes. However, PCOS can be managed and reversed by introducing a few lifestyle changes like eating healthy and exercising regularly. In order to learn about the PCOS diet, Jodi Godfrey, editor of EndocrineWeb spoke with the author, Hillary Wright during the American Dietetic Association 78th Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, to understand what compelled her to write The PCOS Diet Plan - a book aimed at helping women who have PCOS. In the session, it was concluded that a person's health every day can be improved by gaining some kind of control of his/her choices. The idea is to recognise that all it takes is to make a few reasonable adjustments to your eating approach and level of movement.
How to manage a PCOS diet
In the session, it was also realised that there is a connection between PCOS, blood glucose regulation and reproductive hormones. Managing insulin resistance can be done by following an appropriate PCOS diet. The idea was to make women understand how insulin resistance interacts with hormones. Additionally, it also takes focus away from weight and helps people focus on strategies to improve insulin resistance instead.
Women should rely on scientifically based principals so as to adopt a realistic lifestyle pattern which fits each person's daily life rather than trying to do something which won't help in addressing the root cause of problem and won't give long lasting results.
Also read: How To Get Pregnant If You Have PCOD?
The idea is to discover a rhythm of eating which suits your body and meets your needs. It will help you understand what the underlying cause of your symptoms is, and what you can do to make yourself feel almost every day.
The quality and quantity of your carbs
One of the best and most effective ways to deal with weight gain because of PCOS is to address your insulin resistance - which is also influenced by physical activity. These are the two primary factors which are targeted in the book The PCOS Diet Plan.
For following an appropriate PCOS diet, you need to be aware of the quality and quantity of your intake of carbs. Along with this, it is important to pair carbs with proteins and heart-healthy fats. Women with PCOS can benefit from taking a slightly lower intake of carbs. This is a challenge which arises because of insulin resistance.
Making effective choices while eating carbs can help in reduce the glucose load. You need to opt for whole grains which are essential for boosting dietary fiber to achieve good glucose regulation.
The science behind a balanced meal is to have no more than 1/4 of whole grains like brown rice, whole grain pasta, multigrain bread or quinoa in one meal. The meal is essentially built around vegetables along with some fruit, lean protein and some fats healthy for the heart such as nut oil or olive oil.
Eat earlier in the day
The idea behind successfully following a PCOS diet is to fuel your body when it needs energy, that is, earlier in the day. The bulk of calories should be eaten earlier in the day. The calorie intake should be coordinated with activity level and the energy requirement. Both these reduce as the day descends and hence lesser calories should be consumed later in the day.
Also, there needs to be an increase in the amount of physical exercise as it helps the body to use insulin in a better way.
The key to a PCOS diet and reversing PCOS is to eat well by planning your day. Take out time for your grocery shopping and set time aside for preparing meals, going for a walk, yoga class, etc.