Eating For Pcos Part 2
After the popularity of my first blog post on eating for PCOS , I thought it was time I expand on it and deep-dive into the nitty-gritty details of nutrition management in PCOS.If youd like to know more about what this acronym stands for, who it affects and the symptoms to look out for, then PLEASE go read my first blog post on this topic before getting back to this one, itll make a lot more sense for you too!
Right now, it seems like theres lots of information floating around online and in the social media world about nutritional management of PCOS. Women with a medical condition like PCOS, are a vulnerable group and should be protected from a lot of nutrition nonsense that is telling them to cut this food or in some cases multiple food groups out to manage.This blog is to serve as a bit of an update based on my reading, training and working with clients to get into some of the details of PCOS and management and busting some of these myths too!
Navigating Trendy Diets For Pcos
We totally understand if you havent seen or heard much about a low-glycemic diet in the past. Its certainly not as sexy as other diets and it doesnt get much love on social media.
So before we wrap up our conversation on nutrition and PCOS, we wanted to address some of the more trendy diets we commonly get asked about from our patients
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29-year-old Jasleen Kaur put on a lot of weight after college and got diagnosed with PCOS and Hashimoto’s disease. She was advised lifelong medications. Overcome by this rude shock, she decided to correct her lifestyle and manage her condition by her own means. While she didn’t observe much of a difference with conventional workouts initially, it was an Ayurvedic lifestyle that really made her see the difference!
Name: Jasleen Kaur
Profession: Have an MBA degree, now a certified Integrative & Ayurvedic Nutrition, Holistic and Wellness Coach
Highest weight recorded: 84 kilos
Weight lost: 20 kilos
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If Dairy Does Not Contribute To Pcos What Can I Do
Unfortunately, there is no magical, perfect diet for PCOS management. Heres a few things that you can do:
- Eat regularly: every 3-4 hours to keep blood sugar and energy levels stable.
- Include protein, fats and carbohydrates in most meals.
- Take vitamin B12 supplement and have your vitamin D levels tested in order to maintain a healthy level.
- Work with your doctor and a dietitian for PCOS to see if any additional supplements may be needed.
We do know that to improve PCOS symptoms, it helps to lose 5-10% of your body weight and exercise regularly. Your dietitian will be able to work with you to determine a specific PCOS diet to optimize your health. The combination of improving your food choices, being more active, and working with a dietitian and your doctor can be the jump-start you need!
To read more about foods to avoid, foods to eat and how to make easy changes as part of a healthy PCOS diet,
Pcos And Gluten Free:
Some sites out there anecdotally promote the gluten free diet for the PCOS population despite. There is no scientific literature to support this recommendation!Eek, I really said that! While gluten and wheat may contribute to chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases, this dietary strategy does not reduce the inflammatory marker, CRP, which is often elevated in those with PCOS.
I promote the gluten free diet when it is appropriate or as a part of a short-term elimination diet. I do not recommend using the gluten free diet for those with PCOS as a long-term, unnecessary, fear-based restriction. The gluten free diet may help improve the health of someone with PCOS merely due to the adoption of a diet lower in processed foods and carbohydrates that often comes with following this type of diet. But, specifically the removal of gluten from the diet has not been studied to help those with PCOS.
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The Short Answer: It Depends
Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder in reproductive women, affecting nearly 10% in this age range. PCOS can cause symptoms like acne, unwanted body hair growth, scalp hair thinning, weight gain, insulin resistance, inflammation and disordered eating. Dairy is a controversial topic when it comes to PCOS, and you may be wondering if you have to cut it out of your diet in order to alleviate your PCOS symptoms. Here are a few considerations to make when choosing dairy products and ultimately deciding whether they have a place in your diet.
Final Thoughts On The Best Pcos Diet
Although pharmaceutical medications have their time and place, dietary lifestyle modifications are some of the best first-line treatments for PCOS.
To quickly recap, the right dietary choices for PCOS can help with:
Skovlund CW., et al. Association of Hormonal Contraception with Depression. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 73:1154-1162.
Legro RS., et al. Clomiphene, metformin, or both for infertility in the polycystic ovary syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2007 356:551-566.
Legro RS., et al. Letrozole versus clomiphene for infertility in the polycystic ovary syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2014 371:119-29.
Teede et al. Recommendations from the international evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertil Steril. 2018 110:364-379.
Salmeron J.et al. Dietary fiber, glycemic load, and risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in women. JAMA. 1997 277:472-7.
Barr S, Reeves S, Sharp K, Jeanes YM. An isocaloric low glycemic index diet improves insulin sensitivity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 113:1523-31.
Graff SK, Mario FM, Alves BC, Spritzer PM. Dietary glycemic index is associated with less favorable anthropometric and metabolic profiles in polycystic ovary syndrome women with different phenotypes. Fertil Steril. 2013 100:1081-8.
Punder K, Pruimboom L. The dietary intake of wheat and other cereal grains and their role in inflammation. Nutrients. 2013 5:771-87.
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Is Coffee Bad For Pcos
With PCOS, you are already battling hormonal issues at this phase of the game so you dont want to contribute to the problem. This may be a time to switch to nominal amounts of caffeine per day, or cut it out entirely. Plus, too much caffeine isnt good for your developing fetus so you might as well kick the habit now.
Can I Eat Dairy With Pcos
There are pros and cons for eating dairy with PCOS, and unfortunately research is very limited: There have only been two studies done around the link between PCOS and dairy. Neither are randomized control trials, and both were conducted with a very small number of women. In addition, most of the current research has been done with milk, not cheese or other dairy sources like yogurt.
That being said, lets dig into what we know: CONS of Eating Dairy With PCOS:
PROS of Eating Dairy With PCOS:
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How Do You Know If Casomorphin Is A Problem For You
In theory, you could test BCM7 in your urine, but as of yet- that test is not widely available. Another way to detect a casomorphin problem is to look for symptom clues:
- Did you suffer recurring tonsillitis or ear infections when you were a kid?
- Do you suffer chronic hayfever or sinus now?
- Do you crave dairy?
If you answered yes to any or all of these problems, then you probably have a casomorphin problem.
Eating Healthy For Pcos Can You Eat Gluten Dairy Or Sugar
Last week I asked on my stories what were your questions about eating healthy for PCOS. Its a topic Ive discussed over and over here on the blog and Instagram, but I felt there were still a lot of misconceptions and unanswered questions. And it turns out I was right. Most questions referred to gluten, dairy, and sugar. Are they OK? Are they not OK? A few questions were referring to common comfort foods like French fries, chocolate, and more. But I think over 60% of them were all about gluten and dairy.
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Dairy Acne And Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance affects between 50-70% of women with PCOS and has been linked with most symptoms of PCOS .
However, low-fat dairy intake has been shown to beneficial for improving insulin resistance, along with waist circumference and weight loss – all major concerns in PCOS .
Likewise, acne affects up to 30% of women with PCOS or excess testosterone .
Depending on its severity, it can affect your quality of life, raise your medical costs and warrant frequent visits to your dermatologist, who may then recommend various topical treatments and medications, like metformin or inositol.
Studies have proven that there is a relationship between diet and acne.
More specifically, all types of cow’s milk whole fat, low-fat and skim milk have been shown to increase the occurrence of acne .
Other dairy products, like cheese and yogurt, however, do not have the same effect.
What Is The Link Between Gluten And Pcos
The PCOS Assessment and Management Guideline, published by Monash University, confirms that medical studies link PCOS with insulin resistance , metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes. Having dealt with it on a personal level, you probably already knew this.
What you most likely were not entirely aware of is that eliminating gluten gives you an edge in fighting off all of those issues above.
How exactly? The positive effects of living without gluten for PCOS sufferers are interconnected. Choosing to do so facilitates healthy eating habits that not only assist in keeping the weight off and promote increased awareness regarding what goes into the body but also directly limits exposure to the inflammatory agent that is gluten itself
But hopping on the gluten-free train is no laughing matter. Understandably, a permanent lifestyle change like this requires serious consideration. Not just because it places restrictions on what foods you can enjoy, but also because youll definitely be feeling the drain on your bank account since gluten-free products are typically significantly more costly than the normal ones containing gluten.
To help you make an informed decision, we give you the scoop on the main benefits of cutting out gluten and go on to discuss some of the potential concerns when doing so.
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Eating Healthy For Pcos Lets Talk About Gluten And Dairy
The one thing gluten and dairy have in common is that they are highly inflammatory. Theres also some mixed evidence that dairy might increase your risk of cysts. Both inflammation and cysts are common with PCOS. So is it safer to quit them? Sadly, theres no straight answer.
If youre just starting your journey to manage your PCOS, the best thing to do is look at your lifestyle as a whole. Do you eat a lot of junk food? A lot of processed foods? If yes, thats where you start cutting first. Go for foods with ingredients you can read and you know how they look. Essentially, cut out processed things with loads of chemicals. Eat foods found in nature.
Now, lets go one step further. How are the foods you eat cooked? Fried? Lets bake, grill, and boil a little more instead.
If all these are out and youre eating a healthy diet but still battling annoying symptoms, including inflammation, then go and take out the gluten and dairy.
Inflammation symptoms include : achy joints, unexplained fatigue, sluggishness, getting sick a lot .
Bloating after a meal, abdominal cramps, IBS symptoms could also be signs youre not tolerating gluten and/or dairy very well.
What If I Dont Want To Follow Them Exactly
No worries! They can be followed exactly or just used as a guide. If you dont want to cook every day, make extras for leftovers. Feel free to swap out other veggies, protein, or grains if you dont like the ones I choose. Or just pick the recipes you like to add to your recipe file. Please dont feel that meal plans need to followed exactly as that can create stress in itself! The goal of meal plans is to help take the stress out of meal planning not to add to it.
Get your two FREE GuidesHERE-PCOS Meal Plans and Recipes-BONUS GUIDE: 30 Nutrition Tips for PCOS
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What Is Pcos And How Can Diet Help
While a formal diagnosis is made by the identification of elevated androgen levels, irregular menstrual cycles, and polycystic ovaries, the most common symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome include weight gain, irregular periods, infertility, pelvic pain, unwanted facial hair, hair loss, acne, anxiety, and depression.
Its well understood that these symptoms result from the interaction of chronic low-grade inflammation with multiple hormone imbalances .
The hormone insulin is particularly important in PCOS, as one of its many roles is to regulate blood sugar levels. Experts recommend dietary change as a first-line intervention for PCOS because insulin levels can be improved by diet . This in turn reduces the pathophysiology of PCOS, reducing the multiple elevated health risks associated with this syndrome.
/9lessons Learnt From Weight Loss
The main lesson I learnt is that You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. I see many people who want to heal but dont want to change. For me this is what I had to do. I changed everything – my attitude, my lifestyle, my environment to an extent. You need to surround yourself with the right energy to actually begin getting better and you need to address root cause issues to actually achieve holistic Health.
These views are not generic in nature. What worked for the writer may not work for you. So avoid following this article blindly. Find out what works for your body.
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