PCOS Review Newsletter #154

March 19, 2012

1) A More Effective Diet for P C O S?

Do you ever wonder whether the food you're eating may be making your PCOS symptoms worse? Or perhaps you think diet is important but are confused about what you should be eating?

There is a continuous trickle of medical research to suggest to you what kind of diet is most effective for reducing symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.

The latest report is from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

In a study lasting six months, 57 women with PCOS were divided into a high protein diet group, and a standard protein group. The women could eat as much as they liked.

In the high protein group, 40% of the calories were from protein, 30% from fat and 30% from carbohydrates. In the standard protein group, 15% of the calories came from protein, 30% from fat and 55% from carbs.

Compared to the standard protein group, the high protein group had better results. They lost more fat weight and their waists got smaller. They also had reductions in their blood sugar levels.

A reduction in blood sugar levels is important because it helps to keep your insulin levels from getting too high. When insulin is chronically too high, your entire hormone system is thrown out of balance and you experience symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. So what you eat is very important for managing your symptoms.

This study indicates that the ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrate is important. It's also worth noting that the women did not have to count calories.

However, other studies have shown that calorie reduction is also effective.

In summary, here are three ways to use diet to reduce your symptoms and get back to a more normal cycle:

1) Adjust the ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrate in your diet. Notice if you are eating a lot of starches and sugars with little protein.

2) Reduce the "calorie density" and "glycemic load" of the foods you're eating. This is how you reduce total calories and keep your blood sugar under control without having to count calories.

An example of reduced calorie density and glycemic load is eating steamed vegetables instead of a slice of bread.

These advanced concepts are explained in "The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility" e-book. Calorie density refers to the number of calories in a given volume of food. Glycemic load refers to the impact a food has on your blood sugar level. (Please note that glycemic load is not the same thing as the glycemic index).

3) Increase the nutritional value of your foods. For example, brown rice has more nutritional value than white rice. Vegetables obtained from your local farmer's market have more nutritional value than supermarket vegetables.

Sorensen LB et al, Effects of increased dietary protein-to-carbohydrate ratios in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, Am J Clin Nutr, 2012 Jan; 95(1): 39-48.

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