A few questions and clarifications required regarding the PCOS diet

by Julie
(London, UK)


I'm a 27 year old with PCOS within normal weight range.

I have recently purchased your book; I was excited and a little apprehensive at first to start a plan with such a drastic change in diet, by way of removing certain food groups and such from my diet.

I haven't as yet read the book cover to cover but have come across a few things I was hoping you could clarify and some questions I hope you could answer.

I've included them as follows:

Firstly, your book says you've included a recipe for "Honey Free Dijonnaise Mustard". I have however been unable to find this. I bought the digital copy of the book so I can search by phrase, and have also looked through the book manually but still cannot find the recipe.

A minor inconsistency is an issue with banana's, it's listed in the diet as an "inappropriate fruit, which should be minimized or avoided", but is then included in the recommended shopping list?

As I come from the UK I understand a lot of our terminology differs slightly and we can't acquire some of the ingredients which is unfortunate. I think it's a worthy point just to say that we have tried to source Stevia and was told that it is banned in the UK because in tests it apparently causes liver or kidney damage in rats. So we were advised to get an Agave Nectar, an organic sweetener, is this acceptable?

Next, we did some research on different forms of bread, and as stated you can have Wheat Sprouts on the recommended diet, we managed to find a Sprouted Wheat Bread, which is made from 100% Sprouted Wheat, is this an acceptable form to consume the wheat sprout? It's made by Sunnyvale and isn't difficult to get hold of, so thought this would be an ideal substitute to keep bread in my diet, even though it's more of a vegetable than bread!

One thing I was also wondering was, in some of your recipes you use Shrimps, which aren't overly common where I live and shop, so could I use prawns as an alternative in the recipes? Or do shrimps have an increased nutritional value?

For Sprouts, Under the Best Sprouts for Recommended Diet Level heading, you've included Amaranth, Buckwheat, Oatmeal and Quinoa, these as described, can be consumed at your leisure, "the more the better", yet moving 2 sections previous, these are under the grains heading for the Maintenance Diet only to be consumed occasionally and in small quantities? So my question is, are these grains ok to be consumed while on the recommended diet as long as they are sprouted? Are there different types of Quinoa that I could get, sprouted or un-sprouted?

Hopefully I've not come across to pedantic in my writing of this, I'm not trying to highlight anything wrong in your book, I'm just asking a few questions related to my own findings while reading your book, and so I can follow it as closely as possible for my own needs.

Thanks for your time and I appreciate any responses and comments gained from my post.



Editor's comments: Hi Julie, thanks for your thoughtful remarks.

1) Honey-free Digonnaise Mustard.

We don't have a recipe for making mustard. What we had was a mayonnaise recipe that includes mustard:

Omega 3 Mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup flaxseed oil
1/3 cup walnut oil

Put lemon juice, egg and mustard into blender. Blend 3 to 5 seconds. Continue blending and slowly add oils in a thin stream while blender is on low. Blend until mayonnaise is thick. Store in sealed plastic container. Use within 5-7 days.

If you don't have both flaxseed oil and walnut oil, use 2/3 cup of the one that you do have.

Yield: 1 cup

2) Bananas

That's an inconstancy in the book. Bananas are OK to eat, but in moderation because they are starchy. Non-starchy fruits are preferable.

3) Some ingredients not available.

We weren't able to make a diet that accommodates the variances in the dietary habits and food availability in all the countries of the world. If something is not available locally, just do you best to use a similar substitute.

4) Sweeteners

Stevia is the best and healthiest sweetener.

There is a class of sweetners called polyols. Some of them are available in granular or powdered form, like table sugar. As I recall, maltitol tastes pretty good. The polyols do not raise your blood sugar like other sweeteners do.

Try to minimize all other sweeteners, including agave nectar. A purpose of the diet is to wean you away from a craving for sweets and carbohydrates such as bread.

If you want something sweet, have a piece of fruit.

Whatever you do, don't consume any "high fructose corn syrup", which is found in innumerable processed food products. This sweetening substance is very unhealthy. By comparison, stevia is an angel.

5) Bread

The use of sprouted wheat bread is a judgment call on your part. If you feel you cannot live a good life unless you have bread to eat, then sprouted grain bread is your best choice.

A craving for bread is a sign that you may be sensitive to carbohydrates and thus should avoid them, even "sprouted" bread. Sprouted bread is barely sprouted. If the wheat kernel sprouts too much, it's impossible to make bread.

Sprouted bread is still bread. But considerably better than bread made from flour.

6) Shrimp

Prawns are an acceptable substitute for shrimp.

7) Sprouted grains

It's OK to consume grains if they are significantly sprouted, i.e., there is at least a bit of a green shoot showing.

Some health food stores sell sprouted grains or seeds. However, quinoa is not one of the common ones. So you would want to sprout them yourself.

8) Finally, the pcos diet book is not a set of commandments that every person must follow. Every person is unique and therefore what works for one person, does not work as well for another.

The book is actually a set of guidelines for the "average" person who has PCOS. The book takes into account the genetic predisposition of the average person with polycystic ovary syndrome. Maybe you fit the average profile or maybe you don't. In any case, the diet is designed to favorably influence how your genes behave. How your genes behave will determine your health outcome.

A second consideration is the country in which you live and your culture. Each country has its own foods and cultural customs that go along with those foods.

Comments for A few questions and clarifications required regarding the PCOS diet

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Comments on diet
by: PCOS Editor

I infer by what you're saying that you're overweight because you have excess fat tissue. If so, I imagine most of the weight is around your middle. In this case, a more valid metric is waist circumference or the ratio of waist to hip circumference rather than total body weight. The idea is to shrink your waist while retaining or increasing lean body mass. Please don't obsess about weight loss. Better to focus on your waist size and how your clothes fit on you.

Secondly, try not to think "low carb" diet. Think of a "healthy carb" diet. Vegetables are healthy carbs. You can eat all the vegetable carbs you want.

It would be more helpful if you could see your diet as "low glycemic load" instead of "low carb". The glycemic load is explained in the ebook. The glycemic load of the food should be very, very, very low. As low as you can get it. A high glycemic load worsens all your symptoms and vastly increases your risk of chronic degenerative disease.

Be patient with weight loss. It takes time for you to burn off fat. Keep in mind that the only way to burn fat is to move your muscles. One of the principles in the PCOS diet ebook is to help your body make a transition from burning starches and sugars to burning fat instead. That's the diet part. The other part is exercise. Most fat is burned off in muscle cells. So the more you use your muscles, the more fat you burn. This means you must exercise. The more you exercise, the more efficient your muscle cells become at burning fat.

Think of sprouts as just another vegetable. They are great in salads. Or have them as a side dish or put 'em into a blender when you make a smoothie.

I'm starting to shift my thinking about sprouted grains. It seems that almost all of us have a strong attachment to consuming grains of any kind, in any form. I now feel it's most effective, at least in the case of insulin resistance or obesity, to avoid all grains in any form.

by: Anonymous

I read the digital version of your book and I am glad that I did. I have PCOS for almost 10 years and I am 25 now. I just had some doubts regarding the diet. I have been on a low carb diet for past 3 weeks, but did not experience any weight loss. Should I wait more or should I change something in the diet??? Also I am not clear how to eat sprouts. Can we cook the sprouted grains?

by: Anonymous

Is it ok to have honey occasionally....


Editor's comments: Yes, if it is "occasionally". Some women with polycystic ovary syndrome or diabetes are hyper-sensitive to any refined carbohydrates, such as honey.

By hyper-sensitive, I mean there is an excessive insulin response to the ingested carbs. The increased insulin throws your hormones and other biochemical messengers out of balance.

Plus, it makes it harder to get rid of fat, if you're overweight.

Secondly, people usually put honey on a carbohydrate piece of food such as a piece of bread, cereal, etc. This induces you to consume more carbohydrate than you otherwise might.

The more refined carbohydrates you consume, the more trouble you get into.

by: Anonymous

is it ok to eat dates if you have pcos? since it's a natural sugar and is known to be really beneficial for health!
Editor's commments: Most dates are dried, which means they are a concentrated source of fruit sugar, even though they otherwise have good nutritional value.

I suggest you consider any dried fruit as a condiment or an occasional snack treat.

Fructose is a type of sugar that especially unsuitable for women who have PCOS. All sugars and refined carbs represent a problem for PCOS, but fructose is more of a problem than even table sugar (sucrose).

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