PCOS E-book Well-intentioned but overwhelming, contradictory, and guilt-inducing

by Sara

I appreciate and respect the work that went into this book. Well-intentioned, for sure - but I can't say it improved my outlook. It contains a lot of contradictory information, for one thing. There is a researched and comprehensive section at the beginning that explains how different diets don't necessarily work for everyone - high carb, high protein, low-whatever - everyone is different! Eat healthy and eat whole, eat the best you can and you can eat just about everything that way. And yet "The PCOS Diet" buys into the demonization of entire food groups, as I've been seeing so many fad diets do lately. No grains! No dairy! No this or that. Avoid 'bitter-melon', it recommends in the fruit section. But then it recommends bitter melon as a nutritional supplement later on. Hmm.

Is it ok to make someone feel guilty for wanting a slice of whole wheat bread and some beans? There's an entire section on the importance of minimizing stress - well, no wonder so many people feel awful about themselves when having a slice of reduced fat cheese is "inappropriate" for their diet. It tells you stress will make you gain weight, and that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. Well, I can't say I feel a lot less stressed after reading that. Mostly, I just feel kinda depressed. What if someone doesn't have the time or money to make these meals, or buy the appliances for them? What if someone doesn't have a perfect diet day - what if they want a spoonful or two of peanut butter? Or cake on their birthday?

As a culture, and women even more so, we get a lot of advice thrown at us. Here is what's good, and what's bad. Moisturize with this, don't wear that, eat this - sometimes it feels like eggs are alternatively good or bad for you every other week. This book even touches on how women struggle with achieving perfection - I think being presented with such an overwhelming amount of life-altering advice personally makes my struggle with just accepting myself feel that much larger.

Of course I recognize this book isn't making anyone use this diet. And it has worked for other women. It does seem the authors mean it when they say that one size doesn't fit all. I happen to be doing better than I've ever been after I made some big dietary changes myself - whole grains, lower carb (but still included), no red meats, way more vegetables, and a whole lot more common sense. It works for me to enjoy my cheerios and greek yogurt almost daily - I know it might not work for everyone else. That's the beauty of finding what works for you. It's just tough when I'm made to feel guilty for it, over and over - unfortunately often with well-meaning books like this.

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A Different Viewpoint on PCOS Diet - Part 2
by: PCOS Editor

Our diet is completely dominated by 4 basic foods: wheat, dairy, soy and corn. I am certain you are eating these foods every single day. If you were to examine the research on each of these foods in some detail, you might find some unsettling data. For example, we recently posted an article on corn-base fructose. And that's just one item.

There are good reasons why the diet in the ebook does not contain any wheat, dairy, soy or corn. It's not to deprive you. It's to try to rescue you from a problem that is more intractable than you may think.

But the diet is only half the battle. The other half is environmental hormone-disrupting chemicals. The effect of these chemical on your body is just as perverse and prevalent as your diet. In fact, a healthy diet is doubly important in the face of ever-increasing chemical pollution.

And finally, just what is PCOS, anyway? Do we really know? See Is 'PCOS' Obsolete?

The only reason our recommended diet appears so grim is that the situation we're in is grim. Simple as that. We can either stick our heads in the sand and pretend there's nothing wrong, or we can start to do our own intensive investigation to find out what is going on and what we can do about it.

We all want to make PCOS go away. But according to overwhelming medical research evidence, it will not begin to go away until we correct our environment and our diet. It will probably take several generations for this can possibly happen.

The only way to break the vicious PCOS cycle is for you to improve your personal environment (both inside and outside your body) before your conceive, while you are pregnant, and while you are breastfeeding. Secondly, you must feed your developing infant the most appropriate foods, not some processed food you find in your local supermarket.

A Different Viewpoint on PCOS Diet - Part 1
by: PCOS Editor

Hi Sara, thanks for your excellent critique! Here's another viewpoint. Yes, the ebook has some editorial flaws and a few contradictions, such as for bananas.

And yes, the diet can be overwhelming and even depressing for a lot of people. It's not intended to make you feel guilty. It just tries to deal with current reality.

It's not necessarily the best diet for every woman with PCOS. For example, if insulin resistance is not present or only very mild, there would be more latitude in the diet.

So here's a question to consider. Were humans miserable before bread or processed foods were popularized? Did they feel deprived because there was no yogurt or tofu or nearby supermarket or refrigeration?

The fact is, our diet today does not even remotely resemble the diet of even 100 years ago. Yet people 100 years ago seemed to do OK.

Second question. Where do you think PCOS comes from? It must come from somewhere, right? One might say, well, "it's in my genes". This is a vast oversimplification of a very complex process that occurred from the moment you were conceived until this very moment. You are not "what you eat". You are "what your mother ate" while pregnant with you.

And why was polycystic ovary syndrome not identified as a disease until 1935?

And why were heart attacks virtually unheard of before the 20th century? What explains the incredible explosion in the incidence of diabetes and obesity today?

Hopefully you can begin to see that something is happening today that is unprecedented.

Emerging research is strongly suggesting that our diet is primarily responsible for many of our "modern day" health problems. Why would PCOS be an exception?

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