The exact cause of PCOS is still unknown, however, most experts now believe that insulin plays a large role. Insulin works to transport sugar out of the bloodstream and into liver and fat cells and muscle, where it is then stored as fat or converted to energy. Many women who are diagnosed with PCOS also suffer from insulin resistance. This means that the body’s ability to transport insulin from the bloodstream and into cells is defective because these cells are resistant to insulin. Because of insulin’s role in PCOS, treatment is no longer directed at preventing individual symptoms such as headaches, irregular menstruation or acne, but is instead focused on treating insulin resistance. The polycystic ovarian syndrome diet can allow you to better manage insulin levels, while promoting weight loss and improved overall health.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Diet: How to Prevent Insulin Spikes
Approximately sixty percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Experts have determined that losing a minimum of five percent of body weight can lead to improvement of symptoms associated with PCOS, while also improving menstrual regularity and well managed insulin levels. The basic high carb, low fat diet is not the best approach for women with this condition. A better option is the polycystic ovarian syndrome diet, also known as a low glycemic index diet. This type of diet will include foods that will not cause a rapid rise in insulin levels.
The polycystic ovarian syndrome diet is very strict and focuses on combining carbs with fat or protein. Women should choose lower glycemic index foods, which will cause their blood sugar to rise at a slower rate. Lower glycemic carbs will have more fiber than higher glycemic foods.
How a Nutritionist Can Help You Better Manage a PCOS Diet
It’s recommended that you speak with a nutritionist before attempting this diet. A nutritionist can teach you about carbs and the importance of maintaining proper carb levels in order to prevent ketosis. Ketosis will kick in if you consume less than forty grams of carbs a day. You can purchase a ketone test kit at a pharmacy and keep a closer eye on your ketone levels.
A nutritionist can also teach you about the importance of spacing out your carbs during the day. Doing so will cause less frequent insulin peaks, which can happen if you eat a large amount of carbs at one meal. Nutritionists can also recommend vitamin and mineral supplements that you can take on a daily basis that can help to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need in order to thrive.
Lastly, a nutritionist can also teach you how to plan meals for you and your whole family that includes safe foods for your PCOS diet. Learning how to eat healthy and what foods to avoid will be a big part of your success on this diet.