Women with PCOS are frequently told to go on "low carb" diets to lose weight and manage health issues related to weight gain.
I receive emails from distressed women who have no clue whether or not to eat carbs, which ones are good and bad, and how to live this limiting lifestyle (especially when there are family members to cook for!).
I'll give you some relief in telling you that you do not have to cut out carbs to lose weight, nor have I ever lived a carbohydrate-free life and yet I still live free from PCOS. Here's the skinny on carbs: They were designed to be good for us in many ways (see below), yet the ones that have been "tampered" with (by large manufacturers) aren't so good for us. Replace the unhealthy ones for the wholesome, nutrient-dense ones and you're golden. You won't feel deprived AND you'll see good results.
Let me break this down to simplify your food selection. There are only 3 categories of food you should be thinking about; they are called macronutrients. They consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat. That's it. Don't over complicate your food choices by counting calories. If you stick with choosing the right foods, you'll feel more full and be a whole lot healthier.
When it comes to carbohydrates, you find three food groups: veggies, fruits, grains. See, isn't that simple? Yes, vegetables, even broccoli, fall into the carbohydrate category. We all know broccoli, in so many ways, is super healthy, full of nutrients, alkalizing and not likely to cause weight gain or health issues. It's when food manufacturers (or your favorite aunt) turn that broccoli into a casserole that it becomes something less than healthy.
The fiber found in eating good carbohydrates can provide just some of the following benefits:
stable blood sugar levels
When choosing carbohydrates, I generally tell my clients to check out the Glycemic Index* and select carbs that are on the lower end ~ this means the carbohydrates (whether they're veggies, fruits or grains) will have a healthier impact on your insulin and blood glucose levels. If you do find yourself eating something with a higher glycemic level, just keep it to a minimum. Eat mostly low-glycemic and you will see a huge change in your health (re: weight, cravings, moods, energy, etc.).
If you're in the bad habit of eating lots of white bread, sugary cereals and fried vegetables, try to make small changes toward improving the quality of your food. For instance, I used to love eating waffles for breakfast, and I decided to start replacing waffles with whole grain waffles, to whole grain English muffins, to Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffins. It was slow, but the change lasted, and I have never missed eating waffles. I still make them for special holidays, but that's it. I love my Ezekiel muffins!
Examine your diet now and locate the places where you're indulging in refined, unhealthy carbohydrates. These foods are causing blood sugar spikes (and can lead to or exacerbate hypoglycemia), low energy and mood swings, poor digestion and weight gain. Over time, refined carbs can lead to insulin resistance and other health problems.
Once you've discovered areas where your diet needs a little TLC, start getting creative on how you can make delicious, healthy substitutions. Nothing drastic, and start slow. You will find that it's actually easy to make these changes and the positive impact it will have on your weight, health and overall life is huge.
Insulite Laboratories, a Boulder, Colorado USA based company, is committed to reversing Insulin Resistance – a potentially dangerous imbalance of blood glucose and insulin. Scientific research has revealed that this disorder can be a primary cause of excess weight gain and obesity, plus Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Insulin Resistance can also underlie the cluster of increased risk factors for cardiovascular damage called Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X) as well as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
Recognizing that there are millions of people who need help, Insulite Labs has designed what is considered the most effective systematic approach to reversing Insulin Resistance and these associated disorders. Insulite Laboratories is recognized world-wide for developing systems to address the underlying causes of Metabolic Syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), excess weight/obesity, pre-diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes.
For more information about PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and research links to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) , PubMed Health, GenBank, and more, please visit us at www.pcos.insulitelabs.com.