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Articles and research studies related to PCOS. This forum is open to the public. PCOS is an autoimmune condition.
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TOPIC: PCOS Brochure by the Cycle Diet Dietitian

PCOS Brochure by the Cycle Diet Dietitian 07 Sep 2005 01:35 #755

  • Debra
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Here is some of the copy from a brochure and nutrition program for PCOS I developed for The Center for Health & Well-being.

Sensible Selections For Women's Fertility Health
A Nutritional Based Program For Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

The most important dietary aspect for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is to obtain good blood glucose and insulin control. It's not that hard to do with the help of a registered dietitian. Recent research has shown a link between insulin resistance and PCOS symptoms with 70% of women eventually developing adult onset diabetes by the age of 40. Not only is it important to control your insulin levels for better fertility health, but you may avoid other health problems associated with diabetes and heart disease.

Insulin Resistance and Obesity
Obesity is a common problem of women who have PCOS, in fact 50% to 60% of women with PCOS are obese, compared with 35% without PCOS. One theory suggests that the high levels of insulin promote fat storage. Additional fat stores above 35% over ideal body weight can decrease insulin sensitivity by as much as 40%. However it should be noted that lean women with PCOS also experience insulin resistance.

Sensible Insulin control
As for all of us, a good diet with exercise can do wonders for weight management and good health, but for women who experience PCOS symptoms, it should be the first line of defense. It is the high levels of insulin that cause other hormones to become unbalanced. Hyperinsulinemia is associated with higher levels of testosterone causing anovolation, hair growth, hair loss, acne and erratic menstrual periods. It is possible to control insulin through a reduced carbohydrate diet plan with the help of a registered dietitian.

The Typical Diet Plan
The typical low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet may not be the best choice for women with PCOS, Studies have shown a lower carbohydrate, higher-monounsaturated-fat diet can lower insulin levels and improve lipid profiles more effectively. Focus on lower glycemic index foods with emphasis on fibrous vegetables and legumes balanced with lean protein and unsaturated fat.

The Atkins type diet is not the answer either due to the high amounts of saturated fats and excessive protein. Too much protein can have a negative effect on excretion, especially on the kidneys. Women with PCOS should be very careful not to place too
much long-term stress on the kidneys due to the potential for type 2 diabetes.

Select the 40-30-30 Plan
40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat, is the basic macro nutrient breakdown for optimal insulin control. Be careful, not all carbohydrates or fat are created equal. Complex carbohydrate take longer to breakdown and are slower to enter the bloodstream and usually have a high fiber content. Women with PCOS should limit consumption of simple sugars and refined carbohydrates to avoid sharp insulin spikes. Talk with a dietitian for an individualized plan best for you.

Select a Low Stress Lifestyle
Stress, physical or emotional increases the hormone cortisol, which can cause additional problems in reproductive hormones as well as increasing insulin and glucose to ready your fight or flight reaction. Practice meditation or look into a stress management program.

Select the Benefits of Exercise for Increased Insulin Sensitivity

If your goal is to become pregnant, losing just a few pounds of body weight is sometimes all it takes to restore ovulation. But, women with PCOS may take a little longer to drop all unwanted weight due to insulin resistance, which is why it is very important to exercise. Don't worry if you tire easily at first, just keep working at it. Walking at least 30 minutes a day at 3 miles per hour is all it takes to see an increase in insulin sensitivity. An hour spent walking is even better for overall health and weight reduction.
Any weight bearing exercise and resistance training will be helpful. If you belong to a gym, consider working with a personal trainer or join a group exercise program
Tip: Exercising first thing in the morning before breakfast may burn a little more fat than after you eat. However, make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially water.

1 cup whole grain GF cold cereal or
1 egg any style & 1 slice whole grain GF toast
6oz of unsweetened non-dairy milk (fortified)
1/2 cup fresh fruit (melon, strawberries, blueberries)

Morning Snack:
1-2 oz organic Chicken or wild Salmon and vegetables (fresh cucumber, carrot, green pepper slices)

10 oz Vegetable Soup
3oz organic turkey or chicken open face sandwich on 1 slice GF bread w/ lettuce & tomato
Large salad w/olive oil vinaigrette dressing
6oz non-dairy unsweetened milk fortified with calcium

Afternoon snack
6oz plain non-dairy yogurt & fruit (stevia optional)

3-4oz salmon or favorite cold water fish or
3-4oz lean white meat
1 cup broccoli or green vegetable
Salad or mixed fresh greens and tomato
Sauteed mushrooms in 1tsp.olive oil sprinkled with
almond slices

PM snack
Oatmeal cookie made with Stevia & honey
Herbal tea
Green apple and 1-2tsp peanut or almond butter

Provides an estimated 1,400-1,7000 kcals
1,200-1,300mg of calcium
22-27 grams of fiber
40% CHO, 30% Pro, 30% fat

Edit: Watch for gluten sensitivity, or contact the Cycle Diet registered dietitian for how to be tested without a doctor's order.
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