I don't mean to disagree with Becky, but I am diabetic, and the solution for PCOS seems to be the same as it is for diabetes.. cut carbs.
However, the same as for diabetes, the recommendation is only to cut down to 40 %, and manage a disease, and while I won't say you can "cure " these diseases, you can do a lot better, at a lower carb ratio.
If 40-45% works for you... Great! You will enjoy all the carbs. Lower carb is harder to do. The problem is, is it enough to drop to 40 % carbs, and if not, what then?
I find that for my diabetes, and to keep my blood sugars low, I need to eat 5-10 % carbs, and high fat ( 65 % ). Since, as far as I can tell PCOS, and diabetes are closely linked, and caused by Insulin resistance, the same diet that helps with diabetes, will help with PCOS. This is why our dietitian is recommending the diabetic diet for PCOS, which makes sense.
The problem many diabetics have, and would be shared by those with PCOS is that 40 % carbs is often not low enough. You need to stop and ask, what is the goal? My doctor wanted me to get below 7.0 Hemoglobin A1C, and I almost got there on the diabetic diet. I was still 330 after 7 years on the diet ( 30 lbs lost ), but it was working too slowly, so I made a change.
Fifty seven months ago, I started Atkins, and have lost another 140 lbs, and my Hemoglobin A1C is 5.1-5.4 with no effort, and no cravings for food. I eat 3 meals a day, totaling 2000 calories, and lose weight weekly, and have been off my diabetes meds for over 3.5 years now.
Personally, when I cycle up to 60-70 grams of carbs daily, I have been able to eat lima beans, kidney beans, and peas, so I can understand Becky saying not to just toss out all the starchy vegetables, but I chose to eliminate them for years, because I wanted to achieve a normal blood sugar, not just okay. I decided that moderate blood sugars, still left me vulnerable to kidney dialysis, amputations, and going blind, if left unchecked.
These things may still happen, but at least if they do, I know I did everything possible to prevent them. What you need to ask yourself is how low do you want your blood sugars? How low in carbs would you go to achieve that? Will 40 % carbs lower it enough to get rid of the PCOS?
If you cut carbs to 40 % and a year from now, you still have PCOS, you really just wasted a year. If you cut down to 5-10 % carbs, and find that you are pretty tolerant of carbs, you may be able to increase back up to 20 %, 30 %, or even 40 %, but at least you didn't shoot too low, and miss the mark.
Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 1/31/2014 (10:50)
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I was diagnosed with PCOS Wednesday, too. Unlike you I am not trying to get pregnant but getting to the point of being able to become pregnant is what is considered healthy. I have been told to go on a lowish carb diet like my diabetic granma is on. I have printed out a copy of the glycemic index and will be using it as a shopping list so I can stay low in calories. I am also going to be staying at the low range of carbs - but good carbs!
If you want a buddy on this journey I would love a companion because I know it won't be easy.
But the best thing to do is to consult your doctor and have her/him refer you to a nutritionist.
Edited by: SELENITYLUNARE at: 1/31/2014 (13:19)
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I am assuming, based on PCOS medical nutrition therapy; that the recommendation will be for about 40-45% of the total calories to come from carbohydrate type foods---using healthy types of carbs: lima beans, sweet potato, baked potato, kidney beans, sweet peas etc----these are all starchier veggies with great nutritional benefit. They would definitely be foods to use within the guideline ranges. Other choices would be fruits, milk, yogurt, as well as non-starchy veggies. It is all about "balancing these foods" to fit within the recommendation.
PCOS and type 2 diabetes are endocrine disorders that share a common feature called insulin resistance. Please consider a diabetic diet to prevent other complications of your PCOS. Yes, see an endocrinologist and some offices have Registered dieticians on staff. How much and what kind of carbs you eat will matter. People with PCOS do well on low carb diets
Meantime have meals with lean protein, fiber-rich non-starchy vegetables and skip processed foods....pasta, breads, pizza, snacks, beer and wine.
I disagree whole-heartedly with Becky..... you need to stay away from starchy veggies. I am sure your Health professional will tell you non-starchy vegetables!
Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, squash, and go easy with carrots, beans, peas and beets. Canned Sweet Corn has a high sugar content.
Chose celery, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, mustard greens, bell peppers, kale, radishes, pumpkin, green beans. You want to look for grains that have resistant starch which means the ones that digest slowly like barley, quinoa, barley long grained brown rice, wild rice, lentils, black beans. Stay away from Baked beans as they are high in sugar. Choose low carb fruits such as berries which have the least impact on blood sugar....Granny apples are good too.
Ask your doctor for a referral to see a Registered Dietitian. The dietitian can help with your weight loss plan and help in determining the correct amount of carbs for you to have. Until then--stick with your SP calorie range and eat at the lower end of your SP carb range. Use healthy carbs: fruits, vegetables, starchy veggies, whole grains, beans, lentils, etc.
Becky Your SP Registered Dietitian
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Yep, I was diagnosed about 20 years ago. Ask to see a nutritionist and an endocrinologist or a GYN who specializes in reproductive endocrinology. Generalists (GPs, family doctors) do not tend to do a good job with metabolic issues.
You will want to go on a low carb diet--not Atkins necessarily, but eat at the lower end of your Spark-recommended range and go down from there if you don't see any progress with your weight loss.
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