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Cutting out Carbs; is this the answer for PCOS?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

One of the first things I hear from women with PCOS that they tried cutting out Carbohydrates as one of their very first ways to manage PCOS. Why do you think cutting out Carbs can benefit?

And the answer I usually hear is the believe that cutting out Carbs will help with losing weight and control the insulin resistance related to PCOS. Now, Let’s break these two reasons down to see if that would justify staying away from Carbs:

What is Insulin resistance?

It is a condition in which your body tissues are not responding to the insulin signals in the body to control blood sugar. And as a result, the body will produce more insulin trying to get blood sugar levels drop to normal after meals. Having too much insulin in your blood can cause weight gain, which could worsen PCOS symptoms. Not just can cause weight gain, it also can increase inflammation, can affect ovulation, and make you feel tired. Moreover, there is that link where people with insulin resistance are at more risk of developing Diabetes type2.

Now, it seems more convincing to stay away from Carbs, isn't it?

In fact, not having carbohydrates in your diet is not a solution of anything. Carbohydrates is the main source of energy for your body, especially for your brain. And by removing the main source of energy from your meals, you are increasing the stress on your body, causing your body to feel tired and your brain to feel foggy. Also, removing all Carbs sources from your plates, means removing fibre, some fruits and vegetables which will cause removing vital vitamins, minerals and flavonoids from your diet. How that could seem like helping at all!

Now, let's see what can sound more practical and healthier for managing PCOS symptoms.

First thing to do is to stay away from the restriction approach. And instead, try to think about improving the quality of carbohydrates in your diet:

- Swapping to brown carbohydrates (Whole or multi grains) is a great way to manage insulin resistance. That can be simply by introducing:

· Brown bread and brown breakfast cereals.

· Rice or grains (oat, barley, quinoa, bulgur)

· Sweet potatoes, normal potatoes with skin and butternut squash.

· Lentils and beans.

And that is mainly because the high fibre content in the above examples helps regulate blood sugar levels and increase body cells response (sensitivity) to insulin. Not just that, fibre is very important in controlling some PCOS symptoms such as digestive discomfort, weight gain and stress too.

-Another great way to improve insulin resistance is to combine your carbohydrate source with protein and healthy fats. That helps slow down the release of sugar (Glucose) from carbohydrates into your blood.

Is it such a relief to know that managing PCOS symptoms can be done without having to follow a restrictive diet? Remember, taking gentle and simple steps to improve the way you eat and to make yourself feel better about your body and health is the key.

If you need further support on understanding how to manage PCOS, why not get your free nutrition assessment call booked.

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