POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)
Last year we emailed a newsletter on PCOS and have had several requests for more on the topic. Here it is.
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance of women in their reproductive years. It effects nearly 10% of women ages 18-44. With PCOS, the body has difficulty processing insulin and regulating blood glucose. Women with PCOS may have irregular and/or longer than normal menstrual cycles and higher levels of male hormones.
Women with PCOS have a higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, elevated insulin level and lipids, excess hair growth, acne, cystic ovaries, difficulty getting pregnant, depression and eating disorders.
Women with PCOS should try to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Due to PCOS being an insulin resistant condition, diet is crucial. You should choose low glycemic foods to aid in weight reduction. A diet of complex carbohydrates with protein and fat at the meal helps to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
PCOS doesn’t have a cure. Treatment of the condition involves lifestyle changes and medication. Birth control pills may help with irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth and acne. Metformin and anti-androgens may also be prescribed.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS
1) Weight loss
2) Choosing a diet of low glycemic foods. Pair whole grains with a protein and fat.
3) Limit carbohydrate portions and consume more lean protein and vegetable dishes. Pastas, grains, cereals and breads should be smaller portions. Focus on high fiber foods.
4) Limit sugar, artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
5) Make sure to get 1200mg/day of calcium. Consider a supplement if you are not consuming adequate food sources of calcium.
6) Increase omega-3’s, and reduce saturated fats.
7) Aim for an exercise regime of both cardio and strength training.
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN
Scrambled egg whites with spinach, tomato, peppers and onions, plus 1/2c mixed berries
Turkey burger on high fiber English muffin, 1-2 Tbsp avocado, sliced onion, side salad of carrots, cucumber, and leafy greens, 1 medium apple
Low fat plain Greek yogurt, slivered almonds, cinnamon
Grilled salmon, medium sweet potato, grilled asparagus, and zucchini