PCOS & A Low Carbohydrate Lifestyle
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (or PCOS for short) is a condition that affects millions of women in the UK. The cause of this syndrome is unknown. The condition is associated with abnormal hormone levels, especially insulin. In this blog we discuss why following a low carbohydrate lifestyle helps manage the condition and why.
High levels of insulin are usually associated with a variety of chronic and inflammatory conditions especially in individuals who are either diagnosed as pre-diabetic or insulin resistant. Insulin is an important hormone as it is responsible for overseeing a variety of mechanisms within the body. With about 60% of individuals affected by PCOS being obese through increased abdominal weight and 50% of these individuals suffering from insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia, it is ever more important to ensure that your dietary habits are not making a negative impact on your condition.
High Insulin Levels
Insulin is the hormone responsible for maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Chronic high levels of insulin will result in a person’s blood sugars being low most of the time (insulin directs cells to remove the sugar in the blood and to use it for energy). The result of low blood sugar levels will in turn result in feelings of tiredness and overall low energy levels. It also leads to sugar cravings as the body will itself try to rectify these low blood sugar levels which in turn will lead you to possibly overeat on carbohydrates.
Minimising Sugars and Starches in the diet
By changing your dietary habits and choosing to eat items that are lower in sugars and starches will help to minimise the constant blood sugar spikes which will in turn lead to a stable levels of insulin.
Once insulin levels are stabilised, the body will start to look at using other sources to fuel itself, mainly fat and protein. By following a dietary lifestyle that is low in carbohydrates will allow the body to naturally start burning unwanted body fat for energy. This will result not only in weight loss but will also impact on overall energy levels.
Studies have shown that individuals suffering from PCOS benefit from following a low carbohydrate diet. The reduction of carbohydrate in the diet helps to better manage insulin and this immediately improves any insulin resistance symptoms and helps with weight loss.
Here at the at the Natural Low Carb Store we have created a range of delicious meals that are not only low in sugar and starches, but are also tasty and nutritious. If you want to find out more about how following a low carb lifestyle can help you then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
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Mavropoulos, J., Yancy, W., Hepburn, J. and Westman, E. (2005). The effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet on the polycystic ovary syndrome: a pilot study. Nutr Metab (Lond), 2, p.35.
S\orensen, L., S\oe, M., Halkier, K., Stigsby, B. and Astrup, A. (2012). Effects of increased dietary protein-to-carbohydrate ratios in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 95(1), pp.39--48.