Low GI Diet for PCOS
There are a number of diets which can help reduce symptoms of PCOS. The low-GI diet is arguably the most effective.
A low GI-diet is basically a diet which focuses on eating foods which are low on the glycemic index. Simply put, this means eating food which digests slowly, helping you to feel full longer while avoiding spikes in your blood sugar. Some basic changes you will make if you adopt a low-GI diet include:
- Reduce or eliminate refined sugars from your diet
- Reduce or eliminate refined grains (i.e., flour) from your diet
- Eliminate white bread in favor of whole grain breads
- Switch to whole grain pastas
- Add more fruit to your diet
- Add more vegetables to your diet
- Reduce potatoes in your diet
- Increase breakfast cereals made of bran, barley, and oats
How a Low GI Diet Can Help with Your PCOS
Most women with PCOS also have weight issues. The first and foremost way that a low-GI diet will help you is by helping you to lose weight and sustain your weight loss. This in and of itself can help improve the regularity of your cycles.
Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant. The high levels of insulin caused by insulin resistance (essentially because the insulin isn’t being used to break down blood sugars as it’s intended to do) are believed to increase the release of androgens. Following a low-GI diet can slow the buildup of insulin and the release of androgens.
A recent study considered the difference between women with PCOS who ate a balanced diet and those who followed a low-GI diet for a year. Women who followed the low-GI diet developed better glucose tolerance. This leads to better action in the body’s insulin and better control of blood sugars.
More importantly for those who are trying to conceive with PCOS, nearly all of the women on the low-GI diet (95%) reported that their menstrual cycles became more regular. Many of the women eating a balanced diet also saw improvement, but the results weren’t nearly as dramatic (63% as opposed to 95%).
In the end, any diet which helps you to lose weight and sustain weight loss is likely to help with your menstrual cycle and other symptoms of PCOS. The low-GI diet, though, has the best chances of helping you normalize your cycles, which leads to better fertility.