Low Glycemic Index Diet for PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder with unknown causes. However, insulin resistance is a major contributing factor among women with PCOS. It is reported by studies that around 50-70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistanc, meaning their cells are not able to use insulin effectively. To keep body glucose normal, pancrease has to secrete larger amount of insulin. This hyperinsulinemia is associated with weight gain and increased production of the androgen hormone testosterone. Insulin resistance makes it harder to loose weight, that’s why women with PCOS experience this issue.
WHAT IS GLYCEMIC INDEX: It is a ranking system for food containing carbohydrates. It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar ( glucose) levels when that food is eaten.
▶️ Food with a high GI (55 or above) absorbed rapidly and produces a sudden spike in blood sugar and also increases insulin secretion from the pancreas.
▶️ In contrast, food with low GI (55 or less) slowly absorbed and produce a gradual and relatively slow rise in the levels of blood sugar.
Prolonged consumption of high GI food leads to insulin resistance, oxidative stress and increases the risk of chronic diseases. Studies suggest a caloric- restricted low GI diet improves insulin resistance and PCOS symptoms like menstrual irregularity and cardiovascular problems.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Numerous studies have demonstrated that a low GI diet can enhance insulin sensitivity, making cells more responsive to this crucial hormone. This is particularly vital for women with PCOS, as insulin resistance is a common feature of the condition.
Steady Weight Management: Weight management is often a top concern for women with PCOS. Research suggests that low GI diets can aid in sustainable weight loss and maintenance, reducing the risk of obesity-related complications.
Hormonal Balance: The hormonal fluctuations that accompany PCOS can be mitigated by the consumption of low GI foods. This can lead to more regular menstrual cycles and a reduction in excessive androgen levels.
Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: PCOS increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Low GI diets have been shown to lower this risk by regulating blood sugar levels and improving overall metabolic health.
TIPS FOR EATING HEALTHY
It is frequently asked by women with PCOS that which diet is best for curing their symptoms, but unfortunately, there is no such miracle diet. Research shows that diet which reduces insulin resistance, like complex carbs, proteins and healthy fats may help in improving menstrual irregularities and obesity.
Always choose carbohydrates with high fibre content and avoid or limit processed carbohydrates.
Choose healthy dietary fats.
Don’t eliminate an entire food group.
Incorporating Low GI Foods into Your Diet
Include Lean Proteins: Lean sources such as chicken, fish, tofu, and beans, can help balance your meals and keep you full.
Avoid Sugary Snacks: Sugary snacks and beverages are high GI culprits. Replace them with healthier alternatives like Greek yogurt with berries or a handful of almonds.
Monitor Portion Sizes: Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overeating, even when consuming low GI food
Regular physical activity also helps in reducing insulin resistance. Moderate exercise like brisk walking, running, cycling, and swimming improve PCOS symptoms and insulin resistance.
Sleep quality is very important. Insufficient sleep favors the development of obesity and insulin resistance, which in turn favors the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Stress also increases glucose levels by promoting the production of the cortisol hormone, so try to do some meditation or other relaxation activities.
A low GI diet can be a valuable tool in managing PCOS symptoms by improving insulin sensitivity, aiding in weight and regulating hormones. However, it's important to remember that diet alone is not a magic solution for PCOS. With dedication and a science-based approach, you can take control of your PCOS and improve your overall health and well-being.
In need of some inspiration? Check out our low GI delicious recipes here