As mentioned in my last blog, Insulin Resistance PCOS is the most common form of PCOS. What does being insulin resistant mean? Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that allows your cells to use glucose or as we say ‘sugar’ for energy. When you are IR, it means that the cells don’t use insulin effectively and is having trouble absorbing glucose, which is responsible for causing a build-up of sugar in the blood. This accumulation of sugar causes the ovaries to make too much testosterone and not ovulate regularly or properly. This can also cause increased body hair, acne and irregular or few periods and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by the testosterone aka male hormones, the weight is typically carried in the abdomen. Symptoms may include: Fatigue, increased hunger, strong cravings for sweets and salty foods etc. Having this type of PCOS can also increase your risk of developing diabetes.
The biggest side effect of this type of PCOS is that it plays a lot into your hunger hormones, leaving sufferers with a sometimes constant hunger feeling. This vicious cycle is why this type of PCOS makes it seem difficult to lose weight. Because of this, it is especially important, more so critical, to restrict and control your sugar intake if you want to properly manage this type of PCOS.
One of the first things you should do is cut out or significantly reduce how much high fructose sugar products you consume. Foods/products with HFS for example are: Soda, Ice Cream, Packaged Orange Juice, Canned Fruit, Frozen Junk Food, Candy etc. Some foods with HFS but are harder to identify or conceal themselves as ‘healthy foods’ are some types bread, granola bars, breakfast cereal, some condiments, cereal bars, granola bars, coffee creamer, energy and sports drinks.
Another thing to avoid as well are sugar alcohols (they are used as artificial thickeners and sweeteners). If you’re in the habit of checking labels like myself, products with the following sugar alcohols should be avoided or discretionally consumed: sorbitol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.
It sounds like you’re giving up all the ‘fun stuff’ doesn’t it? I know it seems like that at first but trust me, when you begin to see and, more importantly, feel the benefits or dropping all the unnecessary sugar from your diet, it will become much easier to make smarter and better eating options. Unfortunately, unless you take the necessary steps above to sensitive your body properly to insulin to correct your metabolic function, you will find it very hard to manage this type of PCOS without making some strong changes to your diet.
To fight those sugar cravings you can replace those ‘bad sugars’ with some ‘good sugars’ found in fruits and veggies; bananas, cherries, fig, kiwi, mangoes, grapefruit, pineapple, mandarins, tomato concentrate, dried fruits, plums, apples, grapes, pears to name a few are healthier high fructose sugar options.
Now, by no means should you substitute meals with just fruit. A bit of fruit is healthy and permissible but you should really be eating at least three meals daily with protein and vegetables at the core of it. Reducing glucose starch foods such as potatoes and white rice will also aid in managing this type of PCOS. Magnesium supplements as well are helpful in reducing sugar cravings.
“Eat less sugar, you’re sweet enough already.” – Unknown.