Eating a healthy diet has many positive effects for our health, for example reducing your chances of cancer and heart disease, or just helping you to maintain fitness. Along with being physically active, healthy eating is an important factor to reducing the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms. These are a few facts you should understand beforehand.
• Although no actual ‘remedy’ exists for PCOS, a good diet can help to improve the PCOS symptoms. Many of these symptoms surface because PCOS lowers insulin effectiveness. So, more insulin is needed to manage sugar from your food. Even so, a proper diet combats this problem by lowering the level of insulin required by your body.
• If you are overweight, PCOS symptoms can get worse. Maintaining a healthy weight is an effective basis of reversing the symptoms.
• Depression, irritability, and moodiness may rear their ugly heads quite often if you have PCOS. Eating properly can positively affect your mood.
• The right diet is also important if you are pregnant.
Fats aren’t necessarily the villains of the nutrition world; we are beginning to understand the role of each fatty substance in ensuring healthy life. Some amounts of fat not only make your food more palatable but also make certain vitamins easier to absorb. A healthy fat intake shouldn’t be more than 35 percent of your daily energy intake. Fats are packed with energy and weight for weight, it has twice the energy compared to proteins and carbohydrates. With fats, you can easily get more calories than necessary. Fats can become big problem because they don’t make you feel full as easily as carbohydrate. In fact, after eating fat-rich meals, you will start feeling hungry soon, unlike after eating a meal that is high in carbohydrate. This situation is unquestionably bad news for PCOS patients who are struggling to maintain an ideal weight and it is the reason why high-fat diets aren’t advisable for PCOS patients.
They should be limited to less than 10 percent of the daily calorie intake.
Saturates can be particularly dangerous if eaten by PCOS patients because:
• They can cause higher level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), thus increasing the probability of heart disease. Those with PCOS are already at risk of having a heart disease and consuming too much bad fats is entirely a bad idea.
• They can cause dyslipidaemia (abnormal blood fat levels) and insulin resistance, two conditions that are more common on people with PCOS.
Saturated fats are often solid at room temperature. These are a few common sources:
• Animal products such as meat and dairy products.
• Certain vegetable oils such as palm oil and coconut oil.
• Hard margarine, clarified butter (ghee), and cooking fat.
• ‘Hidden’ fats in puddings, biscuits and cakes.
To avoid PCOS symptoms, you need to keep saturated fats to a minimum by consuming less animal fat, pasties, pies and full-fat dairy products.
They should be taken for less than 4 grams each day. Trans-fats are important in food industry to thicken vegetable oils which often too soft for a production process. However, major producers in food industry are now beginning to abandon trans-fats due to the serious health implications.
They can be more harmful than saturated fats because trans-fats will not only improve the LDL (bad cholesterol) level in blood, they can also reduce HDL (good cholesterol) in bloodstream. HDL is important for removing bad cholesterol in blood and prevent arteries blockage. Therefore, avoiding foods with trans-fats is especially important for women who have PCOS.
Trans-fats can be especially high in foods that use hardened vegetable oils that contain hydrogenated fats. These are some sources of trans-fats:
• Some pizza bases, pastries, and pies.
• Some cakes and biscuits.
• Some spreads and margarines. It is a good idea to choose more expensive brands that often cut trans-fat level to a negligible amount.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature, they are mostly present in vegetable oils such as soy, corn, sunflower, and olive oils, also in nuts, seeds, and fat-rich fish. These fats help to lower bad cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, too much polyunsaturated fats may do more harm than good. Researches believe that polyunsaturated fats can be oxidized in the body and converted into a very reactive body- damaging chemical. This will make you more susceptible to cancer and heart disease. Make sure that you take less than 30 grams of monounsaturated fats and 20 grams of polyunsaturated fats per day.
Even so, providing you are getting an adequate amount of antioxidants in your diet, like vitamin E, the oxidation process usually isn’t an issue. Due to this fact, nutritionists have recommended that less than ten percent of your daily calorie intake comes from polyunsaturated fats. Most people take about 5 percent of their daily calorie intake as polyunsaturated fats, well within the suggested level. Monounsaturated fats are a good choice when it comes to finding good fats. They are also dense with energy just like other fats but, can protect against heart disease, monounsaturated fats may also protect you against some cancers, such as colon cancer and breast cancer.
Diets rich in monounsaturated fats can help you maintain an ideal weight. Studies have shown that incorporating a fist-full of salt-free nuts such as almond and peanuts can limit food intake and make you stay slimmer.
To help limit PCOS symptoms, make monounsaturated fats as the primary fat source, for example by using olive oil in salad dressings or when shallow frying. Many seeds and nuts are excellent sources of monounsaturated fats. Most oils extracted from nuts are good for sauces and dressings, but they can’t tolerate heat as well as olive oil. In addition, each can have a very unique flavor. These are oil sources that are rich with monounsaturated fats:
• Brazil nuts
• Sesame seeds
• Pumpkin seeds