Low Carb Frequently Asked Questions - Help... low carb and need to be low fat too

06-08-2004, 08:18 PM
Help help help! I am new to this board as of about an hour ago! I really need some help/advice. I am dx'd with pcos about 1.5 years ago. I was on 1500 mg glucophage/ 500 mg niaspan/100 mg spiron. I never too my doc seriously about the low carbing until May 18. I went to her office with complaints about my ear. That was taken care of but I left in tears becuase the scale almost broke under my weight. I was devasted. 194 lbs! Anyway I left with the mindset to get me down to around 130 lbs. Im only 5'3 with a large bone structure. I think 130 would be acceptable. Anyway I was doing like a lets cut wayback on carbs deal... like doing maybe 20 a day. I did that for about 4 days or so and I started feeling not so good. I really wasnt hungery so I dont think it was from not eating enough. I love my veggies and fruits so is no problem there. My symtoms were light headed.... crawly skin.... clammyness and a general weak feeling in the legs. I was thinking gosh I must really be screwing up something... Called the doc and she said my blood sugar was going too low. She said for a trial basis I should go off the glucophage and then come in about a week later for tests. Well I did go off for the week and I felt wonderful! The lab work was done... but not by my reg doc...(she was off for sick) and they just did a lipids panel... she said it was way off and they need a more aggressive approach to lower the cholesterol. :( But I found out they didnt do the blood sugar portion??? That seems weird. I will be calling tomorrow about that. Anyway... all this low carbing is good because I lost 16 lbs so far. Now I am worried becuase the cholesterol is going up and I want to know if it is possible to do low carb and low cholesterol at the same time? Any sugguestions would be wonderful. Cindy

06-09-2004, 12:45 PM
Hi, I have PCOS too - do you post on the PCOS support board? I've found high-protein keeps me more stable and alleviates most or all of my symptoms. But with any high-protein WOE you do have to keep an eye out for cholesterol since the most readily available protein sources (meats) are also high in cholesterol. You can do low-carb and low-cholesterol at the same time, but keep in mind that low-cholesterol does not mean low-fat. Cut back on animal fats and get more of your protein from nuts, legumes, and low-cholesterol animal sources like low-fat dairy products and fish. Little things can make all the difference, and here are a few things you may want to try:

-Cook in olive or canola oil instead of lard or vegetable oil

-Eat fatty fishes like broiled salmon instead of fried meats. You get the same "oily" texture that you might crave, but you're getting EFAs instead of saturated fats and cholesterol

-Take the yolks out of your eggs - I boil a bunch and take the yolks out and use the whites in salads or just eat them plain with a little salt. If you have pets the yolks are great for their skin and coat so they don't have to go to waste. One egg yolk has about 70% of your recommended cholesterol intake :yikes: !!

-Instead of grabbing a piece of bacon or pork rinds for a snack, try some substitutes like vegetarian bacon; if you cook it in a bit of olive oil the taste is about the same and the texture is close. In fact, I prefer it to the real thing since it's not so salty, and they satisfy my crunch cravings. I usually cook a package ahead of time and keep it wrapped in the fridge to snack on.

The important thing to remember is that, as I said, low-cholesterol does not mean low-fat. Just be sure your fats are coming from healthy sources, and make sure you get your EFAs since they're essential for metabolic function; in fact they may actually help lower your cholesterol. Lowering your total fat intake too much can actually impede your loss, so get your fat in, but lower your cholesterol intake by avoiding the higher-fat meats (beef and pork), you can cut those down to once a week. I don't have cholesterol problems myself, but I don't want to develop them, so I watch my saturated fat and cholesterol intakes. Here's what I do, basically:

-Daily protein sources; Egg whites, veggie bacon, nuts (almonds, soy), low-fat cheese or veggie cheese, tuna, low-fat cottage cheese, fish, chicken

-Once a week maximum; beef, pork, organ meats (liver etc.), fried foods

I mostly rely on fish and seafood, with a bit of chicken, for my animal sources of protein most of the week. I generally have one meal a week of "not-so-good-for-you" food, like a steak or fried porkchops, but I limit it to one serving size and eats lots of veggies with it.

One more thing; make sure you're getting plenty of fiber - it really does help lower your cholesterol. Beans and other legumes are good sources of fiber and protein, and packed with vitamins and minerals, but they are a bit high in carbs if you're still cutting to <20 a day.

Just making a few small changes can make all the difference, and there are lots of substitutes out there for your favorite high-cholesterol snacks. Hope that helps, and good luck!

06-11-2004, 01:24 PM
I also have PCOS and have had wonderful success on Atkins. My physician wants to watch my cholesterol, but hasn't made any complaints or suggestions about my way of eathing. Just that she would like to recheck it in the future.

My OB actually was happy with my decision to do atkins because of my PCOS and ever increasing weight.

I wish you great luck!!

06-12-2004, 12:13 AM
Im so sorry I didnt get back sooner.... i am so used to places that email you if you get any responses. Thank you very very much for your post. It explains and helps me quite a bit. I dont think I have found the PCOS support place... Can you help me find it? I at a stand still as far as weight loss now. I had hoped it wouldnt be for a while... but alas... it has already struck. I am walking about 3 miles a day for exercise and i do get my 64 oz of water day in. I just tonight dragged my slim-gym up to the computer room in my house and I fully intend to start some kind of program on that also to vary my exercise besides just walking.

06-12-2004, 12:19 AM
LoriAS :dizzy: :dizzy: :^:

Thank you for the well wishes. I sure can use them. Im disappointed that I am already in a weight loss slump. I have lost 16 lbs so far and now I am stuck. I am not really following a strict diet (yet) Been doing a lot of reading and getting a lot of conflicting ideas. My PCOS doc does want me low carbing. She says it will help a lot of the symptoms and if it will I will do it gladly. Right now I am reading a book entitled "The type 2 diabetes diet book" It is on low carbing. It makes for some very interesting reading.

06-12-2004, 02:11 PM
Hi Cindy -

The PCOS forum is in the General Section of the 3FC forums. Here's a link for you http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=70

Good luck!

06-14-2004, 09:20 AM
Hi Cindy - sorry I didn't get back to you sooner :) Sounds like you're on the right track, and I'm sure the PCOS forum will have tons of useful information for you. In conjunction with the book you're already reading, may I also suggest "The PCOS Diet Book" by Collette Harris - it's great for dietary advice etc.; just skip past the "detox" and other sections of unproven claims. Ordinarily I would question information from any such source, but she does provide plenty of evidence for her dietary advice, and some of her suggested herbs may be beneficial as well. Hope that helps :)

Thanks Star, for posting the link; I tried but I don't have 50 posts yet :)