General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

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Old 01-02-2014, 11:19 AM   #1  
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Default Low Carb or No Carb?

Hi guys,

I have been given conflicting information, and it is making my life very tricky at the moment. My gynaecologist said that I was to have no sugars or carbs... including fruit and milk!! I followed this for a few days but found myself having symptoms similar to that of a Hypo.

Another professional told me that it is okay to have a small amount of carbs and sugars.

Also, when looking at nutritional content of foods, should I be looking at the "Carbohydrates" or the "Of which sugars" data? Because some special foods tend to have low sugars but high in carbs... Total confusion. My gynae is hopeless and I haven't managed to get any sort of help from her regarding this.

Can anyone in the UK also recommend a nutritionist in the London/Surrey area that is clued up on PCOs and Insulin Resistance?

I am at very high risk of Diabetes Type 2, despite being a healthy weight. I have severe PCOs, and only have one ovary. At 26 I find this challenging because I would at least like the choice of having children in the future. I also struggle with depression, anxiety and ADHD. I am sure all of the symptoms I have are linked.

I'd really appreciate any advice that anyone could send my way... it's all about knowing people that are in the same boat aye.

Love Jen x
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:31 AM   #2  
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At first glance at your post I was getting ready to tell you that you have to find what works for you for weightloss. For me, that's low carb, not no carb. No carb makes me anxious and leads to binging. I also differentiate between carbs. For example, I feel ok and satisfied if I have some potatoes or some rice, or even some corn. But the moment I have wheat I get all crazy wanting to eat more and more and more. I'm ok having some fruit, but the moment I put table sugar in my mouth I'm a lunatic searching for more!

However, considering your health conditions I would say to visit a doctor who will be a little more sensitive and helpful to you. And I do think that a good nutritionist will help you sort these things out because Im not equiped to advise you on what to eat other than to lose weight.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:25 AM   #3  
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I think your gynaecologist sounds like a the victim of food and health fads. I would get a second opinion from another gynaecologist. Doctors are not free from stupid biases and lack of rigour. But the links below suggest that avoiding faddish and extreme approaches is the more mainstream and therefore safer approach. As the second link shows, research has not shown a preference for any of the odd diets to be more helpful

i understand the way the pritikin diet works. That's the one that avoids carbs so you can avoid it affecting your insulin. But this is not a diet you can sustain for a long time and i don't know if its the standard advice for diabetics either.

Find a diabetic diet and follow that in consultation with your gp and a more sensible gynao.

yes there are two basic types of carbs. starch and sugars. potatoes, corn, pasta, bread etc is starch, all fruit and veggies and milk is sugars of different types. maybe go out and do some studying up on nutrition. its quite interesting but get a decent book for basic info and not bits and piece of stuff all over the net. Get something from the library. Ask the library to recommend a good reputable one to start with. You need to know the basics first.

But again look up some diets for diabetics i am sure there are some online. look for programs that may be more mainstream. See what your government recommends. in australia we have health sites from the government. these would be the most reliable and least whackiest.

I don't believe the sugars in milk should be a problem for you either. But if you eat ice-cream, then stop doing that. Its hard to stop at one scoop of ice-cream.

check out diabetes living with diabetes/eating well/food what should i eat.

from an australian site.
"Despite the known benefits of lifestyle changes, research into the best type of eating plan for women with PCOS is lacking, with no studies having yet shown any significant benefits of one type of diet over another.
As insulin resistance is usually the underlying problem, however, an eating plan for PCOS should focus on lowering insulin levels and improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin, while also helping with weight-loss. (See ‘How to eat for PCOS’ below for more information.)
- See more at: the look up food and pros after that. Im not allowed to post links yet.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #4  
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Jen, I'm sorry that you're having to struggle to formulate the proper plan to manage your health. There is A LOT of conflicting information out in the world with regards to diet, especially for those with your conditions.

I'm a type 2 and have symptoms of PCOS and hypo. Losing weight is hard work for me. I can only share what has worked for me and who's advice I find most helpful. It has taken me nearly 14 years to work all this out for myself. I was not given any guidance when I was first diagnosed with type 2, other than being told that if I didn't lose weight and lower my blood sugar I'd be put on medication. My A1c was at 6.9% at that time. I managed to drop down to 6% and maintain it there without any medication.

When I cut carbs from my diet, I too had hypo symptoms after a couple weeks. My blood sugar numbers got really good, however, so I didn't really want to give up on it. I made myself crazy eating food and testing my blood sugar to find what messed up my numbers and what was better for me. I ended up eliminating anything that was a processed carb, even the stuff called whole grain, as well as all forms of processed sugar and any added sweeteners. So basically, most foods that come in a package at the market.

I still eat carbs, but small portions of legumes once or twice a week. And half a serving of fruit per day, but no juice. Any sort of potato once or twice a week. I get most of my carbs from vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables. They come with plenty of fiber and water.

I also had to cut back on how much protein I was eating per serving. Anything over 40 gm. of protein would also make my blood sugar pop. And if I ate a big meal at dinner, it would make my morning blood sugars go over 140. But I'll eat any meat, as long as it is grass-fed or wild-caught. Except bugs! Not going there!

I can have olives, avocado, cheese and nuts and all sorts of healthy fats, which includes fat rendered from grass fed meats. Other forms of dairy that I'll have are whole milk, half and half and cream, sour cream, whole fat yogurt and labneh. NEVER EVER low fat or non fat foods, because when they remove the fat, they do add sugar. Even to the milk, and they don't have to tell you!

Managing my diet only takes me just so far. There are four other things I have to do in order to stay in control of my blood sugar.

1. Adequate, consistent sleep. Like 8 hours every day. Sometimes I can't sleep more than 4 to 6 hours, so I will take naps at other times of the day to compensate. But for every 24 hours, I MUST sleep for 8 of those hours.

2. Drink plenty of water. More than the 8 glasses a day. I'm a big woman, so I shoot for at least 12 glasses a day. Helps dilute how much sugar is in my blood.

3. Fasting. Yes, I said it. I find fasting from food for 36 hours once a week has been really beneficial to balancing out my blood sugar. If I have a day or two when I overeat, or if I have indulged in other foods that make my blood sugar pop (because I am SOOOOOO not perfect!), a day of fasting gets me back on track. Sometimes I'll do fat fasts, a day when I'll eat fats for energy. My blood sugar numbers are really lovely and even on those days!

4. Daily exercise. And not just walking. I do weight training and Pilates five days a week. And I do best when I exercise twice a day, an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. I'll do a cardio workout with a little weight training in the mornings and then Pilates in the evenings. On top of burning up any sugars in my blood, it keeps my general mood elevated all the time!

I read stuff by Steve Cooksey and Dr. Bernstein. They've been the most helpful to me.

Again, I am not consistent or perfect. I get easily bored and do a variety of things that mess up my numbers, especially over the holidays, and then I have to take a couple weeks to get completely back on track. Since I've put on more muscle mass, my weight loss has started to speed up. But it took time and focus to put on enough muscle to achieve this.

I wish you the best!
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:54 PM   #5  
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There's a great book you should read, if you can get it in the UK: Patient's Guide to PCOS

PCOS is tricky, because it does come in a variety of forms and you'll have to play around with food, exercise and possibly even medication to figure things out.

The most general recommendations for PCOS/IR is to treat it with diet and exercise. The diet is supposed to manage your blood sugar levels, so it general is low carb (or rather, healthy carbs) and exercise helps your body handle the excess glucose (burns it, instead of driving your blood sugars up = IR).

I've had PCOS now for almost 20 years (at least diagnosed almost 20 years ago) and I've been managing my PCOS without medication, only through exercise and diet.

I do eat low-carb because that's what works for my body. In conjunction with that, I also work out almost every day (my day off is Friday unless I am traveling). I take a number of supplements, which you may want to take a look into, which help PCOS -- Vitamin D3, Chromium, magnesium, and zinc. Some studies have shown we are more deficient in these than your normal person.

Generally, when a doctor -- and others -- say it's a no carb, low carb, it's because they want you to avoid the sugar-laden carbohydrates like cakes, cookies, pies, bread, white rice, french fries, candy bars, etc. All of those will raise your blood sugar levels and if you have IR, you'll have a hard time bringing them down.

But, that doesn't mean that you're on a no carb diet. The best diets for PCOS are full of vegetables (all kinds!), some whole grains, and proteins and fats. Proteins and fats are important because they balance the blood sugar spikes. If you eat an apple, for example, you should eat it with a protein or a fat -- 2 oz of ham or almond butter.

If your doctor required you to not eat fruit, it's probably because of the high glycemic levels they have -- but there are fruit that are perfectly acceptable, if you combine them with a protein or fat. Apples, all berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.), and other low glycemix fruit work.

Here is a link for the glycemix index:

The lower the number, the better for you. Of course, chances are, what you may crave are the ones with the highest number.

Additionally, more recent studies seem to indicate that there is a connection with PCOS and gluten sensitivity, so now the trend is to say that PCOS patients should try to eliminate wheat/gluten products. You can try that and see if you feel any different.

For better or worse, you'll have to be your own best advocate because there are very few experts on PCOS and patients are different and react differently.

Good luck. I know it's a lot of information and a lot to process.

P.S. Regarding the nutritionist... please be careful. All the nutritionists that I've paid to see (2 in total) have known nothing on PCOS and have always steered me to high carb diets... this has proved disastrous... I had my A1C show up at 5.8 after this advice. That's partly because a lot of dieticians haven't been updated to the latest and greatest in the studies or the disease.
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