How to Use the Glycemic Index to Improve Your PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), is a serious fertility inhibitor that can cause a lot of frustration and confusion. Because PCOS keeps ovulation from occurring, causes hormonal imbalances and can increase the chance of a miscarriage or reducing the chances of implantation, it should not be taken lightly.
There are a lot of things that can cause mild to severe PCOS, including a disruption in hormone production, stress, cysts and insulin resistance.
According to the American Diabetes Association, Type II diabetes is on the rise, with as many as 2 ½ percent of the total population suffering with it without ever knowing it. Not paying attention to a rise in your glucose levels is not only dangerous for your heart and health; it can be detrimental to your fertility.
Higher than normal blood glucose levels have been directly linked to PCOS, making it more important than ever to stabilize glucose levels in your body when suffering with any infertility issues, but especially Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This, of course isn’t always easy, but I am going to share some things with you which may help you get started on the right path.
One of the best ways to reduce insulin resistance and balance out the effects of PCOS is to adopt a low glycemic index diet. That means, that you want to eat high fiber, unprocessed foods which will keep your blood sugar levels form spiking and falling throughout the day.
For instance, when you eat a candy bar or cupcake, the starch and sugar in that food causes your glucose levels to rise suddenly. That’s why these types of foods can give you a burst of energy. The problem is, your body uses that quick energy fast, causing your blood sugar levels to drop dramatically in a short period of time. These sudden rises and falls in your glucose levels can be dangerous to your health and your fertility.
But, low glycemic index foods like whole grains, beans, whole fruits, animal proteins and vegetables release sugar into the blood much slower; thus giving you more energy for a longer period of time and preventing a huge blood sugar spike. This allows your body to maintain a healthier (and steadier) blood glucose level, giving you prolonged energy throughout the day.
The slower that a foods sugars are released into your blood stream, the lower its glycemic index.
Glycemic Load Quiz
Foods to Avoid
High glycemic index foods are usually what we consider “junk food.” But not always. Some of the biggest culprits include what we normally would consider healthy food options like white read; white rice; bagels; and other high carbohydrate foodstuffs. When trying to decide if something is a high glycemic index food look for these common traits:
- it contains lots of refined sugars
- it contains mostly (if not all) refined flours
- it is processed
- it is white in color (white bread; white rice; white flour)
- it is a starch (like potatoes)
It’s easy to avoid such things as candies, baked goods, chips and such,; but altering your diet to avoid potatoes, white rice, white breads and other processed foods can be more difficult.
Low Glycemic Index Foods to Fill Up On
Instead of filling your plate with a lot of white processed foods, look for more colorful and whole grain options instead. For instance, if you must have a bagel for breakfast, pick up a whole grain one instead, and instead of slathering it with jelly, try peanut butter for a more filling snack.
Choose lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Yes, fruit may contain sugar, but it is a healthier type of natural sugar and contains fiber which helps to slow down the sugars from being released too quickly into the blood stream. Just stay away from canned fruits that have any syrup. Lean meats like fish, chicken and pork are also good choices as are nuts, seeds, beans and low-starch items.
By filing your plate with a variety of low glycemic index foods, you will not only be able to keep your glucose levels steady throughout the day, but you will likely ward off those mid morning and mid afternoon hunger pangs, making you snack less. This can also help you maintain a healthier weight, which can also ease your PCOS symptoms.
Other Tips To Try
In addition to adopting a healthier lower glycemic index diet in treating your PCOS, here are a few additional tips for keeping your blood glucose levels stable and decreasing infertility brought on by PCOS:
- Exercise at least a half an hour four to five times per week. Exercise can increase your metabolic rate, thus helping your muscles more efficient, which will keep them from relying on glucose to glean the energy they need.
- Eat 6 smaller meals per day instead of three big ones. This will help to give your body a steady stream of the nutrients it needs throughout the day and keep glucose spikes down.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of purified water each day. Keeping your body well hydrated is essential to staying fit and healthy.
Maintaining healthy glucose levels is an important step to controlling – or even reversing – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which can lead to the pregnancy you are after. One of the best ways to lower your risk of diabetes and glucose spikes is to eat a well balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins; staying away from sugar laden carbohydrates that can send your entire system into overdrive.
To get stared you should check out the 21 Day Fertility Diet Challenge. This challenge can help you to begin to make new habits and start adding the right type of fertility promoting foods into your life.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you end up having any questions I would suggest for you to join the Natural Fertility Community and post them there. Not only will you have access to natural fertility speciallists, but you can also get feedback and support from women who are going through the same experience as you.
I wish you the best on your journey and look forward to hearing about your BFP!
All the best,
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