The first thing I learned about in relation to easing PCOS was that going gluten free is a good idea. The reason being that 85% of women with PCOS also have a wheat intolerance. A wheat or gluten intolerance is something experienced by many people the world over – for the simple reason that not everyone’s bodies have adapted to the modern diet’s consumption of processed foods.
Basic advice was to eat raw foods, cut out dairy and gluten grains, and not to eat refined sugars, like non-organic cane sugar etc. This leaves room for a lot of greens and foods that are rich in alkali, fruit and veg – especially foods that are known as ‘complex carbohydrates’, because of their low glycemic index, which means that they take longer for the body to digest and so help keep hunger to a minimum. I also switched from white rice to brown rice, to keep starch intake low and to keep my diet as ‘wholefood’ as possible.
I also learned that PCOS is linked to high insulin resistance, which is why sufferers can find themselves simultaneously dealing with type II diabetes. So I have tried to avoid table sugar and sweeten my cooking with fruit sugar, xylitol, agave nectar or coconut palm sugar. All of which are sweeter than ordinary sugar and so you can use less than you would usually. I also check the ingredients of sweets, to make sure any cane sugar used is organic.
I no longer drink alcohol, other than the occasional glass of dry red wine. At least now I know why alcohol had such dire affects on me!
Organic foods are thought to be better than GM foods cultivated with pesticides, though they are not so easy on the budget. Nor are they so widely available in supermarkets, and so often involve a bit of searching for in more specialist green groceries.
Most supermarkets in the UK now have a ‘Free From’ section – a set of shelves I’d never even heard of – dedicated to products that lack wheat, gluten, and often lack sugar and dairy as well. A word of warning, however, a lot of the gluten free products DO contain an unhealthy amount of sugars and starches in compensation for the lack of wheat.