Simple or Complex Carbohydrates?

Diet is very important in improving the prognosis of those affected by polycystic ovary syndrome. Diet is essential to minimizing central body fat. Weschler (1995) recommends good nutrition as the primary mode of treatment for patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. One of her main suggestions is to consume complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates.

So, what are simple carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates are composed of one to two sugar molecules and are quickly digested by the body (Schlenker & Roth, 2013). These foods have a high glycemic index, cause cravings and spike blood sugar levels.

Consuming simple carbohydrates raises blood sugar levels which leads to increased insulin levels. Cellular insulin resistance impedes proper transportation of glucose from the blood stream into the cell (Copstead & Banasik, 2012).

Instead of utilizing insulin as it was intended, excess insulin is used by theca cells in the ovaries to produce excess hormones (Weschler, 1995). For this reason, it is essential that women with polycystic ovary syndrome limit consumption of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates should be replaced with complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are composed of long chains of sugar molecules (Schlenker & Roth, 2013). They take longer to digest and have a low glycemic index which means that they do not spike your blood sugar.

Switching to complex carbohydrate should help polycystic ovary syndrome patients to keep their insulin levels down. This is a simple change that can be adapted by merely choosing brown rice over white rice.

For further reading . . .

Copstead, L.-E. C., & Banasik, J. L. (2012). Pathophysiology. St. Louis: Elselvier.

Schlenker, E., & Roth, S. L. (2013). William’s essentials of nutrition and diet therapy. St. Louis: Mosby.

Weschler, T. (1995). Taking charge of your fertility. Seattle: William Morrow Paperbacks.


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