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PCOS Diet Book

Dietitian Juliette Kellow reviews the PCOS Diet Book by Collette Harris and Theresa Cheung.

PCOS Diet Book by Collette Harris and Theresa Cheung (Thorsons,
£12.99)

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

What’s the theory?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is caused by a hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance, which results in a number of symptoms including weight gain, acne, excess facial and body hair and irregular or absent periods.

Food is crucial in the treatment of the symptoms as it helps to combat insulin resistance (a condition where the cells in the body are resistant to the effects of insulin, so that the body has to produce more).

Eating a healthy diet helps to keep blood sugar levels steady so that insulin release is better controlled.

What does the diet involve?

The diet is not specifically designed for weight loss but has been put together to help maintain blood sugar levels. It’s based on eating healthily and recommends five fruit and veg daily, high-fibre, low GI carbs, lean protein-rich foods with each meal, foods rich in essential fats, eating regularly and drinking more water. There’s a 10-day sample menu plan and a few recipes.

A typical day’s diet allows wholegrain toast with peanut butter, a banana and fresh fruit juice for breakfast; vegetable soup with a turkey salad sandwich for lunch; bean and vegetable casserole with wholegrain rice and raspberries with cashew nuts and low-fat yogurt for dinner; and cherries, nuts an apple and a jaffa cake for snacks.

There’s also a chapter dedicated to helping people lose weight, which includes additional advice on controlling portion sizes, how to deal with carb cravings and hunger, and taking more exercise.

What else does the book include?

There’s information on other factors that can affect PCOS symptoms such as smoking, too much booze, the Pill, stress and lack of sleep. There’s also a large amount of specific advice and information on supplements, superfoods and natural medicines for specific symptoms, including acne, fatigue, irregular periods, depression, fertility problems, excess hair and hair loss.

There’s a chapter for women who have PCOS combined with other health problems such as diabetes, thyroid problems or digestive disorders, and an A to Z of supplements that may be useful for sufferers of PCOS. Finally, there are tips for getting motivated, healing your emotional relationship with food and anecdotes from sufferers.

How much weight will I lose?

This book is not designed to be a specific weight loss plan, so no promise is given regarding the amount of pounds you can expect to lose.

Juliette’s verdict on the PCOS Diet Book

This book is incredibly comprehensive and is a must for anyone who suffers with PCOS. The diet advice is gimmick-free, based on healthy eating guidelines recommended by health experts and will suit anyone who wants to eat healthily, regardless of whether or not they suffer with PCOS.

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Want a diet where you can include chocolate, pizza, and the odd drink? Weight Loss Resources has a great set of tools to help you find a way of dieting you can live with. Find out how to achieve the calorie balance that is going to get you to your ideal weight without a list of forbidden foods. You can access the tools free for 24 hours.

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