My daughter has been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and told she needs to lose weight – what’s the best diet? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) occurs when fluid-filled cysts form in the ovaries. Symptoms include irregular periods interspersed with heavy bleeding, excessive hair grovvth, acne and vveight gain. PCOS sufferers have increased male hormone levels and resistance to insulin. Treatments range from medications to improve insulin resistance. and in some cases surgery may be used to destroy the tissue causing raised hormone levels. The most effective treatment is for overweight women to lose vveight. Diets based on low glycaemic carbohydrates, plant- based foods, portion contn and exercise are essential.


Everyone at the gym seems to be using protein shakes – should I do the same?

In a word, no! The idea that you need to take extra protein because you do regular exercise is a total myth. You need about 0.75g of protein per kg of your body weight of each day – so if you weigh 75kg you need a daily dose of 57g of protein – which is easily done on a normal Western diet. You need protein to build muscle, but just eating protein can’t do that on its own. You have to exercise to stimulate your body to make the muscle tissue. If you’re exercising regularly, it’s carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, grains and cereals you need to focus on. The carbohydrates fuel your exercise and despite the often inaccurate, negative press they’ve received, carbohydrates remain the cornerstone of a healthy, balanced diet. Include a variety of protein like fish. meat, poultry and eggs in your diet. If you prefer not to eat animal foods, make sure you eat a variety of beans, nuts, tofu and soya foods. Having a serving of protein at lunchtime and another in the evening will make sure you have enough protein to be healthy.


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