Don’t make mistakes: be careful with the glicemix index

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Some common mistakes may cause the glycemic index to raise. Let’s take a step back-what is the glycemic index? Well, it is the measure of how quickly the glycaemia raises after you have had some food which contains carbs.

When you eat something with carbs (pasta, potatoes, bread, etc.), first it is chewed and swallowed, then it reaches the stomach and the guts, where it is broken into tiny chunks and, finally adsorbed and transferred into the bloodstream. There, it will increase the level of sugar until the insulin restores the average level.  

This is a normal physiological process, but not for PCOS women, as an unstable and massive production of insulin stimulates the system too much until it crashes. A lot of insulin means a lot of androgens, a lot of fat, most of all around your middle.

There are plenty of charts, books, newspaper and magazine articles, websites about the glycemic index- the thing is that this ‘dictionary” has to be explained according the GI rules.    

We never have a single type of food, but we combine them in our meals, during the day. Incorrect food combinations have much more serious effects than eating a dish of potatoes (which have high GI) or drinking some beer with friends.   

So, what are the most common mistakes we make in our everyday food plan? When do we threaten our glycemic balance? Remember: the consequence is gaining weight. This is the blacklist- the worst food “sins” you may commit against the glycemic index.

Well, if you do any of these things less than once or twice a week, don’t have to worry because they are just exceptions and your PCOS won’t get worse. Wrong frequent repeated food habits are those which stir up serious trouble. Read the following list carefully, if you have any doubts and make questions.

Here is the list (read it carefully and be honest with yourself):

  • You have vegetable milk (you think it is healthier or lighter than cow milk, but actually, it isn’t) and flakes for breakfast and some coffee:
  • You have coffee and biscuits for breakfast;
  • You have cappuccino and sweets
  • You don’t have breakfast and then, when you are starving later in the morning, you eat some biscuits;
  • You replace milk or fruit with some fruit juice;
  • You add sugar (brown cane one, as well) to every drink you have;
  • You, just eat a serving of pasta for lunch (very bad: you warm some pasta you cooked for dinner the day before);
  • You just have a sandwich or a slice of pizza for lunch;

  • You have a packet of cracker and an apple by your desk in the office because you don’t have time;
  • You just have only fruit for lunch
  • Very bad: you just have some ice-cream for lunch;
  • You opt for some fruit ice-cream, but it is not lighter at all;
  • You have a sweet, a packet of crackers, or a cereal bar as a snack in between the meals;  
  • You have some beer and snacks before dinner when you leave your office;
  • You nibble everything you find in your fridge before dinner is ready (this is not a matter of glycemic index, it definitely makes you gain weight);
  • You eat packaged breads, crackers, breadsticks, rice biscuits instead of bread;
  • You have potatoes, pumpkin, or beetroot as side dishes instead of vegetables, or you add sweetcorn to your green salad;
  • You have some sweets at the end of the meal;
  • You have replaced fish, meat, egg, or cheese (they have no GI) with pulses and cereals;
  • You nibble popcorn and chips after dinner while watching TV on your comfortable sofa;  
  • You refuge in something sweet when you feel sad; or you lose control because you are thinking about something else while eating and then you feel terribly guilty.

I could make this list longer and longer, and, I must admit, these are the behaviors which I try to correct in my patients’ food habits with perseverance and motivation because, if they are repeated over and over again, they will soon get very unhealthy irredeemable habits.  

If you suffer from PCOS, you have to take these details into account- you have to read the nutritional facts labels on the packaging when you buy food, and buy as little as possible because food industry uses a lot of ingredients which are not natural and you don’t even know.

Do you think it is annoying? Do you feel you are disadvantaged? Is this restricting your freedom?

Well, let me tell something important. This is not just for you, this is THE only way to eat healthily for everybody, with or without PCOS.

Don’t envy those people who say they can eat whatever they like and how much they want, because it is not really like that, and they haven’t got their pulse on the situation. Because most of the people who have the food habits I reported in the list, soon or later, will come my office or to one of my colleagues’. It is hard to restore the lost balance. However, if you do really want to make a change, take action! Find out about something healthier: you will get plenty of benefits. Have a try!

You have to be aware that you are choosing to feel better, rather good, you are the only responsible for your choices and your life. Be proud if it.

About Stefania Cattaneo

I am Stefania Cattaneo and I am a Nutritionist Biologist. I have always been fond of sports and nutrition most of all related to the women. I work in my private office near Turin, there I see every sort of patients with really different problems and needs. Actually, I mainly deal with sports people and women who suffer from hormonal ailment linked to the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I'll do my best to widen your knowledge (and mine as well) about this hard, difficult awkward but fascinating topic: PCOS.

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