For the Love of Pasta
It's so good... yet so bad
There are many things about PCOS that I wish did not affect me, some things that I just wish were never a problem, never a worry. This one thing though brings tears to my eyes. It is just not fair that I do not get to have this beautiful thing in my life. I am talking about CARBS! Fluffy warm bread, perfectly cooked pasta, silky soft baked potatoes… all the comfort food that fills up your tummy and makes you feel all cozy inside. I personally think I would choose a potato over a piece of cake any day.
Carbs are an important part of the PCOS lifestyle, as in it is important to keep a very close eye on your carb intake. In my lifestyle, carbs are more important to monitor than calories. And that is all because of my blood glucose level. Eating foods with a low glycemic index prevents my blood glucose from spiking. The American Diabetes Association states that “The glycemic index, or GI, measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose.” (1). So, if you have a carby food with a high GI, then that will raise your blood glucose over normal levels, which can lead to insulin resistance. So now a normal amount of insulin will not convert those yummy carbs into the energy your body needs to survive. Then the pancreas works its butt off to produce enough insulin to make it all normal again. Have you ever gone to the gym with so much energy and determination, and you work it super hard for the first 20 minutes, but then you start to burn out and eventually you have no energy left to spare? Well that is what happens to the pancreas when it must work super hard for a long time.
So eventually after all the warm soft doughy damage you have done, you are now entering the Type 2 Diabetes danger zone. Diabetes comes with a laundry list of symptoms, including pain, fatigue, and increased infections. (2) PCOS already comes with so many symptoms, therefore the last thing we need are MORE issues! And to top it all off, according to The Mayo Clinic, “Researchers don't fully understand why some people develop type 2 diabetes and others don't. It's clear, however, that certain factors increase the risk, including: … Polycystic ovarian syndrome. For women, having polycystic ovarian syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.” (2) So, us cysters need to pay extra attention to our blood sugar so that diabetes does not become part of our lives.
There are many ways to keep eating the things that you love while still being healthy. The Low Glycemic Foundation recommends trying Carisma or Sweet Potatoes rather than those starchy russets and swap your fluffy white baguette for some whole grains. (3) I personally like to eat pasta made from lentils, it still gives me the warm fuzzy feeling without all the starches.
Carbs are yummy. I want carbs to be part of my life because it makes me happy, however being healthy makes me feel really good. So, choosing healthy alternative can aid in improving your lifestyle while keeping you satisfied. Living a healthy lifestyle may mean making some changes, but most times change is good, especially when you can still eat potatoes.
Writer, Artist, PCOS Warrior
Jennifer is not a medical professional. Jennifer’s writing is an expression of her own personal experiences. Please contact your health provider for medical advice.