PCOS Friendly Bread – Yes It Does Exist
I know what you are thinking – the word PCOS and bread should not even be in the same sentence. But guess what? That is where you are wrong ‘cysta! I have been dying to share with one of my favorite PCOS friendly breads – Dave’s Killer Bread. Yup – I agree with you! Super, duper, cheesy name. But all situations aside I will let this goober get away with it as it just that good.
I feel like I must have read a review about the bread a while back. Shopping at Shop Rite in Milford, CT a couple of weeks ago – the bread seemed to jump out at me. The label is memorable for sure! Most breads don’t have a long-haired dude strumming a guitar on the front of the package. SO I guess I am not super surprised I was drawn to it. Are you? Of course – being the foodie that I am — I needed to try it. So, of course I bought all three different types that Shop Rite had.
Front of the label for Dave’s Killer Bread – go get yo’self some.
Dave’s Killer Bread Claim to Fame
Independent of its taste – which I will get to in a second — Dave’s Killer Bread has several great characteristics that make it one the few PCOS friendly breads I trust. Number one, the ingredients are all high quality. They only use USDA organic ingredients. They also claim all their ingredients are made from non-genetically modified seeds. It is important to note that the label claim “Non-GMO”claim is not yet supported by FDA. However, usually a third-party does come in verify the validity of this claim. So, you have to give Dave props for going through all that effort to do this.
Only Ingredients You Can Pronounce
Next, I promise, you can pronounce all the ingredients. In addition to being able to pronounce them – you easily can find what they are. I reviewed all the varieties of Dave’s Killer Bread and there was not one single ingredient I had to question. Below you can see the ingredients I took directly off a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread – 21 Whole Grains & Seeds. Remember when purchasing bread you always want the word “whole” to appear within the first 3 ingredients. This signifies the ingredients are in fact made from whole grains and not processed. As you can see – this bread fits that criteria.
The Macronutrient Breakdown is Solid
PCOS friendly breads are hard to come by – but Dave’s Killer Bread makes it both easy and tasty to accomplish this task. Dave’s Killer Breads sells several different variety. But one of the things I like is there is an entire line of thin-sliced breads that deliver the same killer taste and texture in a smaller, lighter package. One slice of the regular bread has about 120 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. While the thin-sliced variety only have 60-70 calories (depending on which one you choose), 12 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat and 3 grams of protein.
I know what you maybe thinking – how thin is thin? Not too thin – I promise. I often cringe when people tell me they eat “diet bread” (the first thing that comes to mind is Sara Lee – yuck!) that is paper-thin. Why even bother? Put that crap in the toaster for too long – and you have a three-alarm fire. That is not at all what I am talking about.
In all seriousness, I did not even consciously buy the thin-sliced bread. I just bought what they had which happened to be the thin-sliced variety. I did not even noticed it was thin-sliced until it was all gone and I needed to go to the store to buy more! It was only then that I noticed that Dave even made what they would consider a traditional, thicker slice. I bought that too and it was as good – but not drastically different from the thin-sliced variety. So there is no need to “upgrade” to the big girl slice — unless you want the extra calories and carbohydrates.
Did someone say fiber?
You know how much I love talking about the benefits of fiber for women with PCOS. If fact, I think my patients want to kill me sometimes when I hammer them about meeting their daily fiber targets. Which for most folks is a whopping 28 – 35 grams of fiber per day. The average women only consumes about 15 grams – 50 % less than what is required. And we wonder why we are hungry all the time!?! Not only does fiber help keep us full, it also helps control blood sugar by promoting the liver to release blood sugar more slowly. Given that women with PCOS are more likely than not to have issues with their regulation of blood sugar and insulin there is no reason they should not be meeting their fiber goals.
Dave’s Killer Bread helps us get one step further to meeting our fiber needs. Each slice of Dave’s Killer Thin-Sliced Bread has 3 grams. So if you make yourself a pretty little sandwich you have yourself 6 grams of fiber. While, that may not seem like a lot – once you start adding all sorts of good-looking veggies to your sandwich you are well on your way to meeting your daily fiber totals. Round out the meal with some guacamole or humus with raw veggies and well what can I say – you’ve got yourself a nice high fiber meal.
Baby Got Omega-3s
Does the word Omega-3s ring a bell? Remember a couple of weeks ago when we were chatting about all the amazing benefits of fats for women with PCOS? Well, if you missed it – or maybe just forgot click here to read more about PCOS friendly fats. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a specific type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential to our body. This means our body cannot produce them – so we need to get them from the food we eat. Omega 3’s are most known for their role in reducing inflammation.Plus studies support that the right levels of Omega 3’s can reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure, lowering your chance for heart attack, stroke or other cardiac event.
Dave’s Killer Bread is one of the few breads on the market to actually contain Omega 3’s that I know of. I imagine other exists – they have just yet to cross this girl’s path! Each slice of the thin-sliced variety has 130 mg per slice. While there is no finite recommendation for Omega 3 intake, it is fair to say that more is almost always better. While we would love to see people eating fatty fish that has Omega 3’s, I think it is fair to say this is not happening. So if someone can squeak in some Omega 3’s in – especially in an assuming source such as bread – I am all for it. Top your bread off with some grass-fed butter (Kerry Gold is my absolute favorite!) or organic nut butter and you just jacked up your Omega 3’s without batting an eye. Boom!
Dave’s Killer Bread Has a Killer Mission
I admit it – I am a sucker for a anyone or company who gives back. I don’t care what you are giving back – whether it be shoes, money, time, hugs or just smiles I think it is just great when people try to make some else’s life better. Companies like Toms Shoes, The Company Store and Good Spread have a place in my heart. Not to mention amazing people like Theresa on Pit Bulls and Paroles who rescues and finds homes for thousands of pit bulls each year. It is amazing how selfless companies and regular people alike can actually be. Especially in this day in age when everyone seems to be drinking their own flavor of hater-ade.
Well, the Dave’s Killer Bread company has an equally heart warming story. The company states that one in three of their employee partners has a criminal background.
“At Dave’s Killer Bread, we believe everyone is capable of greatness and that a second chance can lead to positive lasting change. In 2015 we introduced our non-profit, the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, with the mission to inspire other businesses to become Second Chance Employers and affect positive societal change. “
They even have a foundation for reducing the negative impact of mass incarceration and recidivism in America. Their foundation provides programs for businesses looking to adopt or improve these practices. I am mean honestly how cool is that?
Now the moment you have all been waiting for – how does Dave’s Killer Bread taste? I think it tastes pretty awesome! If I were to use one word to describe the bread it would be ‘hearty’ yet not overly heavy and dense. Despite being a whole grain, Dave’s Killer Bread still retains a good deal of lightness. I found it soft with a very light sweetness. Obviously, depending on the variety you buy you may have more or less seeds. I found it was good on a sandwich and just as good on its own with butter or peanut butter. I even made French toast with it which came out quite awesome if I have to say so myself!
But just a quick word of caution – do check the expiration dates. The first couple of loaves we bought were killer literally. But the second batch seemed a little dryer – if not slightly stale. A quick little pop in the toaster remedied that. However, I might pull from the back of the shelve as most stores likely do first in – first out placing the older ones in the front.
So that’s a wrap for this week’s blog. Have you tried Dave’s Killer Bread? Or do you have a PCOS Friendly Bread you recommend? Please let our PCOS community know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!
PCOS Friendly Breakfast Choices
There is no denying it – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast gives you energy and provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast. Breakfast can help improve memory and concentration levels. It can also help with weight management as you are less likely to overeat eat later in the day after having a healthy breakfast. But this is easier said than done. Cooking up a PCOS friendly breakfast can be challenging – but it should not have to be. Especially because there are so many breakfast options that are super easy, tasty and healthy
For someone with PCOS, you should aim for a breakfast with 30 grams of carbohydrates or less. In addition, you should do your best to include a protein source to help keep you full longer. Good protein sources include: greek yogurt, organic eggs, cottage cheese, whey protein, nitrate free turkey sausage or low-fat cheese) You don’t want to start your day off super carb heavy – as it will usually set the sluggish tone for the whole day. Plus, jamming down a pile of carbohydrates in the morning is not good for your blood sugar and insulin levels. Most of all, this only sets the scene for your blood sugar to come crashing down. We want to avoid this scenario at at any cost.
Consequently, you are thinking – what the heck can I eat that is quick, easy, tasty AND PCOS friendly? Well the PCOS Dietitian is going to share some of her favorite breakfast choices that fit the bill.
10 Quick and Easy PCOS Friendly Breakfast Choices
1. Make a yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt and add a serving of fruit, nuts, and/or granola. Most of all when choosing yogurt purchase one with less than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
2. Cottage cheese is a great source of protein. As with yogurt, you can add fruit, nuts or even chia seeds to create a more balanced meal. I personally love the Friendship brand. I recommend the 2 % or 4 % fat as they taste pretty awesome.
Friendship cottage cheese is my personal favorite! This is because it creamy and has a nice overall favor profile.
3. Make oatmeal (please, use old-fashion oats if you have the time!) and add a source of protein such as nuts, nut butters, protein powder, or milk. Thinking about other cereal choices but not sure where to turn? Check out this past blog on PCOS friendly cereal options. You can also have eggs on the side or scramble some directly into the oatmeal.
4. Have a protein shake. Blend together a small serving of fruit, milk or a milk alternative such as almond or cashew milk, and protein powder. Be creative with your combinations. because the sky is the limit with shakes.
5. Make a breakfast burrito on a low carbohydrate wrap with a couple whole (yes, eat the yolk – that is where all the good nutrition is!) cage free organic eggs, cheese, and tons of vegetables. You can even top of your master piece with a couple tablespoons of black beans, salsa and Greek yogurt to bump up the protein even further!
6. How about some tasty, high protein chia pudding packed with omega 3’s and tons of fiber? Check out this awesome chia pudding recipe here from last week’s blog!
7. Make a healthier eggs benedict on ½ whole wheat English muffin topped with vegetables such as steamed spinach and a poached egg. Rather than use regular bacon – swap it for Canadian bacon. You can get the same flavor without all the fat.
8. Omelets are a fun breakfast option. Be creative and add a variety of vegetables. You can also pair it with a side of fruit or toast – just not both!
9. Want something super quick and easy – try my recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Greek Yogurt Muffins. What’s not to like?
10. Hard-boiled eggs are great for a quick breakfast. Pair them with a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter or small grab and go fruit such as a small banana, small apple or pear. Trader Joes sells eggs that are already cooked – which makes not having a protein with your breakfast not an option for even the laziest of PCOSers!
Already cooked hardboiled eggs – what could be easier?!?
Breakfast can be such a challenge but it does not have to be. Hopefully these PCOS friendly breakfast options provide you with some food for thought 🙂 As always, if you are looking for other great recipes please visit my Pinterest page and just search for Amy Plano, The PCOS Dietitian. I am a pinning maniac!
Got quick and easy breakfast choices you would love to share? I know you do! Please share your breakfast ideas in the comments below. As always thanks for stopping by.
PCOS and carbs – Ten Facts You NEED to Know
1. If you have PCOS you should aim to consume only a moderate amount (35 % or lower) of carbohydrates to decrease the consequences of insulin resistance and promote weight loss.
2. Carbohydrates come in all shapes and sizes. Bread, rice, quinoa, apples, watermelon, yogurt, ketchup and donuts while are all very types of different foods all contain carbohydrates. However, just because a food is considered a healthy carb does not mean you consume with reckless abandonment!
Think twice about ordering the low-fat blueberry muffin from Dunkin!
3. All vegetables contain carbohydrates. One half cup of most non-starchy vegetables contain about 5 grams of carbohydrates. But don’t worry silly! Because the carbohydrates coming from non-starchy vegetables contain significant fiber – no need to count. So go ahead and chow down!
4. One cup of cooked brown rice has 45 grams of carbohydrates and one cup of cooked white rice has the same amount of carbohydrates. The only difference between the two types of rice is that brown rice has 2.0 grams more fiber PER CUP than the white rice.
5. Gin, vodka, rum and tequila all contain zero grams of carbohydrates. The mixers are where all the carbohydrates come from in most cocktails.
6. Women who have PCOS and suffer from insulin resistance are more likely to have cravings for carbohydrates than women who have PCOS and are not insulin resistant.
7. When selecting a bread check the label for one that has the words “whole wheat” as the very first ingredient and contains at least 3 grams of fiber per slice. Looking for a PCOS friendly bread – how about trying Dave’s Killer Bread?
Dave’s Killer Bread – Give it a go!
8. The less body fat an individual carries the more sensitive they are to the effects of insulin. This mean the more carbohydrates they can consume without increasing their body stores of fat.
9. A Reduced-Fat Blueberry Muffin from Dunkin’ Donuts contains 75 grams of carbohydrates which is close to many women who have PCOS total amount of carbohydrates for the whole day.
10. Carbohydrates are not “bad” for women with PCOS. We just need to make they know the appropriate amount for their own bodies.
How do you manage to include indulgences in your diet while still watching your carbs? Tell us in the comments below. Our community is always psyched with insider insight 🙂
Finding PCOS friendly snacks can be challenging, right? Especially mid summer when all your friends and family are hitting up the Sundae Hut! And If you are anything like me – then you LOVE a sweet treat in the summer! But if you have PCOS and are watching your carbohydrates then you know the pickings are slim in terms of tasty treats. But fear no more – I recently stumbled upon two tasty treats that are right up your alley. Not only are they low in carbohydrates – but they taste pretty AWESOME, too!
My two new summer obsessions are: No-Sugar Added Outshine Frozen Fruit Bars & Halo Top Light Ice Cream
No Sugar Added Outshine Bars are frozen fruit bars that come in a variety of flavors. Right now in my local Shop Rite they have two variety packs; one pack has Black Cherry, Kiwi & Mixed Berries while the other pack has the flavors Strawberry, Raspberry & Tangerine. I just bought the pack below. At Shop Rite in CT they are on sale this week with each box of 12 pops selling for $2.77. That is a score because I have seen these lovelies for as high as $5.99 per box! So scoop them up until Sunday when the sale ends.
Outshine has several products. Make sure to get the bars that specifically state “No Sugar Added. ” The regular Outshine Fruit Bars have about 15 more calories and 5 more grams of carbohydrates than the no sugar added variety. Not that this makes a huge difference but I just wanted you to be aware so you don’t get overwhelmed when you go hunting these PCOS friendly snacks down!
How do I count the many ways I love No-Sugar Added Outshine Bars ?!? The reasons are endless but below are just a few
Made with real fruit
Excellent source of Vitamin C
No high fructose corn syrup
25 to 30 calories
No sugar added
Only 6 – 7 grams of carbohydrates per bar
No artificial colors or flavors
While most low-sugar/no-sugar frozen fruit bars are somewhat tasteless – Outshine Bars taste super juicy! I am not sure how they pack so much flavor for only 25 calories! It is crazy. If you are looking for a low calorie, low sugar and low carbohydrate frozen treat that is PCOS friendly – then Outshine Bars are the answer.
Halo Top Light Ice Cream
Another of the PCOS friendly snacks I am LOVING this summer is Halo Top Light Ice Cream. While I have only tried the Vanilla Bean flavor I have to say I was very impressed.
Halo Top Light Ice Cream claims, ” Finally healthy ice cream, that really tastes like ice cream.” And I have to agree! The consistency was smooth and you could really taste the distinct taste of the vanilla bean. It was not watery like Arctic Zero or Wink – two other low calorie frozen desserts that masquerade as ice cream. Halo Top comes in a range of flavors. Here is a list of all their awesome flavors — including ones “Birthday Cake” and “Chocolate Mocha Chip.” Yum!
Nutrition wise the profile is pretty hard to beat! Halo Ice Cream comes in pint sized containers (just Ben and Jerrys!) and seems to be located with the speciality ice creams and gelato in the grocery store. For the pint at Shop Rite I paid $3.65 and it was on sale. Regular price for the pint was around $4.99 – which for 4 servings is pretty pricey! I have seen it in most grocery stores including Whole Foods. With only 60 calories per 1/2 cup (that’s a serving!) that is about one third of the amount of calories as regular ice cream.
Below is a breakdown of Halo per pint and per 1/2 cup serving:
- Protein: 24 grams/6 grams
- Fat: 8 grams/2 grams
- Total Carbs: 56 grams/14 grams
- Fiber: 20 grams/5 grams
As you can see Halo Top fits the profile of our PCOS friendly snacks. It is low in carbohydrates (14 grams / serving), high in fiber (5 grams / serving) and it even contains a modest amount of protein (6 grams / serving). Most regular ice creams on the market are high in fat, while Halo only provide 2 grams per serving!
So Amy how do you classify PCOS friendly snacks? Great question my friend. My guidelines for snacks for women with PCOS is that each snack is around 100 – 150 calories and at or under 15 grams of carbohydrates. Halo Top ice cream fits the bill rather nicely. And … most importantly … it tastes pretty dang good!
So next time you are in the mood for something cold, low in carbohydrates and tasty — get your little butt to the store and pick No Sugar Added Outshine Bars and a pint of Halo Top ice cream and you are good to go! You can thank me later ♥ ♥ ♥
I would LOVE to hear whether you are digging or not digging these treats. What did you love most about them most? Let us know in the comments below. XoXo
Hi Everyone –
This will likely be one of my longest posts – but I think one of the most resourceful blogs! One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “How do you determine how many carbohydrates are in specific foods?” We can always read the label. But what happens if our food (or beverage) doesn’t have a label? Like champagne! Champagne does not have a label right? [Side note – if you want to be in the know on the carbohydrate content of all alcohol click HERE to get the 411. I wrote a killer blog on this very topic!] Well, that is why exactly I created this fancy guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS.
The ultimate guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS
If you have ever been in a PCOS nutrition session with me, you know I’m like a carbohydrate calculator. Throw any food my way and I can tell you how many grams of carbohydrates are in that particular food. But no worries if you’re not a freak show like me 🙂 That is a-okay!
I’ve created what I consider to be a comprehensive guide to counting carbs for women.with PCOS. This list should be awesome for any woman who has PCOS and is counting their carbs (Hint: if you have PCOS you should always being counting your carbs!)
This list is by no means all-inclusive – but I think I cover the majority carbohydrate containing foods most people eat. If a food is not listed — a great resource which I use all the time is www.calorieking.com . This website is awesome! You can download the app and have the carb count of all foods at the tap of a button! And extra bonus – it is FREE!
You have probably heard me reference that I often recommend a total intake of carbohydrate for most women with PCOS to be between 90 – 140 grams per day. You can use this list below to see how close you are coming within those targets. To be fair – I never count the carbohydrates that are in non-starchy vegetables. The only ones I do count are the starchy vegetables, peas, corn, potatoes and the winter squashes. All other vegetables have about 5 grams of carbs in each 1/2 cup.
Here you go! Enjoy The PCOS Dietitian’s guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS
The BEST guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS
Carbohydrate Content of Foods
BREADS / CRACKERS / GRAINS/ STARCHY VEGETABLES
* carbohydrate content may vary from brand to brand, always read the food label if there is one!
Starches Amount Carb grams
Bread, white or wheat 1 slice (1 oz) 15 g
Light bread 1 slice (1 oz) 7-8 g
Low Carb bread 1 slice (1 oz) 9 g
Challah 1 oz 15 g
Lavash, plain 2 oz 30 g
Pita bread, all types 2 oz 30 g
Mini/Pocket 1 oz 15g
Turkish/Middle Eastern 1 oz 15 g
Hamburger or Hot dog bun 1 bun 20 g
Dinner rolls 1 small 15 g
Sandwich roll 1 medium (2 oz) 30 g
Bagel 1 (Deli style) 60-70g
Mini bagel 1 (1 oz) 15 g
Croissant, plain 1 mini (1 oz) 15 g
1 medium (1 ½ oz) 20 g
1 large (2 ½ oz) 35 g
Danish, fruit 1 regular 30 g
Doughnut 1 medium 25 g
Pancake or waffle, frozen 1 small 15 g
English muffin, plain 1 30 g
Muffin, blueberry 1 small (2 oz) 30 g
Dunkin Donuts 1 regular 75 g
Tortilla, corn, 6” 1.2 oz, each 10 g
Soft Taco 1 15 g
Flour Tortilla 1 (1.7 oz) 30 g
Burritos Tortilla 1 30 g
Regular size 1 75 g
Large size 1 120 g
Saltine 1 cracker 2 g
Cheese 1 crackers 2 g
Graham 1 cracker 5 g
Wheat Thins 1 cracker 1 g
Soda 1 cracker 10 g
Peanut Butter 1 cracker 4 g
Oatmeal 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Farina 1 cup (cooked) 25 g
Dry Cereal 1 cup 22 – 45 grams
Rice, white or brown 1 cup (cooked) 45 g
Spaghetti 1 cup (cooked) 40 g
Elbows/spirals 1 cup (cooked) 40 g
Small Shells 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Mac & Cheese 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Grits 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Corn ½ cup 15 g
Corn on the cob 1 medium 20 g
Popcorn 3 cups 15 g
Plain, baked small (3 oz) 15g
Wendy’s, baked large 60-70g
Mashed ½ cup 15g
Plantain 1 medium 30 g
Yam ½ cup (mashed) 15 g
Yucca ½ cup (mashed) 15 g
Hash brows ½ cup (mashed) 10 g
McDonald’s small 25 g
medium 60 g
large 70 g
Restaurant style 15 fries 25 g
Black-eyed peas 1 cup (cooked) 30 g
Lentils or peas 1 cup (cooked) 40 g
Navy beans 1 cup (cooked) 45 g
Pinto or Black beans 1 cup (cooked) 45 g
Backed in sweet sauce 1 cup 50 g
Black or Kidney beans 1 cup 40 g
Chili with beans 1 cup 30 g
Garbanzo beans 1 cup 50 g
Lima beans 1 cup 30 g
Refried beans 1 cup 40 g
FRUIT/ FRUIT JUICES
* Use a Food Scale to measure carbohydrate content of fruit per amount (oz.)
Food Amount Carb grams
Small 4 oz * 15 g
Medium 6 oz 25 g
Large 8 oz 35 g
Apricots 1 medium (2oz) 6 g
Applesauce ½ cup unsweetened 15g
1 medium 5 oz 20 g
1 large 7 oz 25 g
Berries 1 cup 20 g
Cantaloupe/Honeydew 1 oz 2 g
1 cup (cubes) 15 g
Cherries 10 pieces 10 g
Clementine 1 medium (3 oz) 15 g
Grapefruit ½ fruit 15 g
Grapes 15 pieces 15 g
Kiwifruit 1 medium (3 oz) 10 g
Mandarin 1 small (3 oz) 6 g
Small 1 (5 oz with skin) 12 g
Medium 1 (7 oz) 18 g
Papaya ½ cup (cubed) 8 g
Medium 1 (with skin) 30 g
Peaches 1 medium (4 oz) 8 g
Plum 1 small (2 oz) 6 g
Pear 1 medium (6 oz) 22 g
Pineapple 1 thick slice (3 oz) 10 g
Strawberries 1 cup (sliced) 10g
3 large (2 oz) 3 g
Watermelon 1 cup cubes 12 g
(check the label!)
Apricots 8 halves (1 oz) 15 g
Prunes 3 medium 15 g
Raisins 2 Tbsp. 15 g
Apple juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 15 g
Grape juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 20 g
Orange juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 12 g
Vegetable juice 4 oz (1/2 cup) 6 g
MILK / YOGURT
Food Amount Carb grams
Whole, low-fat or skim 8 oz (1 cup) 12 g
Chocolate milk 8 oz 26 g
Soymilk (plain) 8 oz 8-10 g
Plain yogurt 8 oz (1 cup) 12-14 g
Light yogurt 8 oz 16-20 g
Fruited yogurt 8 oz 32-40 g
Greek yogurt (plain/non-fat) 6 oz. 7-10 g
Greek yogurt (plain/ 2%) 6 oz 7-10 g
Greek yogurt (flavored/non-fat) 6 oz. 8-35 g
CONDIMENTS / SWEETENERS
Food Amount Carb grams
Table sugar 1 Tbsp 15 g
Honey 1 tsp 6 g
Jam or preserve 1 Tbsp 15 g
Syrup, Regular 1 Tbsp 15 g
Syrup, Light 1 Tbsp 7 g
BBQ sauce 1 Tbsp 6 g
Ketchup 1 Tbsp/ 1 pkt 5 g
Spaghetti sauce ½ cup 10 g
Cranberry sauce ¼ cup 25 g
* Ask for nutritional information where you buy/eat fast food
New York style pizza 1 slice 45 g
As I noted I am sure I missed a couple of foods. But I did my best to provide you with a comprehensive guide to counting carbs for women with PCOS . Let me know in the comments below if I missed any of your favorite carbohydrate containing foods. I would love to know. Bet your eyes are better than mine! ♥
Given the fact I have been successfully helping women with PCOS lose weight for the last decade, it is fair to say I have seen my fair share of diets. However, one thing I can tell is certain Weight Watchers and PCOS don’t mix!
Typically by the time most women find me, they have been struggling for quite some time with their weight. They have tried every diet out there with minimal success. I don’t think there has been one woman who has exited their initial visit with me not having an “ah-ha!” moment. When women leave my office, it’s often with a sigh of relief — like a load has been lifted off their shoulders. What they have been doing for so long has been so wrong — but they have been brainwashed to think that it is SO right. That folks is the true definition of frustration! No bueno!
PCOS and Weight Watchers: Why Weight Watchers is making you fat!
You see, most women with PCOS are SO confused when it comes to diet. And rightfully so! There is so much information out there — low fat, high fat, no gluten, no dairy, no salt, no carbohydrates. I’ve seen every diet out there. But if I were to say there is any one diet I see many PCOSers follow (or followed at some point in their weight loss journey!) is Weight Watchers. If there is anyone diet platform that is just so damn wrong for women with PCOS it is Weight Watchers. Yes, you heard me correcty! If you have PCOS, Weight Watchers is making you fat! Stop the presses — if you are following a Weight Watchers style diet – get the heck off of it now. Weight Watchers and PCOS do not play in the sand box nicely!
Let me tell you why.
Why Weight Watchers doesn’t work for women with PCOS
You see, Weight Watchers is a very high carbohydrate, moderate protein, low fat diet. Most of the programs created by Weight Watchers provide at least 60 % of the total daily calories from carbohydrates. For Pete’s sake — I don’t even feed my professional athletes that many carbohydrates! Most women with PCOS effectively lose weight when their diet is just around 30 – 40 % total calories coming from carbohydrates. For someone following a 1300 calorie diet, 40 % of your calories coming from carbohydrates would be < 140 grams per day. If you were following the same level calories (I know you don’t count calories on Weight Watchers – you count points – but bare with me sister’!) on a Weight Watchers plan would you would be taking in about 200 grams per day. As small as it sounds — these 60 grams of extra carbohydrates ARE NOT working for your waist line – not to mention how it is impacting your fertility and overall health.
Every time we consume carbohydrates of any kind (it doesn’t matter if it is fruit, oatmeal or a sweet potato!) our bodies break down the carbohydrates into glucose. In response to glucose your angry body dumps out the hormone insulin. Insulin is what we consider a storage hormone. This means when insulin is circulating in our blood system – our bodies do not break down body fat for fuel – but instead it goes into fat storage mode.
As many as 70 % of women with PCOS are insulin resistant. This means their bodies’ are resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin resistance makes it very difficult for their bodies to process carbohydrates. That is why many women with PCOS take the medication Metformin. This miracle drug for women with PCOS makes their cells more sensitive to the effects of insulin. Therefore, Metformin allows them to break down carbohydrates more effectively. I say more effectively because even on a therapeutic dose of Metformin, say around 1500 mg/day, women with PCOS still tend to not thrive on a diet higher than 40 % total calories coming from carbohydrates. I think of PCOS like having a carbohydrate handicap – that even when medicated on Metformin — this handicap does not go away 🙁
Stop the carbohydrate madness – just say heck ‘no’ to Weight Watchers and PCOS
Weight Watchers is the wrong weight loss program for women with PCOS
So back to Weight Watchers and why it could be responsible for making you fat if you have PCOS. On a typical Weight Watchers program you are eating carbohydrates all day. Breakfast — Special K Cereal (Carb) with Skim Milk (Carb) and fruit (Carb) Lunch – Turkey Sandwich (Carb) with pretzels (Carbs) and a yogurt (Carb) Dinner — Chicken, Sweet Potato (Carb) and broccoli. Snacks – Flavored Greek Yogurt (Carb), Apple (Carb), Skinny Cow (Carb). As you can see there is no shortage of carbohydrates. You mine as well be fueling for a marathon!
I want to make it clear – I have nothing against any of these foods. But for women with PCOS this style of eating creates an insulin disaster! All day long your body is getting flooded with carbohydrates that drives your insulin through the roof. Therefore, on a program like Weight Watchers you become a fat-storing machine – completely the opposite of what you want!
I think Weight Watchers is fantastic for many things – one being accountability. Also for many people it clearly works – and I cannot deny that! But I lie to you not – Weight Watchers is NOT the appropriate program for someone with PCOS trying to lose weight. I work with MANY women who actually gain weight while on a Weight Watchers program. If this is you — do not blame yourself. I bet you are spot-on with your points — it is just not the right program for you.
The right weight loss diet for women with PCOS
Women with PCOS need to follow a modest, lower carbohydrate diet to promote and sustain weight loss. That isn’t the same thing as a no-carbohydrate diet or a low-carbohydrate diet (< 20 grams per day). No need to be so drastic. So please don’t get these terms confused. Most women do well when their carbohydrates are between 90 – 140 grams per day.
In future blog posts, I’ll discuss what a typical day looks like at these carbohydrate levels. But in the meantime if you are hanging with the ladies at Weight Watchers and you have PCOS, please promise me you will cut your ties?
I’m only saying this for your own good – I promise.
Got questions on why Weight Watchers could be making you fat if you struggle with PCOS? Please post them in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts.