Thursday, December 10, 2009

Slow day...

You know work is slow when it's a double-post kinda day... : )

 Mari asked me a wonderful question about PCOS and what type of diet is best for women suffering from PCOS. Great question, Mari...I hope this is helpful!

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, causing the pancreas to secrete more and more insulin in order to transport glucose (sugar) out of the blood and into muscle, fat, and liver cells where it is converted to energy or stored as fat. Elevated insulin levels can cause polycystic ovaries, weight gain or difficult losing weight, increased risk of heart disease (elevated LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels and decreased HDL-cholesterol levels), and increased clotting factors. The risk of the developing diabetes in women with PCOS can be up to 40% by the age of 40. Most women (50-60%) with PCOS are obese (BMI greater than 30). Weight loss, even as little as 5% can lead to decreased insulin levels which is critical due to the fact that elevated insulin levels promote fat storage [1].

In researching how much carbohydrate a woman with PCOS should consume, I found varying recommendations. Before prescribing a standard 50-55% carbohydrate diet or a low (40% or less) carbohydrate diet, I would want to know a PCOS patient’s fasting blood sugar and HbA1c – a lab value indicating an average blood glucose reading representing 6-8 weeks. Agreeably, women with a higher BMI are statistically more likely to have insulin resistance, in which case a lower (less than 50-55%) carbohydrate diet is probably advisable.

I am of the opinion that to prevent diabetes, one should eat like a diabetic. For most women of normal to overweight size, this would include 30-45 grams of carbohydrates at meal times and 15-30 grams of carbohydrate + 1-2 ounces of protein before bedtime. Emphasis should be placed on complex, low-glycemic index carbohydrates, as well as a diet low in saturated (13 grams or less per day) and trans fat (none, preferably). For women with a BMI greater than 30, carbohydrate and energy needs go up – consult a Registered Dietitian for recommendations.

For example, a 180-pound (81.8 kilograms) female requires roughly 1230-1640 calories a day to lose weight (15-20 calories per kilogram of body weight. In order to find your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2). At minimum (30 grams of carbohydrate per meal with a 15-gram carbohydrate evening snack), carbohydrate comprises 26-34% of the daily intake. At maximum (45 grams of carbohydrate per meal with a 30-gram carbohydrate evening snack), carbohydrate comprises 40-54% of the daily energy intake. 
(Note: one gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories – this is needed for calculations).

Other diet-related suggestions for women suffering from PCOS [1]:
-         Pair carbohydrate-rich foods and snacks with a lean protein or fat high in mono and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids.
-         Consume foods with a lower glycemic index – these foods are typically high in fiber
-         Space carbohydrates out throughout the day. Consuming consistent, moderate carbohydrate levels is best for blood sugar control
-         Consume plenty of decaffeinated, sugar-free beverages, especially water
-         Exercise on a regular basis -- aerobic and anerobic
-         Take a multi-vitamin mineral supplement daily

[1]. McKittrick, Martha. PCOS and Diet. Publications.

The above information was provided by the above source. The author, Martha McKittrick is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. In other words, she is a wonderful resource!

Cookie Taste-Test Results!

The preferred cookie in yesterday's cookie taste testing was the Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. Hands down. There were only 2 votes NOT for the Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies and they were for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies and the Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies.

P.S. I had 2 late-comers who wanted in so the total participation was 18 employees!

Last night I made deer meat tacos for dinner!
My father-in-law is a bow hunter and provides us with deer meat. Yum!

I had 1 deer meat taco, a dollop of fat-free refried beans, and a bed of shredded lettuce with deer meat, salsa, corn, and homemade guacamole. Mmmm!

 Nutritional comparison of deer/venison vs. ground beef
(values represent a 1 ounce, raw portion)

- deer meat is 40 calories versus the 72 in ground beef*
- deer meat contains 0.8 grams of fat compared to 5.7 grams in ground beef*
- deer meat contains 7.6 grams of protein compared to 4.9 grams in ground beef

*this is standard 70-80% lean (does not specify)

Question: Have you tried deer meat? Did you like it? Did it taste "game-y" to you?


  1. Thank you so much for this informative article! I was diagnosed with PCOS, but my endocrinologist is questioning this diagnosis. Regardless, I think all women - PCOS or not - should be aware of these facts.

  2. Great advice for PCOS. Glad she asked you, as I didn't provide her a whole lot of help. Your advice was perfect.

    I have tried derr, and yes it dad taste gamey, however I realllllly enjoyed it!!

  3. No I've never tried deer meat! i wouldn't even know what to think or expect!

  4. ive never tried deer meat!! does it taste like chicken?? lol

  5. No dear meat for me, totally a vegetarian! But I guess I know people who have. Thanks for the PCOS info. I have been asked this before when I worked in clinical. I covered the women's unit and maternal infant so I saw all kinds of things related.

  6. I like venison. In fact, I have some fresh ground venison as well as a few fresh venison roasts in my freeze at this very moment ; )In my experience, it can taste gamey but it all depends on how you prepare it.

  7. I tried it years ago, but didn't care for it too much. I've whittled down my meat intake to just poultry.

    I think that my cookie preference would have been just the same as your coworkers! Yum!

  8. I had deer meat many, many years ago. I had a burger, and I think I liked it. I don't eat a lot of meat anymore... The comparison to ground beef is quite impressive! Thanks for the info!

  9. We eat deer meet because my dad is a hunter. Venison is a very lean meet and not fatty. I dont LOVE it all the time, but I make some stuff with it!

  10. Actually I did clinical for 5 years before moving overseas with my husband. It was kinda like what you said you do, community with clinical skills. I was outpatient for 4 years and staff relief so when RDs were off tuesdays and Thursdays for working a weekend shift I covered them, so I did all units of the hospital. Then after 4 years the hospital shut down the outpatient/community program (i did speaking engagements just about anywhere in the community) I switched to inpatient only. But you are right, there are tons of places for our skills to be used, although when I hear clinical I think hospital too.

  11. I tried deer meat once when I was younger-probably around 10 years old or so. My dad told me it was regular hamburger, and I believed him. When I found out it was deer meat, I was freaked out, but then realized it didn't taste any different!

  12. The cookie taste test sounds like a hit!

    When I ate meat, I had tried deer meat because my dad has dabbled around with hunting and one of his friends is really into it. I thought it was pretty gamey, but then again, I hadn't been eating meat for that long, so a lot of meat to me tasted meaty. However, deer meat is sooo much healthier than most other meats, and when it's cooked with a lot of flavoring, I think it gets rid of a lot of its "gaminess", so If I ate meat, I'd try to choose deer.

  13. hmm never tried deer meat! I would but I dont think I have ever been to a restaurant where deer was offered!

  14. Thank you so much for this info! And for letting me know you posted it! I have no idea how I missed it. I just printed it out and will keep it as a ref. I was diagnosed with pcos in my teens and it frusturates me that there is no cure for it =( but life could be worse so I just have to manage it.

    Thank you again!

    ohhh and nope I never ate Bambi =)