America’s obesity epidemic is so serious that more and more people with PCOS are developing Insulin Resistance and Type II Diabetes in their twenties and having heart attacks in their thirties. Fast food is a major culprit in this crisis and there are scientific reasons why it’s so difficult to quit eating such high carbohydrate offerings, according to Jeffrey Weiss, PhD, a member of Insulite Laboratories’ Medical Advisory Board and author of Why We Eat … and Why We Keep On Eating.
The body uses numerous ways to signal the brain to switch the appetite center off and on. Sugary items, like chocolate and soft drinks, trigger an endorphin reaction, which induces feelings of euphoria and spurs a release of insulin that causes food cravings.
Foods high in saturated fats, like a cheeseburger and French fries, also trigger endorphins. Foods low in saturated fat have the opposite effect, releasing a hormone called CCK, which signals the brain to shut down the appetite center. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish and monosaturated fats in olive oil, nuts and free-range animal products can also curb the appetite. So, too, does fiber, which expands the stomach.
For those of us with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, smell and taste also have a big influence, though not necessarily in ways that seem obvious. Research has shown that foods cooked with aromatic ingredients like garlic, onions, herbs and spices satisfy the appetite more completely in smaller portions. But these ingredients rarely feature in the preparation of fast food.
Menus in hamburger restaurants, for example, can be addictive to women with PCOS because they press all the wrong buttons, nutritionally speaking. Many of the choices are high in saturated fat and sugar. Even the hamburger bun contains gluten, another endorphin trigger.
If you combine all these factors with clever marketing by fast food chains and throw in sedentary lifestyles as well, it’s not difficult to understand why two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese.
The trick to fighting back is knowing how to use the alternatives at hand to stick to a regime of healthy diet and exercise.
- Take the PCOS Quiz! Get your score and assess your hormone health risks.
- Join our Facebook Sisterhood Group Pose your questions to this group of like-minded women. Get the answers to your questions and the support you need.
- Checkout the Hormone Reset. Guided Practices to eliminate anxiety, lose weight and boost energy.
We are committed to helping women reverse their symptoms of hormone imbalance – a major cause of excess weight gain, adult acne, unwanted facial hair, depression, anxiety, and heartbreaking female infertility.
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