“I’m not able to lose weight at all. I eat right, exercise regularly, but the weight just doesn’t seem to budge!” Isn’t this an all too familiar dialogue? You’ve probably heard a friend or relative express the same or heard ladies chatting in the gym about this. Well, truth be told, such situations do arise, and the reason is lack of knowledge or conversely, internet based shallow information. Yes, unless you understand your issue from a scientific standpoint and stop basing your lifestyle on a simple calorie in versus calorie out regimen, none of your efforts will bear fruit.
Speaking of PCOS and the numerous symptoms associated with it, weight gained as a result seems to be one of the most traumatic symptoms, mentally and physically for a lady.
“Over the past 2 decades there has been increasing evidence supporting an important contribution from food-derived advanced glycation end products (AGEs),” also known as glycotoxins, to “increased oxidative stress and inflammation, processes that play a major role in the causation of chronic diseases”—including, polycystic ovary syndrome. Women with PCOS tend to have nearly twice the circulating AGE levels in their bloodstream.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are harmful compounds that are formed when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream. This process is called glycation.(1) AGEs can also form in foods. Foods that have been exposed to high temperatures, as in grilling, frying or toasting, tend to be very high in these compounds. In fact, diet is the biggest contributor of AGEs. Foods highest in AGEs include meat, cheese, fried eggs, butter, cream cheese, margarine, mayonnaise and oils. Fried foods and highly processed products also contain high levels. So even if your diet appears reasonably healthy, you may consume an unhealthy amount of harmful AGEs just because of the way your food is cooked.
Now that you are aware of what is in your food, and why you are unable to get the right results, let’s focus on what needs to be done to turn the tables. First of all, continue with your exercise regime, and progressively take it the next level. You may take assistance from a professional for the same. On the nutritional front, you need to eliminate foods that increase oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. There is a multifold strategy for this:
- Decrease the intake of foods rich in AGE’s.
- Increased use of foods that are known to lower the AGE’s in the body like brown rice & mushrooms.
- High intake of foods rich in antioxidants like nuts, berries & raw vegetables, natural herbs like ashwagandha and spices like turmeric.
- Pro Tip- Eat your nuts raw, do not roast or fry them; these methods increase the AGE’s in them.
- Dietary AGE intake can be decreased just by changing the method of cooking from the high temperature dry cooking methods to low heat, higher humidity. In other words, moving away from broiling, searing and frying to more stewing, steaming, and boiling.(2)
- Pro Tip- But, what we eat may be more important than how we cook it. For example, boiled chicken has less than half the glycotoxins of roasted chicken. But, even deep-fried potatoes have less than boiled meat.
Case studies showed that individuals that were put on a low AGE diet showed a decrease in inflammation.(3) In short, a vegetarian diet was shown to be the most effective in lowering AGE levels in PCOS cases, thereby helping in reversing problems associated with weight gain amongst others.
If you still have queries on this subject, I would be glad to help you out on the same. You know how to reach me!
- Arterioscler Thromb (Schmidt AM1, Hori O, Brett J, Yan SD, Wautier JL, Stern D.).1994 Oct;14(10):1521-8.
- Uribarri J, del Castillo MD, de la Maza MP, Filip R, Gugliucci A, Luevano-Contreras C, Macías-Cervantes MH, Markowicz Bastos DH, Medrano A, Menini T, Portero-Otin M, Rojas A, Sampaio GR, Wrobel K, Wrobel K, Garay-Sevilla ME. Dietary advanced glycation end products and their role in health and disease. Adv Nutr. 2015 Jul 15;6(4):461-73.
- Negrean M, Stirban A, Stratmann B, Gawlowski T, Horstmann T, Götting C, Kleesiek K, Mueller-Roesel M, Koschinsky T, Uribarri J, Vlassara H, Tschoepe D. Effects of low- and high-advanced glycation endproduct meals on macro- and microvascular endothelial function and oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1236-43.