For people who are trying to lose weight and eat well, carbohydrates are often seen as enemy #1. We’re advised to remove them all together, or at least don’t eat them after lunchtime, heaven forbid! If you’re trying to conceive or feel your hormones are out of whack, you probably need to increase the amount of protein in your diet. But this doesn’t mean cutting carbs all together. Carbohydrates are actually key to producing healthy, balanced hormones. And healthy, balanced hormones will get you glowing regardless of what stage of life you are at.
It’s all to do with one of the complex communication channels that operate within our bodies on a day-to-day basis, without us giving a second thought to it.
Carbohydrates comprise glucose, which is one of the most important types of fuel used by the body. Glucose triggers insulin to be released which spikes leptin who tells the hypothalamus to tell the pituitary to produce sex hormones. A few steps in the chain, but basically no glucose = no sex hormones.
You also need glucose to make enough thyroid hormone, T3. Low T3 can mean low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) which can lead to PCOS, weight gain, skin conditions, amenorrhea (no periods), and mood disorders – basically it throws your whole hormone system out of whack and the results show up everywhere.
But the type of carbohydrate we eat is key. The common menu of cereal for breakkie, sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner is obviously not going to get you glowing. We need to choose Low GI carbs, that is, carbs that take more work for our bodies to breakdown, meaning the energy is released more slowly. Good examples of Low GI carbohydrates are sweet potato, brown rice, flax meal, quinoa (if tolerated) and lentils (if tolerated).
The Wholesome Inc. Preconception Program aims for at least 25% protein and less than 40% carbohydrate in line with research which showed that the chances of conceiving through IVF were 4 times higher following this type of fertility diet! Whether you’re TTC naturally or with assistance this is important to follow. (Read more about it here)