Does PCOS affect my cholesterol?


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A lot of us with PCOS are insulin resistant (about 80% approximately) and so the general recommendation you'll see to help reverse and manage that insulin resistance is to lower your carbohydrate intake and focus on increasing protein and fats. But maybe you're doing that but your doctor has run some bloods, only to find you have some high cholesterol markers. They say, "look, your cholesterol is high, you need to adopt a lower fat diet in order to bring these markers down".

You're thinking "oh my gosh, what am I going to eat!?". PCOS is hard enough to deal with as it is, and now you've got extremely conflicting information about what you should be eating.

Does that sound like you?

It's something I hear from so many of the women that I work with in The PCOS Protocol - they come back to me after chatting with their doctor and think that they don't know what they can even eat anymore apart from protein and they panic. On average, women with PCOS have higher triglycerides, LDL and lower HDL than women without PCOS, so it's not surprising to me that I have a number of women coming to me with this concern.

That's why for this week's episode of The PCOS Nutritionist Podcast, I've brought on the amazing Dr. Simon Thornley, an epidemiologist and public health medicine specialist, whose work focuses on improving dietary treatment for diabetes and uncovering the health effects of excess sugar intake. Because of how prevalent high cholesterol is among women with PCOS, I thought it was really important to discuss this more, particularly with a doctor - who funnily enough used to be considered the 'king of statins' in his early career (safe to say that's definitely changed!).

In this episode, we talk about all things cholesterol, PCOS and insulin resistance and how that affects which lifestyle changes we need to make. Regardless of whether or not you're struggling with high cholesterol levels, I think it's definitely worth a listen.

This episode is for you if:

  • You have higher LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Your HDL is lower than what your doctor is happy with
  • You’re confused about what dietary approach to take because you’ve been given conflicting information about PCOS and cholesterol
  • You’re worried eggs will make your PCOS worse

Some things we cover in this episode:

  • Conventional medicine dietary approach to cholesterol - and why the evidence doesn’t actually support it anymore
  • Statins
  • What cholesterol actually is really and why it’s really important for general health and for PCOS
  • The saturated fat, LDL and heart disease argument
  • What markers you should be concerned about
  • Low Fat vs. High healthy fat - what’s the better approach?

Resources and References:

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