All the PMS self-help groups, and the majority of PMS specialist doctors, now recommend that women follow the PMS three-hourly starch diet.

The idea of the diet is to prevent blood sugar levels from dipping to the level where the body needs to release adrenalin. As discussed in Chapter 3, the body's attempts to maintain a steady blood sugar level by releasing adrenalin are thought to be at the root of many PMS symptoms.

According to Dr Maureen Dalton, of Sunderland Hospital in the UK, modern eating habits with large gaps between proper meals play havoc with our blood sugar levels.

In the past women spent much of their time preparing food and while they were cooking they were also constantly nibbling which would have kept blood sugar at normal levels/ she says. It was also the custom to eat a large breakfast, have "elevenses", then lunch, tea, and dinner in the evening. There was no chance for blood sugar to go down'.

To understand this diet you need to know more about the different types of starchy foods - or carbohydrates -we eat.

Reducing tat in your diet. Since most people want to use fat for cooking or for spreading on bread, it is worth following these tips to try and reduce your fat intake:

  • Avoid using butter or margarine on bread. If you do use it, choose a low fat variety and spread it very thinly.
  • Use oils rather than solid fats when cooking. Measure cooking oils and salad oils carefully with a spoon rather than guessing the amount to use.
  • Grill, steam or poach foods instead of frying.
  • Do not add butter to cooked vegetables.


Women's health

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