Christy writes:

“I need your expertise! I am overweight and suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). For that, I’m told to follow a low-carb diet. But I also have mildly elevated cholesterol and a familial tendency toward fatty liver disease. For that, I’m told to eat lots of fiber and whole grains, which are loaded with carbs. So what should I do?”

Maybe you’ve found yourself in a dilemma similar to Christy's, where dietary recommendations for one health concern directly conflict with dietary advice for another. For example, I remember getting an email a few years back from a woman who had both IBS and diverticulosis and was wondering about her doctor’s advice to eat a high-fiber diet. While that can certainly help with diverticulosis, it can make IBS worse!

See also: Should I Eat a High Fiber or Low Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis?

In some cases, your best bet may be to work with a nutrition professional, who can not only help you sort through and reconcile conflicting recommendations but can also help you translate them into practical solutions such as meal plans and shopping lists.

That was definitely the case for the woman with IBS and diverticulosis and it might also be a good idea for Christy. In the meantime, however, I think I can help resolve Christy’s dilemma—because the recommendations to increase fiber and decrease carbohydrates are not as contradictory as you might think.


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