The Complete PCOS Diet To Manage PCOS 

PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome, is a endocrine disorder, which is seen in one of the ten women of childbearing age. PCOS affects the overall health of a woman, it also affect the fertility and appearance like acne, weight gain etc. Therefore if any women have PCOS syndrome they should maintain a healthy diet. Let’s talk about the diet that a women should follow who is diagnosed with PCOS.  

What is PCOS? 

It is necessary to know what actually PCOS is? PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal imbalance in body that affects ovulation, mensuration, and a women ability to conceive. Not only this, PCOS is also linked with the metabolic disorder that can cause weight gain and also insulin resistance.  

The syndrome of PCOS, includes weight gain (metabolic disorder), thinning of hair, acne and oily skin and irregular menstrual cycle and some time depression too. It also cause trouble in getting pregnant. 

How to treat the PCOS?  

PCOS can be in any age of women (childbearing one’s) and if it’s symptoms gets severe it can cause many health problems in future. The key treatment of PCOS are healthy diet, regular exercise to control the weight. As we talked that if the syndrome of PCOS become severe it can cause many health problems, therefore treatment is necessary to get rid of the symptoms and it further can help in preventing the long term health problems.  

Though the experts have not yet aligned the optimal diet for PCOS but they do agree that eating proper nutrition diet can manage the symptoms of PCOS.  

points to treat the symptoms of PCOS 

  • Hydration:- Water is one of the compound that we can not live without. Staying hydrated is necessary for the body. As we know there are number of beverages but water is still the most beneficial and healthy for the body. Adding lemon, mint, cucumber in water makes it even more tasty. Drinking milk without sugar can also be beneficial for some women but a women with PCOS syndrome should avoid beverages that are high on sugar like juices, energy drinks and sodas too.  
  • Switch to whole grain:- If you are adding grain in your diet switch or choose whole grain. Whole grain that are minimally processed and includes the items like 100% whole wheat products, barley, oatmeal, brown rice etc.  
  • Eat small amount of food but frequently:- Rather than eating three large meal try to eat small amount of snacks after each 4 to 5 hours. Try to take small amount of lean protein or vegetables. Some of the best snacks are, low fat cheese, snap peas, boneless and skinless chicken, salad, yogurt without sugar, nuts, eggs etc.  
  • Think fresh or fresh mind:- It is very important to be away from the stress and have fresh mind so we can say that doing meditation and yoga can be beneficial for you, and eating minimal processed (clean) fruits, vegetables, milk products, lean protein food, seeds and nuts are also beneficial for the health.  
  • Avoid trans fats:- Eating or consuming large amount of hydrogenated and trans fats can lead to heart disease. Therefore a women should try to avoid the hydrogenated and trans fat. When buying any product check the ingredients and make a right choice in picking your food.  
  • Limit the sodium:- Try to consume less sodium let’s say do not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. To reach this goal avoid eating food in restaurants and can foods. And when you are buying any processed food check the labels for reduced sodium, no salt, or unsalted.  
  • Eat fatty fish:- Consume fatty fish twice a week. Fatty fish like salmon, herring and sardines are great source of omega-3 fats so try to eat it.  
  • Plant based:- If you are vegetarian or don’t like to eat fish you can eat a tablespoon of flaxseed mixed in yogurt, by this you can get omega-3 through plants.  
  • Prioritize soy protein:- Want to improve your metabolic and cardiovascular health? Switch to soy protein as it is very beneficial for the women having PCOS. Try to intake 25 grams of soy protein daily. Some good sources of soy protein are tofu, soy milk, soy butter, soy nuts, edamame etc. 
  • Focus on fiber:- Try to consume at least 25 grams of fiber daily in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grain. While buying any food item check the nutrition label to find out how much grams of fiber you are taking.  

Herbs and Practices to Aide in Decreasing Your PCOS Symptoms

According to the researchers what a women eat has a significant effect on PCOS. Therefore we can say that there is no standard diet for PCOS. But there are some foods are said to be good for health and can help in managing the PCOS.  

Lets talk about some of the diets:-  

  1. The DASH diet:- Dietary Approaches to stop hypertension or DASH diet is mostly recommended by the doctors to reduce the risk or impact of heat disease. Therefore it may also help in managing PCOS syndrome. A DASH diet consists of or is rich in fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, whole grain, low fat dairy products. This type of diet do not allow the saturated fat and sugar.  According to a study (2015) found that a women who followed DASH diet for several weeks saw reduction in insulin resistance and belly fat compared to those who did not followed this DASH diet.  
  1. A low glycemic index diet (GI):- The body digests food with a low GI diet more slowly. Which means they do not cause insulin level to rise as quickly or as much as other foods such as some of the carbohydrates. This type of diet includes, whole grain, nuts, seeds, fruits, legumes, starchy vegetables and unprocessed low-carbohydrate food.  
  1. An anti-inflammatory diet:- Taking anti-inflammatory diet helps in reducing inflammation related symptoms such as fatigue. This type of diet consists of berries, leafy greens, fatty fish and virgin olive oil.  

So these are the 3 types of diet that you can totally start if you have symptoms of PCOS.  

A helpful diet for PCOS can also include following foods:-  

  • Natural and unprocessed foods 
  • Food with high fiber 
  • Dark red fruits like red grapes, blackberry, blueberry, etc. 
  • Dried beans, lentils and other legumes.  
  • Fatty fish 
  • Broccoli, cauliflower 
  • Healthful fats like olive oil, coconut and avocado 
  • Nuts 
  • Dark chocolate (in moderation) 

Foods that must be avoided

A women following PCOS diet should avoid unhealthy food which includes the following:- 

  • Refined carbohydrates like pastries and white bread.  
  • Fried or fast food. 
  • Beverages having sugar like energy drinks and soda. 
  • Processed meats like hot dogs, sausages etc. 
  • Solid fats 
  • Excess red meat which includes, hamburgers, pork, and steaks.  

One must also change the lifestyle. Changes in lifestyle can help people having PCOS to manage the conditions. One should start physical activities too and according to research and study it can lead to many benefits some of them are :- 

  • More regular periods.  
  • Weight loss 
  • Lower cholesterol level 
  • Improve insulin metabolism 
  • Reduce level of male hormones and male pattern hair growth 

Symptoms of PCOS are

  • Acne 
  • Weight gain 
  • Extra hair growth 
  • Irregular periods 
  • Oily skin 
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area 
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant 

Frequently asked questions

What should I avoid if I have symptoms of PCOS?  

Refined carbohydrates should be avoided. 

Which exercise is best for PCOS?  

Cardio exercise are best for PCOS like cycling,  jogging, swimming and brisk walking. 

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