Research suggests that PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is the leading cause of infertility in women all over the world. According to a study of Plos One the amount of PCOS cases among women in Pakistan are 52% higher than among Western Caucasian women. Dealing with PCOS might mean you lose weight or maintain a consistent weight. But not to despair, folks, we’re here with some tips & tricks on which food you should eat & avoid.
We come to the universal question that is asked most often.
Can Dietary Changes Help Treat PCOS?
And here’s what experts have to say.
PCOS Diet: Do’s and Don’ts
What does a PCOS diet really look like? Find out what to eat and what to avoid in order to manage PCOS and feel better starting now!
1. Avoid Dairy
Although no scientific data currently exists to support restricting or avoiding entire food groups or specific items to improve PCOS symptoms. Losing 5-10% of your body weight is recommended in PCOS management so you might want to look at low fat options for protein other than dairy.
There is some research linking caffeine to worsening PCOS symptoms.
2. Avoid Sugary Foods
Since PCOS causes high insulin levels, it’s best to avoid refined products & sugary foods to prevent other diseases like diabetes.
Stay away from refined sugar (present in most processed foods such as high sugar cereal & protein bars), white bread & sugary drinks. These products increase blood insulin, which results in greater androgen production, subsequently worsening PCOS symptoms.
3. Avoid Foods With Saturated & Trans Fats
Avoid eating red & processed food found in high-calorie restaurant foods to lose weight faster. Stick to whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, millet, amaranth and quinoa. They contain less sugar & more nutrition. They will also aid in weight loss.
4. Avoid Refined Carbs
Limiting foods like white rice, regular pasta and white bread will help your body manage insulin levels. Go for brown rice, brown bread. Avoid white flour pizza and sugary drinks. Following a PCOS diet is a great way to get healthy as a family. Make your own pizza dough at home & switch to buying whole grain for your family groceries list!
5. Eat Antioxidants-Rich Food
Spinach, strawberries, pecans & whole oats are rich in antioxidants, which improve insulin sensitivity.
Some spices & herbs to add to your PCOS diet: cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, mint, thyme, cloves, garlic, oregano, fenugreek, cayenne.
Antioxidants are substances found in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, spices and seasonings that can help improve symptoms of PCOS as well as decrease long term health risks. Antioxidants also help reduce stress ( linked to those who suffer from PCOS), by helping protect against inflammation as well.
6. Eat Lean Protein
Fish, poultry, tofu & beans will help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Lean protein means less fat in your diet and hence, more weight loss.
7. Eat High-Fiber Foods & Drink Lots Of Water
Berries, legume, seeds & whole grains are high in fibre & hence they help lower inflammation! Remember to increase your water intake since hi-fibre foods can bind water, meaning you will need more water intake to support digestion. Upto 2 to 3 litres of water daily is a good benchmark.
Following a PCOS diet is synonymous to following a healthy diet, rich in fibre, water intake, anti-oxidants, whole grains, less sugar & processed food – what could simply go wrong with that? Say hello to a healthier you and start now!
Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor if you think you might have PCOS or are considering following a PCOS diet.
This article is the collaboration effort of several members of Team FUCHSIA.