PCOS affects women of reproductive age and occurs due to an imbalance of hormones. PCOS is responsible for infertility, obesity and irregular menstrual cycle in women. If you are suffering from PCOS then following a PCOS diet for weight loss is first step towards management of its symptoms.
When not treated on time, PCOS can lead to many complications like Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, heart diseases and hypertension. A proper diet along with medical management is prime intervention needed.
THE PCOS DIET
Nutrition basic that help you thrive against PCOS weight loss, reduce insulin resistance and manage nutrition level of body.
- Eating to nourish
Losing weight is of prime importance but that doesn’t mean that you follow the fad diets and crash diet that flood the internet to quicker results. Your PCOS diet should be nutritional balanced and weight loss should be healthy so that it stays with you and at the same time helps you overcome the symptoms of PCOS and help you get pregnant.
- Control your blood sugar
Imbalances in insulin production and disturbances in glucose metabolism are responsible for weight gain and difficulty in losing it. The body produces high levels of insulin but the cells resist insulin action as a result blood sugar levels remain elevated. This leads to diabetes type 2 and obesity. Changing the type and amount of carbohydrate in your diet should be the prime focus of your PCOS diet for weight loss.
- Exercise daily
Exercising help women with PCOS to lose weight and maintain it, balance hormone production and increase chances of ovulation in women. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ 2009 practice guidelines, exercising and losing weight should be recommended therapy for stimulating ovulation.
FOOD TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PCOS DIET
- Whole foods – natural unprocessed foods are recommended as they are high in fibre and take time to be digested. This help to prevent blood sugar spikes and reduces insulin production. Lesser the insulin lesser the testosterone.
- Low glycemic index foods -glycemic index is the rate at which the food you eat increases your blood sugar levels. Whole grain cereals, most fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds contain the valuable fibre and thus have lower glycemic index.
- Quality proteins– lower the total carbohydrate in your diet and add it up with proteins. The protein in your diet should be complete and good quality like eggs, lean white meats, pulses and tofu.
- Anti-inflammatory foods– a small amount of chronic inflammation in women with PCOS is common. Adding anti-inflammatory foods in your diet helps in reducing inflammation and cardiovascular risks and other diseases. Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include- green tea, fruits like berries, spinach, kale, olive oil, turmeric and cinnamon and dark chocolate etc.
FOOD TO EXCLUDE FROM YOUR PCOS DIET
- Refined carbohydrates– refined carbohydrates are high in glycemic index and they raise your blood sugar levels and insulin production which is the last thing you need. Refined carbohydrates are found in processed foods like white potatoes, refined flour breads and pastries etc and other fast food.
- Sugar– white sugar is also high glycemic index. Stay away from sugar added to tea and coffee, in the form of sugary drinks and juices, jams and jellies. Even while shopping for products look for sugar hidden in the products like corn fructose syrup, dextrose or sucrose.
- Inflammation causing foods– like Margarine, Red meats, French fries, Coffee. Caffeine is also believed to increase infertility in women.
- Dairy – though milk and milk products are an essential part of a well balanced diet, it is wise to avoid it if you are having PCOS as milk contains IGF-2 (insulin, growth factor -2) which mimics insulin and its effects. Increased insulin leads to increased production of testosterone.
- Gluten – increases overall inflammation in the body. Increased inflammation means increased insulin resistance and other hormonal imbalance. A word of caution as the gluten-free products available in market are high in glycemic index so be very careful about the product you choose. Consulting a nutritionist for PCOS is advised.
- Soy – soy products are thought to delay ovulation in women and women with PCOS are already struggling with fertility issues therefore skipping or excluding soy products is for the best.
Lifestyle management in terms of exercise and diet are important pillar in treatment of PCOS and overcoming its symptoms. Now, since you have an idea what a PCOS diet looks like evaluate your diet by trusted PCOS Dietitian and make the changes you need to.