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What is the ideal diet for an individual with PCOS?

September 25, 2020. 11 mins read

Are you wondering what to eat now that you have been diagnosed with PCOS?

The first thing that you must know is “there is no need to worry!” PCOS is not a disease that cannot be cured. Eating the right type of food can help you manage and even alleviate the condition.

Living with PCOS can be a bit tricky because you will need to modify your current lifestyle, especially eating habits. However, having said so doesn't mean that there exists an ideal diet for PCOS.

The truth is that at present, there is no standard diet for PCOS, but there is an agreement about which diets can prove beneficial.

If you are suffering from PCOS, here are the diets that you may follow

1. A low Glycemic Index (GI) Diet - A low glycemic index diet is easily digested by the body and does not lead to increased sugar levels. You can eat food items such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, seeds, starchy vegetables, low-carbohydrate foods, and other unprocessed food items.

So if you have been avoiding fruits and vegetables, it's time to bring them back to your plate.

2. An Anti-Inflammatory Diet - Inflammation in the body is a prevalent symptom associated with PCOS. You may experience body aches that you never had before. This type of diet may help to alleviate the inflammation and make you feel more energetic. Under this diet, you can eat fatty fish, berries, leafy green vegetables, and use the miraculous extra virgin olive oil.

3. Dash Diet - The third and most talked about the diet plan is the DASH diet that stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This type of diet is usually taken to reduce the risk of heart diseases. The diet can also help to reduce the PCOS symptoms. As a part of the DASH diet plan, you must eat food items such as poultry, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy items, etc. The DASHdiet simply discourages the consumption of food items that are rich in sugar and saturated fat.

This was all about the diet plans that you may follow, but there are individual food items that can be incorporated into your diet without any hesitation. Have a look

Fruits that you can eat:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Grapes
  • Peach
  • Honeydew melon
  • Plums

Vegetables you can eat:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomato
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Eggplant
  • Mushroom
  • Peppers
  • Onion
  • Zucchini
  • Snap peas
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collards

Sources of Protein that you can’t miss:

  • Beans
  • Yoghurt
  • Beef
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Milk (low–fat)
  • Hummus
  • Nuts
  • Pork
  • Tofu
  • Shellfish
  • Veggie Burgers (try to find an option with more than 10 grams of protein)

Food items with Carbohydrates/Starches:

  • Bread (whole wheat)
  • Whole Grain Cereal
  • Brown Rice
  • Corn
  • Tortilla (corn or whole wheat)
  • Pasta (whole wheat)
  • Sweet Potato

You can cook in:

  • Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • Corn oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado
  • Guacamole

Well, that’s a big list! Eat-in right proportions, and you’ll notice the diet doing wonders for you. And now that you know what to eat, it is equally important to understand that you can’t just keep on eating, some dos and don’ts must be kept in mind.

So let us know what you must or must not do!

Do's

  1. Along with diet, exercise is essential. Do a little cardio for at least 45 minutes a day and stay active
  2. Take proper sleep. Your body needs to rejuvenate, and if you are trying to lose weight, sleeping for a fair amount of hours will help a lot.
  3. Make sure that you take all the prescribed medication on time.
  4. It would be wise to keep track of your menstrual cycle so that you know when to consult a doctor if your cycles are running a little late.

Don'ts

  1. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption as it increases your susceptibility to other diseases.
  2. Avoid food items with high sugar content, as it may lead to diabetes.
  3. Eat meals on time so that your metabolism stays on track.
  4. Do not skip your doctor's appointment.

While there is currently no treatment for PCOS, you can reduce its symptoms and improve the quality of your life by taking a healthier diet and being more physically active.

Also, by now you may have found that some meals leave you full, while some leave you with a growling stomach just an hour later. One way to make you more comfortable with eating is to combine different forms of nutrients at each meal. A meal containing protein, whole-grain carbohydrate and fat, and fruit and vegetables, can help you remain full for longer. For women with PCOS, or anybody trying to sustain a healthier weight, making well-planned meals and snacks may also help prevent you from overeating before or during meals

All the diets, as mentioned above, have proven successful for most women suffering from PCOS. However, everybody responds differently to different diets. You may try all of them and opt for the recommended one by your doctor and suits you the best.

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