The Best Diet Plan For PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. It is usually recognized by irregular periods or by no menstruation at all. Women with PCOS produce more-than-normal levels of male hormones, causing a hormonal imbalance, leading to numerous health issues.
According to a large-scale survey conducted across India in 2020, about 16% of women respondents between the ages of 20 and 29 years, suffered from PCOS.
Research suggests that a PCOS-friendly diet plan can help ease symptoms and prevent complications. Let's dive into some of the crucial aspects of how diet plays a role in handling PCOS & what's the best plan to follow.
How does your diet affect PCOS?
The primary ways your diet can influence PCOS are through weight management and Insulin production & resistance. PCOS condition produces higher than normal insulin levels.
However, insulin plays a significant role in PCOS, so managing insulin levels with a PCOS diet is one of the most reliable steps people can take to manage the condition. Several people with PCOS have insulin resistance. More than 50% of those with PCOS develop diabetes or pre-diabetes before the age of 40. Diabetes is directly related to how the body processes insulin.
A diet high in refined carbohydrates, such as starchy and sugary foods, can cause insulin resistance, and therefore weight loss is more difficult to control. Following a diet that meets an individual's nutritional needs, maintains a healthy weight, and promotes good insulin levels, which helps people with PCOS feel better.
Dietary guidelines for PCOS treatment
A high-fiber diet can help combat insulin resistance by slowing down digestion and reducing the impact of sugar on the blood. This may be beneficial to the PCOS condition.
Great options for a high-fiber diet -
- Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and sprouts
- Greens like including red leaf lettuce
- Green and Red peppers
- Beans and Lentils
- Sweet potatoes
- Healthy fats, such as olive oil, as well as avocados and coconuts
- Dark chocolate in moderation
- Spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon
Dietary options that help reduce inflammation –
- Almonds and Walnuts
- Olive oil
- Fruits such as blueberries and strawberries
- Fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
Dietary options that you should avoid –
- Refined carbohydrates such as pastries
- Fried foods such as fast food
- Sugary beverages such as sodas and energy drinks
- Processed meats, such as hot dogs & sausages
- Excess red meat
Other lifestyle changes -
Lifestyle changes can also benefit people with PCOS, to manage the condition reliably. A research study shows that combining a PCOS diet with physical activity can have the following benefits –
- Weight loss
- Improved insulin metabolism
- More regular periods
- Reduced levels of male hormones and male-pattern hair growth
- Lower cholesterol levels
Although there's no specific cure for PCOS, a person can decrease their symptoms and improve their quality of life by adopting a wholesome diet and becoming more physically active.
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Author of the Blog: Dr. Rajeshri Mehta
Expert Review By: Dr Smita Pankaj Naram
Co-Founder, Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt Ltd