Manage PCOS With A Healthy Diet: What To Eat & What To Avoid

by Simona Terron

Although PCOS doesn’t have a cure, there are ways to manage the condition with plenty of sensible diet tips. Most women suffering from this condition tend to have higher than normal levels of insulin that increases their tendency to gain weight.

Being aware of what foods play a negative and positive role in this scenario is important, and can help you manage the condition more effectively. Keep these simple diet tips in mind.

What To Avoid:

  • Stay away from refined and processed carbs, since they increase levels of insulin when ingested. Say ‘no’ to white rice, white bread and white pasta.
  • It may be tempting to stock up on so called fat-free food items but beware, as they contain a lot of added sugar. Baked goods that claim to be low-fat are made with refined flour, which will cause your insulin to spike just like it does when you eat a lot of sugar.
  • Soda and cola drinks are filled with sugar and other chemicals that do your body no favors, even if you don’t have PCOS. Stay away from them and all those other energy drinks that promise to pump you full of beans.
  • Studies observing women with PCOS who include soy products in their diet are too few and far between to prove anything conclusive but the general consensus is that is leads to a reduction in elevated cholesterol levels, and can be consumed in moderate amounts if it is the organic, non-GMO variety. However, since women PCOS struggle with issues such as infertility or hypothyroidism, or consume few calories or eat a poor diet, they may want to avoid or limit soy products.
  • Similarly, studies are not conclusive but women with PCOS who consume dairy products are more prone to being affected by the sugars in milk and the antibiotics that are prevalent in non-organic varieties of milk. Drinking low calorie milk led to fluctuations in ovulation while cutting out dairy can tend to reduce acne problems.

What To Include In Your Diet:

  • Include a variety of vegetables and fruit in your diet and eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. That means choosing whole grains, plant-based protein and healthy fats like those found in avocado and fish.
  • The trick to feeling fuller, promoting more effective elimination and keeping blood sugar in check is a good amount of fiber, plenty of which can be found in items like brown rice, quinoa, wholegrain bread, dried legumes and sprouts.
  • Choose complex carbs over simple ones by eating more whole grains and less refined and processed food products. Complex carbs also lead to staying full for longer, so you’re less likely to eat more often or gain weight.
  • You don’t have to give up on desserts altogether—just choose foods that contain natural sweeteners such as honey, agave nectar, stevia and molasses, and eat these in moderation.
  • If you need a refreshing drink, make your own naturally sweetened fizzy drinks at home or prepare fruity coolers with fresh herbs and spices that have health benefits.

Diet changes alone will not make a difference unless you make essential changes in your life as well. So make sure that you exercise regularly, and do whatever it takes to manage your stress levels—meditation and relaxation with massage therapy or artistic pursuits will help.

Head to our Food section for healthy recipes and the latest food trends.
Quick and easy Nutrition tips here.

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