PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders among women of childbearing age. It is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, weight, and insulin resistance. PCOS can lead to fertility problems, as well as an increased risk for certain cancers.
There is no one-size-fits-all diet for women with PCOS. PCOS supplements are highly individualized and should be based on a woman’s specific needs. However, there are some general dietary guidelines that may help women with PCOS manage their symptoms and improve their health.
Types of Diets for PCOS
There are several types of diets recommended for women with PCOS.
1. The Low-Glycemic Index (GI) Diet
The low-glycemic index diet is based on the theory that foods with a high GI score raise blood sugar levels more quickly than those with a lower score. This can lead to insulin resistance, which is a key factor in the development of PCOS. The low-GI diet includes mostly whole, unprocessed foods that have a slow effect on blood sugar levels. These include legumes, oats, and certain fruits and vegetables.
2. The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet is based on the premise that humans should eat the same foods that our Paleolithic ancestors ate. This diet focuses on lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
3. The DASH Diet
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a diet that is low in salt and saturated fat. This diet has been shown to lower blood pressure, as well as bad cholesterol levels. It is also rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Foods that are high in fiber and protein, such as beans and lean meats, are also included.
4. An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Inflammation is thought to play a role in the development of PCOS. An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods that help reduce inflammation, such as omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, and antioxidants.
Dietary Tips For PCOS
Even though the above diets may help women with PCOS, there are some general dietary tips that can be followed by all women with PCOS, regardless of the type of diet they are following.
1. Get Enough Fiber
Fiber is essential for digestion and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Women with PCOS should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Good sources of fiber include beans, oats, flaxseeds, and vegetables.
2. Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full longer. Women with PCOS should aim for at least 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. Good sources of protein include lean meats, tofu, and legumes.
3. Avoid Refined Carbs and Sugar
Refined carbs and sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can lead to insulin resistance. women with PCOS should avoid or limit foods such as white bread, pastries, and candy.
4. Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats help to reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol levels. Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
5. Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for bone health and has been linked to a lower risk of PCOS. The best way to get vitamin D is by spending time in the sun or taking a supplement.
6. Limit Alcohol
Alcohol can disrupt hormone levels and increase the risk of PCOS. Women with PCOS should limit their alcohol intake to one drink per day.
7. Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats are found in processed foods and can promote inflammation. Women with PCOS should avoid or limit foods such as margarine, fast food, and processed snacks.
8. Drink A Lot of Water
Water helps to flush out toxins and keep the body hydrated. Women with PCOS should drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
Finally, don’t forget to exercise, get enough sleep, and manage stress levels. These lifestyle factors can also help to improve the symptoms of PCOS.
Free Diet Diary Printable
If you want to track what you’re eating and work on your health goals, a printable diet tracker can be a great friend:
We’re sharing one for absolutely free today. Simply choose the size that fits your planner, journal or binder best:
*Personal use only.
We hope you’ll find this tool useful.
Scroll down for more health tips below.