PCOS DIET – THE BASICS

PCOS is a disorder commonly affecting women of child bearing age and is characterized by irregular menstruation and infertility.  A diet plan for PCOS aims to manage weight, rectify insulin resistance and prevent the risk of developing other complications like diabetes, heart diseases, blood pressure and many more.

PCOS brings with it a lot of hormonal imbalances and the diet plan for PCOS should correct these imbalances especially insulin resistance.  It should also promote weight loss as even a small reduction in body weight is shown to alleviate symptoms of PCOS and increases fertility.  A PCOS diet plan is based on-

  1. Low -glycemic index

Glycemic index is the ranking of the food based on how slowly or quickly they influence your blood sugar levels. In case of women with PCOS there is an overproduction of insulin and as a result the cells of the body become resistant to insulin action affecting the blood sugar levels. Therefore, a PCOS diet should comprise of complex carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, brown rice, oats etc as they are low in glycemic index( i.e. do not cause an immediate spike in blood sugar levels)

  1. Add the fiber

Fiber offers many benefits in a PCOS diet.  Firstly, foods in high in fiber are generally low in glycemic index therefore they help manage bloods sugar levels and insulin action. Fiber promotes satiety and since most PCOS diet plan are focused on weight loss, fiber helps you feel fuller and makes sticking to the plan easier. Lastly, fiber is known to promote increased estrogen metabolism which in turn aids in lowering the male hormones, the androgens. Thus help correct the imbalances.  A diet plan for PCOS should provide 21-30gm of fiber daily.  Also follow these 7  PCOD / PCOS Diet Plan Tip

  1. Protein perk

Increasing protein in your diet helps you balance your calories as you reduce the total carbohydrates based calories. This is important as it help you lose weight and promotes a feeling of satiety. Go for lean and organic varieties of protein in your diet.

  1. The good fats

Fats are an important part of a balanced meal.  Healthy MUFA and the good omega should be pre-dominant in your PCOS diet. In addition, fat delays absorption of glucose in the blood thereby keeping your blood sugar levels relative stable.

  1. Catch up on chromium

Chromium plays a major role in managing PCOS and its symptoms.  This micro mineral promotes insulin sensitivity and manages blood sugar levels. Brewer’s yeast, liver, mushrooms, wheat germ, certain cheese, beets, chicken breast are few food sources of chromium.  In certain cases chromium supplements have shown greater results.  You can talk to a dietitian for PCOS about different ways chromium can be added to you PCOS diet plan and also the need for supplement.

  1. Vie for the Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another important nutrient to be looked at because most women with PCOS are found to be deficient in this sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D deficiency is said to aggravate problems like menstrual irregularities, insulin resistance, weight gain, hirsutism and infertility. Vitamin D supplementation and food sources should essentially be the part of your PCOS diet.

When it comes to PCOS, dietary modification and lifestyle management are essential to the treatment of PCOS along with medical management. A well-balanced PCOS diet is a must to help mange symptoms and correct the hormonal imbalances.