PCOS is the most common endocrine condition that happens to women. Insulin resistance, genetics and hormonal imbalance are the main reasons for the condition. There is no one solution to PCOS. However, making changes in one’s diet and lifestyle can make a huge impact in managing PCOS.
How Diet affects PCOS?
Diet has a significant role in managing PCOS. The two main parts where diet plays the key factor is –
- Weight management
- Insulin resistance
A study shows that almost 50% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. The rise of insulin levels in our body is due to the increase of glucose. This can happen due to various reasons like overeating, eating junks and sugar etc. By treating insulin resistance, PCOS can be handled to a large extent.
Diet Changes to Manage PCOS
A woman suffering from PCOS has insulin levels already spiked up. The least she could do is to not increase it. Removing all those food items that are responsible for the insulin spikes can be a start. Later replacing it with healthier options can do the charm.
Replace and Remove
Simple carbohydrates are the main culprits in increasing the glucose levels in our body. So, the first step in the management of PCOS is to reduce the carbohydrate intake. But the sad part is that most portions of our diet is filled with carbohydrate rich foods such as white rice, maida, white bread and potato. These can be easily broken down into glucose in our body, leading to higher insulin levels.
The mass produced processed foods harm our body to a very large extent. To add flavors, they contain added sugar in it, which must be a complete no for women with PCOS. Avoid those burgers, pizzas, and especially sugary cold drinks. They can easily increase your blood sugar level.
We usually hear from our parents, about the goodness of the milk. But they forget the fact that today’s milk is not the same as they think. The milk that we get in our homes, goes through many processes such as pasteurization, homogenization, and is even added with pesticides. The intake of milk for women with PCOS acts as an androgen increasing food. So, it is advisable to reduce the dairy intake for stopping the hormonal imbalances in our body.
Increase and Include
If you think all carbs are bad. Think again? Our body needs carbohydrates, just not refined and simple carbs. Complex carbs like whole grains and sweet potatoes are actually good for our body. They don’t break down easily into glucose and provide energy for a longer time. Start by replacing your rice with rotis and maida with atta.
Fiber rich foods are the best option to reduce insulin resistance. This reduces digestion in our body, which inturn reduces the sugar levels. Fiber also makes us feel full easily. This makes us eat less and helps us to lose weight.
Some fiber rich foods:
Fruits : Apple, oranges, strawberries, guava, pears
Vegetables : Spinach, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peas, beetroot
Legumes : Lentils, chickpeas, soybeans and kidney beans
Nuts and seeds : Almonds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds
Just like fibers, eating fibers also make you feel full easily. Thus helping you to lose weight.
Protein rich foods:
Omega-3 rich foods such as Fish and Almonds.
Legumes, soy, nuts and seeds.
Antioxidant rich foods:
Inflammation is one other problem that comes along with PCOS. Inflammation can be troublesome for our gut and digestive system. Foods rich in antioxidants can help with inflammation.
Foods rich in antioxidants:
Fruits : Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.
Vegetables : Spinach, artichokes, kale.
Whole Grains : Whole oats, whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice.
Unsaturated fats : Nuts like pecans and nut butters, olive oil, avocado.
A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is a simple solution for reducing PCOS symptoms. This helps in reducing the glucose levels, further reducing the insulin resistance in our body.
Remember the two golden rules to manage PCOS:
- Lose fat.
- Be mindful of what you eat.
Stop ignoring the signs that your body is giving you about PCOS. Start acting on it immediately before it’s late. Because if you ignore it for a long time, it can lead to much more problematic complications.