Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal imbalance disorder in women of reproductive age. One in every 10 women is a victim of PCOS. Its most common symptoms are:
- Irregular menstruation
- Lack of menstruation
- Body inflammation
- Cyst formation in ovaries etc.
Symptoms of PCOS are severe but can be managed with PCOS diet plans, lifestyle changes, and medications as well.
How does a PCOS diet plan work?
A healthy diet is crucial for PCOS because PCOS diets encounter Insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is characterized by high blood glucose levels. It occurs because the liver is producing insulin, but cells do not respond to insulin, and hence uptake of glucose by cells reduces and leads to high blood glucose levels in the blood.
According to studies, 75% of PCOS women suffer from insulin resistance and a more common condition in obese women. Therefore, it is necessary to manage weight gain and insulin resistance. A Healthy and PCOS-friendly diet is the best way to tackle obesity and insulin resistance.
There is no specific diet plan for PCOS, but there are certain foods recommended for sugar control and weight gain because these are the root causes of worsening PCOS.
Diet Plan for PCOS
Healthy eating and a better diet plan is the best way to alleviate to symptoms of PCOS. There are two diet plans for PCOS that are recommended for women by experts.
Low Glycemic Index Diet
A low glycemic index (GI) diet reduces the demand for insulin in the body because food with lower GI values has carbohydrates that digest and dissolves slowly in the blood and don’t spike the blood glucose levels. In this way, low GI food keeps you full for a long time and prevents cravings.
Low GI food includes:
- Fruits (bananas and watermelon)
- Vegetables (except potatoes)
- Brown Rice
The anti-inflammatory diet is beneficial for treating PCOS-related inflammation. Recommended anti-inflammatory food includes:
- Olive oil
- Omega 3-rich foods such fish etc
PCOS is a chronic disease that’s why, women must follow Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, often recommended by doctors.
Foods to avoid if you have PCOS
Food with a high glycemic index shoots blood glucose levels instantly and exacerbates PCOS-related symptoms. Here is a list of food that must be avoided if you have PCOS:
- Refined carbohydrates such as pastries and white bread
- White rice
- Corn flakes
- Baked potatoes
- Sugary drinks and beverages
- Fried and fast food
- Excess red meat and processed meat
PCOS diet helps to alleviate the symptoms of PCOS, but with lifestyle changes, you can increase the efficacy of your PCOS diet plan. Healthy lifestyle changes include regular exercise, walking, waking up early in the morning, going to bed earlier, and other physical activities to boost your mental and physical health.
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