Will a PCOS Diet Really Help?
Can a change in diet help women with polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms? Absolutely! When a woman is diagnosed with PCOS, switching to a PCOS diet is an immediate, proactive step she can take to begin mitigating symptoms to benefit her overall health.
Women with PCOS are likely to be glucose-sensitive and insulin-resistant, leading to higher insulin levels. This, in turn, can result in health problems, such as diabetes. A healthy diet can help control blood glucose and prevent spikes in blood sugar.
Positive changes in diet not only work toward a healthy weight, but also help manage insulin resistance.
PCOS diet studies show that improved diets have many benefits.
● Weight loss
● Lower blood sugar
● Improved hormone balance
● Lower cholesterol
● Decrease in hair loss and acne
● More regular menstrual cycles
A PCOS diet also helps reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease.
What should you eat and drink?
Your San Antonio OBGYN may recommend the Mediterranean diet as a good starting point. It has a great variety of foods and isn’t strict, but offers a useful framework for foods that help manage polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms.
Women with PCOS should include a variety of healthy foods in their diet.
● Fruits lower in sugar (berries, apples, oranges)
● Vegetables (dark, leafy greens; broccoli; cauliflower)
● Lean proteins (fish, chicken, eggs)
● High-fiber, whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, oats)
● Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts)
● Legumes (lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans)
Anti-inflammatory foods are also beneficial to PCOS patients. Many of the foods listed above are anti-inflammatory. A few useful additions are green tea, turmeric and cinnamon.
Drinking two liters of water daily and limiting sodium are recommended for women with polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms.
When should you eat?
Smaller, more frequent meals, along with healthy snacks, help maintain more consistent blood sugar levels during the day.
Stop eating three hours before bedtime to allow your body to fully digest your food and ensure better sleep.
What to avoid on a PCOS diet?
A high-sugar diet increases insulin resistance and can worsen polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms. Inflammatory foods also have negative health effects.
There are several types of food and drinks to eliminate or limit while on a PCOS diet.
● Refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice)
● Fried foods
● Saturated fats (butter, processed foods)
● Red meat
● Processed meats (hot dogs)
● Sugary drinks (soft drinks, juice)
These dietary changes are a great starting point for women with PCOS to reduce symptoms and improve their overall health.
Your San Antonio OBGYN can provide more personalized recommendations for PCOS patients to manage symptoms with dietary changes. Contact Legacy Women’s Health for an appointment with an experienced San Antonio OBGYN.