PCOS and your Diet

The Issue

One issue many women face when it comes to their health and nutrition is PCOS. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is a hormonal disorder many women of child bearing age may suffer from. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods.

As it relates to nutrition since it’s a hormonal condition most women have higher than normal insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that is produced in your pancreas. It helps turns sugar (glucose) into energy. It is estimated that around 50 percent of women with PCOS are either obese or overweight. Other symptoms include acne, hirsutism (hariness), and hair loss.

symptoms of pcos

If PCOS symptoms are not controlled women can be at higher risk for conditions such as:

  • Heart Disease

  • Diabetes and

  • High Blood Pressure

Now back to diet. Let’s discuss insulin resistance. If you don’t have enough insulin or if your body produces insulin but can use it properly (insulin resistance) then your blood sugar levels rise. With high blood sugar levels your body then responds by producing more insulin. If insulin levels get too high our ovaries tend to produce more testosterone. Insulin resistance can also be caused by obesity and high levels make it harder for women to lose weight. A diet high in simple carbohydrates such as sugary foods can be a cause of insulin resistance thereby making it harder to lose weight and difficult to control.

what foods are good to eat?

There are foods that can be added to your diet that can help combat insulin resistance reducing the impact of sugar on the blood ultimately helping with weight loss. These foods include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel Sprouts

  • Greens including red leaf and arugula

  • green and red peppers

  • beans and lentils

  • almonds

  • berries

  • sweet potatoes

  • squash

  • pumpkin

These foods along with other healthy options such as lean meats and proteins and complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and pastas help slow down digestion with more nutrients and aid in weight loss efforts. Foods to avoid include sugary beverages, fried foods and refined carbohydrates. These foods can cause inflammation and worsen insulin resistance in the body.

Other ways to reduce symptoms include a consistent exercise routine, and stress management. If you’re dealing with PCOS symptoms it can be frustrating and overwhelming to say the least. But with consistent action and hard work reducing symptoms and experiencing weight loss is possible.

book a Discovery Session today and lets get to work!