A person with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be advised on certain foods that are good for them and some foods that should be avoided to help them lose weight and control their hormone levels. But the reality is, there is no food group that should be avoided or in large quantities. It’s about making the right choice at the right time and in the right amount.
Also read: PCOS: 5 low glycemic foods should be added to your PCOS diet
Here are 7 facts about healthy eating habits with PCOS:
1. You do not have to be gluten-free
Many women try a gluten-free diet thinking that it will help them lose some extra kilos. However, there is no scientific research to prove this. One usually loses weight by eating fewer calories overall.
Some women with PCOS have celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity. For these women, avoiding gluten can reduce their symptoms and therefore help them feel better. But not all women need to go gluten-free with their diet.
2. Dairy products can be taken
Many advise women with PCOS to avoid dairy products. However, milk and milk-based products are rich in calcium and protein. It can increase androgen and insulin levels but in limited amounts never causes pain. Thus, a woman’s milk products should not be avoided altogether. Small servings per week would be good if no one has any allergies.
3. Eat a large breakfast to improve hormone levels
Women with PCOS should have breakfast in the shape of a king, lunch in the shape of a queen, and dinner in the shape of a beggar. Eating a large breakfast can improve insulin sensitivity and lower androgen levels. It keeps you full for a long part of the day.
4. Fruits are allowed
Fruits are rich in important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that provide many benefits for women with PCOS. Choose fruits like apples, blueberries, strawberries etc. which have skin on them. Fruits like pineapple, watermelon, etc. have lower glycemic index than non-skinned fruits.
5. You can indulge your sweet cravings
It is suggested that sweets and sweets should be avoided by women with PCOS but they can be enjoyed with a PCOS diet if eaten in moderation. A cube of 70% dark chocolate can satisfy the craving for sweets and it is rich in antioxidants which will do no harm. So go ahead and indulge your sweet thirst from time to time but in moderation.
6. Focus on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as salmon and sardines, as well as chia seeds. These fatty acids are healthy for the heart and anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 helps regulate the levels of hormones that affect testosterone secretion. Thus, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may prove to be great for women with PCOS.
7. Avoid only foods that bother you
Everyone has some food that they can’t stand or that bothers them. It is important to know the intolerance or sensitivity to foods that cause you gastrointestinal upset after eating, such as bloating, gas or indigestion. You should avoid those foods as they will not help PCOS recovery and will act as a barrier to your PCOS friendly diet.
Author Biography: Dr. Aruna Kalra is a Senior Gynecologist and Obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Kolkata.
Disclaimer: This content with advice only provides generic information. It is by no means a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not accept responsibility for this information.