Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
To overcome PCOS, lifestyle changes are a must with or without drug therapy. A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Exercise and eating right always top the list. “A suitable diet and exercise plan are the cornerstones of the therapy”.
Weight loss is essential for obese women with PCOS. It has been shown that even a 10% weight the reduction resulted in increased chances of fertility in about 75% of obese infertile women with PCOS.
A healthy diet consisting of –
* controlled carbohydrates
* good fats
* lean protein
* ample of fruits and veggies is helpful.
- Carbohydrates with “low glycemic index” are recommended. Low GI foods are digested more slowly and induce less insulin secretion. These foods include wheat bran, barley, oats, quinoa, brown rice, grainy bread, whole seeds, lentils, kidney beans. They help people lose weight, improve insulin sensitivity and improve PCOS.
- A high fibre diet consisting of low glycemic whole grains, pulses, vegetables and whole fruits is beneficial.
- Excessively sweet fruits and fruit juices must be avoided, as also starchy vegetables such as potatoes.
- Restrict portions of polished rice, pasta, noodles, bread.
- Skip the sugar. Avoid simple carbohydrates like sweetened beverages, candies, desserts, sodas, diet drinks, cookies, cakes etc.
- Small frequent meals with evenly distributed carbohydrate load can help to overcome cravings and result in long-term weight loss.
- Lean proteins from pulses, tofu, paneer, yoghurt, egg, chicken, fish and lean cuts of meat are desirable.
- Low-fat dairy foods to be consumed in limited amounts as advised by a Registered Dietitian.
- Good fats including omega – 3 fats (fish, flax seeds, walnuts) and monounsaturated fats (mustard oil, olive oil, canola oil, groundnuts, almonds) are useful.
- Avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats found in margarine, shortenings, fast foods, bakery products using them and commercially available fried foods. They are sources of harmful Trans fats which can worsen insulin resistance.
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds are beneficial.
- Stay away from excess salt. Women suffering from PCOS have a lot of water retention, so excessive salt adds to the problem. Stay clear of salty snacks like chips, biscuits, salted nuts, dried nuts, pickles, papads etc.
- Up your intake of fruits and veggies. Have salads in your meals as an important part.
- Useful herbs include Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), cinnamon (dalchini).
- Regular aerobic exercise, 45-60 mins is the must. Exercise helps improve insulin resistance in the long run.
- Alcohol must be restricted as excessive alcohol can worsen insulin resistance. Women who consume alcohol must restrict it to 1 small drink and avoid sweetened cocktails.
- Cigarette smoking should be strictly discouraged in all women with polycystic ovary syndrome as it will increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Always read product labels before buying groceries.
the crux of eating healthy in PCOS is consumed low-calorie foods, Whole Foods, preservatives free and a rainbow on your plate.
Keep calm and Fight PCOS!!