PCOS: Healthy diet tips

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine (hormonal) disorder. It affects about 10% of women. The underlying cause is unknown, but is thought to be related to insulin resistance.

PCOS affects the body’s hormonal balance which can cause symptoms such as

  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Infertility
  • Acne
  • Abnormal hair growth
  • Obesity

It increases a women’s risk of developing long-term health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Many of the women that I have talked with who have been recently diagnosed with PCOS have said they left their doctor’s office feeling confused about what they can do that doesn’t revolve around medications. The doctor just gave them a prescription for birth control pills or metformin and said “Go lose weight and come back when you want to have children”.

While it is important to follow the treatment guidelines of your doctor, there are a few lifestyle modifications you can make that can lower your dependence of medications or allow you to get rid of them altogether.


Tips for PCOS

1. Eat more whole, plant-based foods. These include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and 100% whole grains.

plant based whole foods

  • Decrease the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, and salt in your diet.
  • Increase the variety of vegetables you eat on a daily basis.
  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Snacks are encouraged! Choose lots of fruits, vegetables, and nuts for your snacks!

2. Get up and moving:

You have heard it before. Exercise is good for you. It is more about finding ways to get moving more throughout the day. Exercise improves insulin efficiency, helps with weight loss, and helps prevent complications such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. In addition it can help increase your basic metabolic rate (think of this as the increasing the amount of calories your body burns when are aren’t even working out). And if those benefits are not enough to convince you the importance of working out when you have PCOS, maybe improving your skin, lowering stress, improving your mood, and improving your quality of sleep are motivation enough to get out there and get moving!
  • Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week (running, walking, swimming, tennis, etc.)
  • Can’t leave out strength training! Work with some kind of weights 2-3 days per week.
  • Work all major muscles in your arms, core, legs, butt, etc.
  • Don’t be worried about building bulk; working with some weights will help get you that toned look!

3. Cut out your toxins:

Your body comes into contact with thousands of toxins every day from foods, cosmetics, cleaners, plastics, smoking, etc. It is pretty much impossible to avoid them all, but it is important to avoid them as much as possible. Many toxins are endocrine disruptors which means they interfere with your hormonal balance. This increases those annoying PCOS symptoms, and your risk for developing heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.
  • Eat organic as much as possible. If you can’t afford everything organic (who can any more?), stick with going organic for produce such as apples, berries, and lettuce that does not have a skin that you can peel off.
  • Take inventory of your household cleaners. You will find most household cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are endocrine disrupters. Switch to using hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar for general disinfecting.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Take inventory of your cosmetics which contain ingredients that have not been properly tested and can be endocrine disrupters.

For personalized advice and diet plans regarding any medical condition click here.

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Dietitian Lavleen

Dietitian Lavleen

***Winner of Best Dietitian in Chandigarh in 2015 organised by Global lifestyle awards. Most promising Youngest dietitian in 2016 organised by International health care awards. Best innovative class in 2017 organised by Global achievers forum. Weight loss specialist - Chandigarh, diet consultations, online diet plans - 7 years experience in Nutrition and Dietetics - Worked at PGIMER and Inscol hospitals.*** My passion is helping others achieve their health goals through optimal nutrition and diet. "Don't diet, rather eat correct food!" It has always been my dream to create and promote good health and fitness through good food. My aim is to guide, educate and motivate my patients about how healthy eating can contribute in bringing health, wealth and happiness together in their lifestyle.

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19 Responses

  1. Jeetu says:

    U r grt mam

  2. Monika Goria says:

    YOU are awsmm Ma’am..Thanx for all tips for healthy life style…

  3. Manjot kaur says:

    Thanks a lot mam
    You r wonderful person

  4. Thank you mam but want to one thing I am suffering from pcod and also getting dark patches on my face also… Is this because of pcod..,??? Please suggest me.

  5. Sid Mirza says:

    Hi..can u plz suggest some dish which is taken in pcod..or healthy breakfast recipe s..

  6. Kiran says:

    Hi Lavleen, please suggest ways I can cut back on taking PPI tablets for reflux and bloating. Thanks. I have an under active thyroid as well.

    • Hello

      Please refer this videos – For thyroid- https://www.facebook.com/DietitianLavleen/videos/2008358476099561/
      For acidity- https://www.facebook.com/DietitianLavleen/videos/1960400467562029/
      Tips to combat #Acidity –
      1. Chew your food- Chew slowly, small particles in your intestines helps in easy digestion.
      2. Don’t over eat- Fill your stomach less than you required. Listen your stomach and build mind stomach connection.
      3. Stress and anxiety can trigger Acidity- Breath deep and live mindfully.
      4. Concoctions like jeera water , lemon , veg juice works wonders if it suits you.
      5. .Don’t keep long gaps between meals when you are truly hungry. When truly physically hungry eat , do not eat under emotions.
      6 .Limit spicy food. Ensure your have more raw than cooked in your diet to ensure it to be alkaline
      Lemon water , fruit infused waters, cucumbers , carrots , celery etc are highly alkaline
      7. Remember most medications cause acidity
      Overuse of antacids and painkillers will also cause acidity over time.
      8.Make sure your water intake and sleep is in place.
      9. Move more to allow for blood circulation , avoid sitting for long hours.
      10. Alcohol and the food will cause acidity, stay hydrated before during and after drinks.

  7. Rashida says:

    Hello Lavleen
    I have pcod I have maintain my lifestyle I have started reducing my weight also my only question is how u get rid of hair on chin.

  8. Chandan says:

    Helping tips .. it works …thnx for sharing these tips….
    But couldn’t help me to reduce weight… day by day gain my weight…
    What to do..
    Suffering frm PCOD and thyroid hving 125mg pills ….
    PCOD wil back ….
    What to do…..

  9. dt.dev sharma says:

    awsm mam ur so great dietician in india

    • Naman Thareja says:

      Thanks for appraising. Kindly share our posts if you like them.

      Support Team
      Dietitian Lavleen’s Diet Insight Clinic

  10. Shazia says:

    Ma’am m I supposed to leave milk, curd, buttermilk, unsweetened Lassi (with double toned milk) and banana in pcos? Is it possible to get regular periods without pills? Please reply

    • Naman Thareja says:

      Milk and milk products (if organic) can be used, but in moderation. You can have fresh seasonal fruits.
      Yes, it is possible to get regular periods with diet lifestyle modifications.

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