What’s The Best Diet For PCOS? Find out in this article.

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Nutrition Blog

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common place health condition which is experienced by one out of 10 women of childbearing age. In addition, PCOS can lead to other serious health challenges, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, depression and increased risk of endometrial cancer. Some research has shown that diet can assist to reduce the impact of PCOS.

How Does My Diet Affect PCOS?

Women who suffer from PCOS are often seen to have higher than normal insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone which is produced in your pancreas. It assists the cells in your body turn sugar (glucose) into energy. If you don’t create enough insulin, your blood sugar levels may rise. In addition, this can happen if you’re insulin resistant, meaning you aren’t able to use the insulin – which you do produce – effectively.

If you’re insulin resistant, your body might try to pump out high levels of insulin in an effort in order to keep your blood sugar levels normal. Too-high levels of insulin could cause your ovaries to produce more androgens, such as testosterone. Insulin resistance might also be caused by having a body mass index which is above the normal range. Insulin resistance can make it more difficult to lose weight, which is why women with PCOS often experience this issue.

A diet which is high in refined carbohydrates, such as starchy as well as sugary foods, can make insulin resistance, and therefore weight loss, increasingly difficult to control.

What Foods Can I Eat?

There is general agreement about which foods are beneficial for PCOS and seem to help people manage their condition, and which are the foods that you need to avoid.

Three diets – which may help people with PCOS manage their symptoms – are:

  • A Low Glycaemic Index (GI) Diet

The body digests foods – which have a low GI – far more slowly. This means that they do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as opposed to other foods, for example some carbohydrates. Foods in a low GI diet consist of whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables as well as other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods.

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  • An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Anti-inflammatory foods – such as berries, fatty fish, leafy greens as well as extra virgin olive oil – may reduce inflammation-related symptoms, for example fatigue.

  • The DASH Diet

Doctors frequently recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet in order to lower the risk or impact of heart disease. In addition, this diet may help manage PCOS symptoms. A DASH diet is abundant in fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables whole grain as well as low-fat dairy produce. The diet discourages foods which are high in saturated fat as well as sugar.

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