If you have symptoms of PCOS (also referred to as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Polycystic Ovarian Disease, or Polycystic Ovary Disease), you can relieve some of your symptoms, and possibly reverse the effects of your disease, with a healthy PCOS diet. PCOS is a metabolic disorder that affects five to seven percent of women with multiple symptoms including infertility, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, excessive facial or body hair, irregular menstrual cycles, sleep apnea, or skin problems.
Untreated PCOS can also cause a greater risk of endometrial cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. If you experience any symptoms that are common for PCOS, it is recommended that you ask your health care provider about a PCOS treatment plan or diet or you.
PCOS Diet, Low GI Diet, Diabetic Diet
A PCOS diet is similar to a low gi diet, or a diabetic diet, because it includes food with low glycemic indexes. Foods that should be avoided have high glycemic indexes, which raise blood sugar levels, causing your body to secrete excess insulin. This results in the storage of excess fat.
You can avoid certain foods to help relieve some of your symptoms and potentially reverse the effects of PCOS. Because insulin resistance has been linked as an underlying cause of PCOS, it is recommended that PCOS patients avoid foods that increase the body’s insulin resistance.
A nutritious diet that is low in carbohydrates will help most overweight PCOS patients lose weight and reverse PCOS symptoms. It has been medically proven that decreasing a PCOS patient’s body weight by 5 percent can decrease insulin levels, regulate menstrual cycles, and improve skin. However, because the high insulin levels caused by PCOS make it more difficult for PCOS patients to lose weight, the common low-fat, high carbohydrate weight loss diets do not usually help PCOS patients shed pounds.
Avoid Foods with High Glycemic Indexes
For PCOS patients to lose weight, they should avoid foods with high glycemic indexes, such as sweets and soft drinks containing large amounts of refined sugar, and white or processed rice, bread, and pastas. These foods should be replaced in moderation with carbohydrates that have lower glycemic indexes such as whole grain breads, pastas, and rice. Artificial sweeteners in drinks should also be avoided. Drinks such as herbal teas, with a small amount of honey, are healthier for PCOS patients to drink.
Balancing Carbohydrates with PCOS
Decreasing your intake of carbohydrates to 40 percent or less is also recommended for PCOS patients. Combining carbohydrates with proteins or healthy fats, and eating small portions of carbohydrates throughout the day (instead of all in one meal), will also help lower your insulin levels and treat PCOS symptoms.
As you change your diet, make sure that you are also getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs on a daily basis. A balanced diet should provide most of the nutrients your body requires, and supplements are also available if you need them.
Talk with your health care provider about treating your PCOS disease naturally with a healthy PCOS diet plan. With early diagnosis and proper PCOS treatments, you can reverse the effects of PCOS, lose excess weight, and live a healthier life.