When diagnosed with PCOS, nutrition therapy becomes a vital piece of symptom management. You may get overwhelmed trying to understand what your diet needs to look like when researching it online. Let our dietitians help you out.
We stress the importance of balance vs. going to any extremes. We want to help you find something sustainable and long-lasting! Going to extremes like cutting out all carbs or doing a very high protein diet might have negative consequences you never knew about. Balance is key and we will help you find the right balance for your body.”
Because of the excess insulin that many women have with PCOS, it’s important to eat the right types of foods that make you feel better in terms of your mood and that help you manage or lose weight. Weight loss, if you’re overweight, can help alleviate many of the PCOS symptoms by balancing out the hormones. We recommend a complete mind-body approach to managing PCOS and for weight management.
Below is the information important regarding the role of nutrition in PCOS:
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate management is important when diagnosed with PCOS so that you’re able to manage the insulin in your body.
- Certain carbs don’t influence insulin as much as other carbs. Carbs that are great for you include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These sources of carbs are high in fiber and keep you fuller, longer.
- Processed, refined, and sugary carbs cause your insulin to go up (white pastas, sugar-sweetened beverages, white bread, and refined carb-based snacks). Sometimes starchy vegetables can increase insulin levels as well (potatoes, peas, and corn). When eaten in excess, this can affect your weight and mess with your hormone levels.
If you are used to eating a diet of refined carbs and starchy foods, it’ll be important to learn how to make changes to your eating patterns. Let us be the first to say that though carb management is important, this DOES NOT mean that you can’t enjoy some of your favorite carb-based foods. Our dietitians can help you figure out how to incorporate your favorite foods in a way that works for your body.
- Proteins are an important part of the PCOS diet because they don’t aggrevate insulin and blood sugar levels when eaten in reasonable portions.
- Helps build and preserve muscle mass
- Keeps you fuller, longer
- Great sources include: lean meats, eggs, full fat cheese or yogurt, nut butters, fish, beans
Fat: There is increasing evidence mounting that healthy fats are extremely useful in the management of PCOS.
- When you eat low-fat diets, you tend to compensate by eating more sugar and starches.
- Getting rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids is important not only for your health, but your mood as well! 60% of your brain is made of fat! Foods like eggs (with the yolk) and wild caught cold water fish can be excellent sources of omega 3’s.
- Healthy sources of fat such as olive oil, nuts, coconut oil, full-fat dairy, avocados are encouraged!
- Some fats can be detrimental to your health including trans fats and certain vegetable oils which cause inflammation.
- Eating good sources of healthy fats can make you lean, not fat! It can certainly help with weight loss for many of the clients who struggle with this as a result of a PCOS diagnosis.
Supplements: Work with a dietitian to determine the quantity and types of supplements that may be useful for you. Below are some supplements that may help with PCOS
- Omega 3s
- Vitamin D
Nutrition is one piece of the puzzle. Stay tuned for important information regarding physical activity and stress management for PCOS!