Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the number one cause of infertility and the most common hormone disorder affecting women. There is no cure or cause for PCOS but it can be managed. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk for obesity, miscarriage, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Many women with PCOS experience insulin resistance and increased levels of ‘male hormones’ in their blood.
This hormonal imbalance expresses itself with symptoms of acne, excess body and facial hair, irregular or non-existing periods and difficulty losing weight. Insulin dictates how much fat the body will store. If your insulin levels are high, losing weight is a constant fight.
Research has shown that making changes to your diet and lifestyle is extremely effective in managing PCOS. Change your lifestyle and improve your overall health!
Here are some tips on Eating for PCOS to help you get started:
- Eat Foods with a Low Glycemic Index: Low GI foods can improve and help balance insulin levels; women with PCOS are often resistant to the effects of insulin, therefore have more insulin in their blood.
Glycemic Index indicates the rates at which certain carbohydrates are formed into glucose and released into the bloodstream. When you consume sugary food (simple carbohydrates) your blood sugar levels increase. Sugar spikes your insulin. The body releases insulin to normalize your high blood sugar levels. The more sugary the carbohydrate is (white bread, pasta, sugar, white potatoes, cookies, candy) the more your body will produce insulin.
- Balance Protein and Carbs. Choose whole grains, avoid processed carbohydrates (especially white breads/pastas). Equal parts protein and healthy carbs will help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Choose organic or grass-fed animal products. Commercial meats contain large amounts of added hormones that make the animals grow bigger, faster, and produce more milk. With PCOS there is usually a progesterone deficiency and adding more estrogens can make the hormonal imbalance even worse.
- Eat whole, real foods, mostly from plant-based sources. Our bodies are designed to flourish on vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and animal protein such as fish, chicken and eggs.
- Eat early & try to eat protein and fat with every meal. Starting off the day with protein — nuts or nut butters, eggs, a protein shake, or even leftovers from the night before — jump-starts your metabolism and helps prevent overeating throughout the day.
- Eat frequently. Fueling your body regularly throughout the day speeds up your metabolism. Make it a priority to have three meals and a couple of snacks every day.
- Avoid dairy, refined sugar and flour products. They slow down your metabolism and contribute to inflammation in your body. Instead, eat grains that are high in fiber and protein such as quinoa, farro, wheat berries, etc.
- Remove toxic foods from your diet. Toxic foods, such as trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and all processed foods with ingredients you don’t easily recognize, interfere with your metabolism and create blood-sugar imbalances. This includes Agave Nectar.
Many women experience improvement in the signs and symptoms of PCOS if they can maintain a healthy weight. In order to have a higher quality of life, regular exercise and making conscious decisions about food will lower the risk of infertility, miscarriages, diabetes, heart disease, and uterine cancer.
For more information about what to eat, check out this episode of Tea with The Fertility Godmother & subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of The Fertility Godmother’s fertility tips!
We love to help women with PCOS live more comfortable, balanced, and healthy lives.
Please contact us for a complimentary consultation to see how we can help: +1 (805) 360-5147