Diet For PCOS. What to Avoid and Where to Start?

diet for PCOS

diet for PCOS. What to avoid and where to start?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disease that affects 5-10% of women of childbearing age. It is characterized by the presence of numerous cysts on the ovaries, chronic ovulation disorders, and even its absence, hyperandrogenism and frequent obesity. Almost 50% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. Diet and exercise can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases associated with PCOS such as diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer.

diet for PCOS

Do you have PCOS? Read a collection of articles that appeared on the blog and will help you tame PCOS

    Obese people should consider changing their eating habits because losing weight in PCOS is the key to success

    If the mass of PCOS and insulin resistance see how to sensitize tissues to insulin

    See general PCOS recommendations

    With PCOS, it’s worth introducing Inositol

    See what the glycemic index is and how to calculate the glycemic index

Do these recommendations work?

Women with PCOS are exposed to:

  •     Obesity
  •     Diabetes,
  •     Cardiovascular diseases
  •     Depression,
  •     Some cancers

    The metabolic disorders profile of women with PCOS is very similar to those found in the metabolic syndrome.

Infertility is very common in obese people, which affects hormonal imbalance. This is due to a decrease in FSH and LH secretion and reduced secretion of progesterone by the corpus luteum. Studies show that the average serum concentration of LH (the hormone responsible for the final maturation of an egg) is significantly lower in obese women who do not show the features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The main and most common cause of infertility in obese women is insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, which are responsible for hyperandrogenemia, by reducing the synthesis of sex steroid-binding protein (SHBG) and stimulating the ovaries to produce androgens.

Adipose tissue is not only a “reservoir” of energy but also an active endocrine organ that affects the secretion and action of various hormones.

A few important terms that you should know if you have PCOS


It is a hormone that allows sugar (glucose) to be transferred from the blood to cells. Blood glucose is the main source of energy. When cells do not respond to insulin (insulin resistance), blood glucose increases. The pancreas then continues to release more insulin (hyperinsulinemia), which in turn stimulates the ovaries to produce androgens and testosterone, which reduces insulin sensitivity. Increased androgen levels lead to menstrual disorders, development of ovarian cysts, excessive hair growth and other related disorders. High insulin levels can increase the appetite that leads to weight gain. It’s so for peasant reason.

Insulin resistance

It occurs in about 50% -70% of women with PCOS. Insulin resistance means a reduced sensitivity of the body to the action of insulin – the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is very dangerous because it can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes or other diseases.

Insulin resistance in slim women

Insulin resistance occurs in 30% of slim women with PCOS and 70% of obese. In slim women with PCOS, hyperinsulinemia is often seen after meals, but not on an empty stomach (which is why slim women should undergo a glucose load test).

Metabolic syndrome (MS)

Determines the coexistence of related metabolic risk factors conducive to the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The metabolic syndrome includes insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, abdominal obesity, and impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, microalbuminuria, hyperglycemia HDL cholesterol, and hypertension, pro-inflammatory and thrombotic conditions.

Type 2 diabetes

Two basic disorders coexist in her pathogenesis – insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion. Impaired peripheral insulin action is associated etiopathogenetically with the phenomenon of obesity. Adipose tissue releases free fatty acids, hormones and cytokines such as leptin, adiponectin, resistin, TNF-α and others. All these molecules modify the action of insulin.

Where to start healthy eating?

Answer: From opening up to your eating mistakes!

I will start with the most common and familiar to many people basis. Why? Because despite the universality of this statement – women still do not know what principles to follow when changing their lifestyle and that their lifestyle is bad. I am sure that many of you think that the way they eat is correct, because “after all, I eat lettuce for dinner,” the first step to eating healthy is to remove the flaps that cover the mistakes.

Read more about the diet for PCOS …

The principles of nutrition of PCOS

There is currently no scientific evidence to support one specific diet for PCOS. Evidence-based recommendations suggest that women with PCOS should focus on case-specific balance. Something that helped a colleague will not always help the other person, e.g. with insulin resistance, because a person cannot be put in the tables.

General recommended lifestyle changes include:

  •     5-10% weight loss if overweight or obese
  •     Reducing caloric demand if weight loss is desired
  •     Reduction of carbohydrate intake
  •     Increasing fibre intake (25-30 g / day) including fruit, vegetables and grains
  •     Reduction of saturated fat intake
  •     Meals (every 3-4 hours) to help control blood glucose levels
  •     Balancing meals, including carbohydrates, protein and fat
  •     At least 150 minutes of moderate or intense activity per week

What is worth introducing to the diet?

  •     Vegetables (beware of those with a high index);
  •     Fruits (blueberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries);
  •     Vegetables! Spinach, arugula, lamb’s lettuce;
  •     Whole grain (wholemeal flour);
  •     Groats, e.g. buckwheat, unroasted, pearl barley, quinoa;
  •     Sourdough rye bread without enhancers;
  •     Fats – olive oil for cold lettuce, avocados;
  •     Lean animal protein;
  •     Fishes;
  •     Shellfish;
  •     Eggs;
  •     Avocado;
  •     Olives;
  •     Nuts and seeds;
  •     Dairy (elimination only in certain cases if you have allergies or you feel unwell after it);
  •     Anti-inflammatory spices (e.g. turmeric, ginger, oregano, black cumin).

Avoid this with PCOS, but…

Remember that the PCOS diet is the selection of appropriate portions, and maybe, if you used the services of a nutrition specialist, you noticed that your diet may contain products with a high glycemic index because all of this is about the proper composition of meals.


  •     Purified wheat flour and its preparations;
  •     Sweets;
  •     Processed food;
  •     Preservatives;
  •     Tran’s fats;
  •     Honey and other natural and artificial sweeteners;
  •     Binge eating;
  •     Starvation and restrictive diets 1000kcal;
  •     Products with a high index and glycemic load;
  •     Cakes, pies and sweets;
  •     Sweetened juices, canned fruit.

White sugar and refined food

Products to be categorically avoided are: biscuits, cakes, cakes, rice (brown is OK), white bread, rolls, white noodles, breakfast cereals, drinks, sweets, ice cream. Note the “hidden” sugars in flavoured yogurt, fruit and vegetables with a high glycemic index (ripe banana, boiled carrot). You have to watch carefully processed foods in which sugars are also hidden, e.g. in ketchup, fruit juices, and ready meals.

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