There are lots of things every woman should know about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This disorder is characterized by an imbalance in sex hormones, provoking elevated male hormones. Nearly one in 10 per-menopausal women in the U.S. suffer from PCOS.
PCOS is considered one of the most common hormonal disorders in the developed world. It stems from an overproduction of male hormones, also known as androgens, that a woman’s ovaries naturally produce.
Too high levels of androgen are responsible for most symptoms of PCOS. Unfortunately, just because it’s a common medical condition doesn’t mean it’s easy to manage its symptoms, so it’s essential to make sure you’re following a PCOS diet.
Women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome have higher-than-normal levels of androgens, which can disrupt all systems in your body resulting in many health issues. PCOS has been associated linked to serious health problems like heart conditions, infertility, a high risk of diabetes, severe acne, hair thinning, and obesity.
Additionally, women with PCOS are more prone to weight gain since they have higher-than-normal levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that’s produced by your pancreas and helps the cells in your body convert sugar into energy.
Having PCOS and being overweight can provoke insulin resistance, which makes it too difficult to lose weight. All these factors can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes (and other serious metabolic issues). Sadly, nearly 40 to 80 percent of women with PCOS have excess weight or obese. The good news is that you can avoid obesity and even lose some pounds even if you have PCOS. these tips will help you:
1. Say goodbye to certain foods
Refined carbs provoke overall inflammation and worsen insulin resistance, which can lead to a host of problems for women with PCOS. Avoid highly processed foods and products that are full of sugar. When reading food labels, look for sugar’s various names like sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, and dextrose, and stay ways from “healthy” foods with hidden sugars.
You may also want to avoid white bread, muffins, breakfast pastries, white potatoes, and anything made with white flour. Say goodbye to pasta that lists semolina, durum flour, or durum wheat flour. Try also avoiding pro-inflammatory foods such as margarine, processed meats, and fried foods.
2. Get enough vitamin D
Many women with PCOS lack this essential vitamin. Studies have found that correcting vitamin D deficiencies can help improve insulin resistance. Products that can help you get more vitamin D include eggs (with the yolk), sardines, and salmon.
3. Consume more fiber-rich foods
To fight PCOS symptoms and lower insulin levels, try a high-fiber diet. Foods that are rich in fiber can help fight insulin resistance by slowing down digestion and reducing the impact of sugar in the blood, which can be good for women with PCOS.
The best sources of dietary fiber include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts, greens including red leaf lettuce and arugula, green and red peppers, beans, and lentils, almonds, berries, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and pumpkin.
4. Implement some lifestyle changes
Like many disorders, PCOS responds positively to healthy lifestyle choices like regular physical activity. Everyday exercise can reduce insulin resistance, especially when coupled with a healthy diet. Most doctors agree that at least 150 minutes per week of exercise is good.
5. Get enough iodine
Lack of iodine negatively impacts thyroid function that can result in infertility, especially for women with PCOS. You should take 150 mcg of iodine daily. If you aren’t getting this dose daily, iodine supplementation could help you with weight loss. But before taking any supplement, consult your healthcare provider.
6. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
Inflammation might help promote weight gain in women with PCOS and consuming foods that help lower overall inflammation can lessen PCOS symptoms and help you lose extra pounds. Eat more tomatoes, kale, spinach, almonds and walnuts, olive oil, fruits, fatty fish, and whole grains.
7. Consume more lean protein
Protein helps keep you fuller longer, making you less likely to overeat. Lean protein that’s found in tofu, chicken, and fish doesn’t provide fiber but it’s quite filling.
Eggs are also a good option for women with PCOS. They are a great source of protein and nutrients that can fight PCOS symptoms. The egg yolk contains omega-3 fatty acids, iron, folate, vitamins A, D, and E, thiamin, and choline.