Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical disorder affecting women during their childbearing years. While treatment depends on several factors, the one thing you can do right now is to look at your diet. To the rescue: our list of the 10 foods to avoid with PCOS.
Before we get to the list, let’s take a look at the causes and symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. While the cause of this disorder is unknown, it is a hormonal issue due to excessive insulin or androgen production. Family history also plays a part. You are at a greater risk of developing polycystic ovary syndrome if your great-grandmother, aunt, mother, or sister has been diagnosed with PCOS.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, symptoms of PCOS include the following:
Several things decide the treatment plan for polycystic ovary syndrome. The good news is eliminating foods to avoid with PCOS can significantly reduce unwanted symptoms. But before you make any drastic changes be sure to talk to your doctor. Eliminating or adding foods can greatly impact your health and well-being. Here is a list of the worst foods for PCOS:
Fast food, sugar-laden desserts, doughnuts, soda...we've heard this 1,000 times, highly processed foods are not good for anyone, and they are at the top of the list of foods to avoid with PCOS. Many times, manufacturers add sugar when they reduce fat from food products. So, yes, you are getting a low-fat item, but to make up for the taste, they add sugar, which is not good, my friend! Refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats in processed foods increase your risk of insulin resistance and aid in unhealthy weight gain
We already mentioned this sweet temptress in processed foods, but it really needs its own category. Sugar is bad and one of the worst foods for PCOS! Stay away from the candy aisle in the supermarket. Find recipes that sweeten foods naturally with fruit, for example. Excess sugar can worsen PCOS symptoms and increase your risk of insulin resistance.
Food items such as white rice, white bread, and pasta, are made with refined grains and can cause rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Choose food made with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, and oats.
The easiest way to remember this is to think of white foods. White potatoes, sugar, white rice, and sweet breakfast cereals are all foods with a high glycemic index (GI) can spike blood sugar levels and are among the worst foods for PCOS. Replace these with low-GI foods like fruit, veggies, and whole grains.
You may be wondering, “Is dairy bad for PCOS?” Being sensitive to dairy products is common among Polycystic Ovary Syndrome sufferers. Try lactose-free dairy products, almond milk, or coconut milk as an alternative to milk.
Too much red meat is not good for anyone, especially those with PCOS. Because red meat increases inflammation and can also cause insulin resistance, it is one of the foods to avoid with PCOS. Lean protein sources are the way to go! Replace steak and hamburgers with chicken and fish.
Processed and fried foods have trans fats and hydrogenated oils and are a big no-no concerning PCOS. Read your food labels! That's what they're there for. Know exactly what you're putting into your body.
Many people love their morning cup of coffee or tea. It's a quick pick-me-up and has health benefits. But too much caffeine can cause hormonal imbalance and worsen PCOS symptoms. Energy drinks also contain caffeine, so avoid or limit your intake of these caffeinated beverages.
Cheers! You guessed it! Too much alcohol is not good for PCOS sufferers. Not only does alcohol affect your liver and insulin levels, but it can also negatively affect your hormone balance. You can greatly reduce symptoms of PCOS by avoiding or limiting your alcohol consumption.
All the rage when we first heard about it, soy is not considered to be bad. However, eating too much of it can throw your hormone levels off. Everybody is different, so if you use soy in your diet, be mindful of any effects it may have on your body.
As you read this list, are you noticing something? The foods to avoid with PCOS are not a good idea for anyone. There really is a lot to the old saying, “You are what you eat!” Common sense and good food choices will help develop your own PCOS diet.
Everyone is different. Talk to your doctor for more advice. Even better, consult a dietician to help you develop a PCOS 30-day meal plan that you can follow. It's also a great idea to keep a food diary and jot down any foods that may make your body react.
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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...
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