Diet in PCOS/PCOD
Diet tends to influence health to a great extent. Females affected with PCOD have shown positive results from some dietary and lifestyle changes. Women affected with PCOD are likely to have higher levels of insulin than the ones without PCOD. They have Insulin resistance, which means that the insulin produced by the pancreas is not utilized for digestion of the sugar in the body which leads to excess of blood sugar. The stored sugar transforms into fat eventually leading to obesity.
In addition, due to insulin resistance many affected females find it difficult to lose weight easily. Excess of insulin in the body leads to production of hormones, called testosterone, release of this hormone from the ovaries results in male like pattern of hair growth on the body. Improving your diet and exercise program by making lifestyle changes may reduce your risk for developing chronic diseases associated with PCOS such as diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer.
What to eat and what to not
- Certain food items can help in improving overall health of a PCOD affected female, for example, food rich in fibers like broccoli, green leafy vegetables and other fiber rich food items. This also helps in maintaining the glucose levels in the body. PCOD Patients cutting down on carbohydrates have shown to have more regular menstrual cycles than those who follow other forms of weight loss diet.
- Small and frequent meals rich in fibre and protein helps in regulating the insulin level throughout the day.
- Add more of healthier fats to your diet like omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil, avocados, olive oil etc. are known to provide healthy fats.
- Reduce salt intake to 2-3 gms. Limit foods such as cured and smoked meats, salted nuts, canned and processed vegetables, packaged & processed foods.
- Good amount of lean protein diet helps in improving metabolism. However, one must avoid red meats and processed meats like sausages, hotdogs, luncheons etc.
- Foods having anti-inflammatory properties also for females, like turmeric and tomatoes.
- It is a myth that women affected with PCOD must not take dairy products, the only dairy product one must avoid with PCOD is full cream milk.
- Flaxseeds, cinnamon, methi dana can help in maintaining hormonal balance.
- Similarly, certain food items tend to increase damage and hence needs to be avoided avoid food rich in processed sugar and carbohydrates limit intake of drinks packaged food items. Avoid flour and other refined grains, aerated beverages, caffeinated drinks, sugary food items like cakes and cookies.