Following the PCOS diet is the first step in the right direction to address your symptoms and getting pregnant naturally.
Women suffering from PCOS seem to lose weight with difficulty as a result of high insulin levels due to insulin resistance, also called syndrome x, associated with PCOS.
Insulin levels, when high stimulate the storage of fat. This is a metabolic disorder that can be corrected by following a healthy diet.
very cautious of all the different diets for this and that. You need a
specific diet for your body constitution and for your specific metabolic
type.Not all women with PCOS have insuline-resistance and not all of them are overweight.
You can beging expereimenting with your diet on your own and see how you feel. If you are really overweight, my advice is to seek advice from a holistic nutritional
consultant that can help you develop a dietary schedule that is right
Your diet is the most important step in the preventing and treatment of PCOS.
Following the guidelines of the PCOS Diet is very important if you also have been diagnosed with Insulin Resistance PCOS. This type of PCOS is related to insulin resistance (IR). Insulin resistance is a condition where the hormone insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar.
Controlling insulin levels is one of the main goals of the PCOS diet plan. If this increase in blood glucose goes above the normal range, health effects like type 2 diabetes may result.
The ovaries of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are often sensitive to high levels of insulin in the blood stream. As a result of this, the ovaries respond by secreting higher than normal levels of testosterone hormone, which causes PCOS symptoms, including infertility.
Controlling insulin is key in managing PCOS through diet.
It has been recently discovered that the low fat, high carbohydrates weight loss diet is not suited for those who have PCOS. In fact, this type of diet may even worsen your symptoms.
High carbohydrates intake are not recommended, especially if these are refined carbohydrates like white pasta, white rice and corn, because the body transforms them quickly into glucose, which in turn stimulates high levels of insulin to be produced.
This spike in insulin stimulates fat cells to uptake
glucose and store it into fat. A low glycemic index diet is the best
because it is based on the selection of foods that do not cause a rapid
increase of blood glucose.
Here is a short list of low glycemic foods:
1. All legumes
A diet that is high in animal protein is not recommended because it can worsen PCOS symptoms due to the high saturated fats content and animal hormones of meats.
Organic lean meats can be consumed occasionally. Dairy products should also be avoided or minimized for the same reasons. Organic cheeses and milk should be consumed very rarely because they do contain naturally occurring estrogen. Female cows do produce hormones that naturally is present in their milk.
Women suffering from PCOS may have too much estrogen and thus do not need to introduce more of it through their diet. Make sure you use a small amount of unsaturated fatty acids instead. These are fats coming from the vegetal world like flax seed oil, oil of olive, hemp oil, cocunut oil, etc.
Your diet should be high in fiber with an adequate intake of protein that should come mostly from vegetable source like legumes. Fibers in your diet may help to reduce the risk of weight gain, heart disease and diabetes, which are typical symptoms of PCOS.
Make sure you get at least 25 to 30 g of fiber a day. Make sure to select high fiber foods. Here is brief list of high fiber foods you should eat every day:
One cup of raspberry has 8.0 grams of fiber
One Pear has 5.5 grams of fiber
One apple has 4.4 grams of fiber
One cup of strawberries has 3.5 grams of fiber
One banana has 3.0 grams of fiber
One orange has 3.0 grams of fiber
One cup of whole wheat spaghetti has 6.2 grams
One cup of cooked barley has 6.0 grams
One cup of bran flakes has 5.5 grams of fiber
One medium oat muffin has 5.0 grams of fiber
One cup of oatmeal has 4.grams of fiber
One cup of brown rice has 3.5 grams of fiber
One slice of rye bread has 2.0 grams of fiber
One slice of multigrain bread has 2.o grams of fiber
Legumes, Nuts And Seeds
One cup of cooked split peas has 16.3 grams of fiber
One cup of cooked lentils has 15.6 grams of fiber
One cup of cooked beans has 15.0 grams of fiber
One cup of cooked lima beans has 13.0 grams of fiber
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds has 4.0 grams of fiber
4 almonds have 1.5 grams of fiber
One ounce of pecans has 2.7 grams of fiber
One ounce of pistachios has 3.0 grams of fiber
One cooked artichoke has 10.0 grams of fiber
One cup of cooked peas has 8.8 grams of fiber
One cup of steamed broccoli has 5.0 grams of fiber
One cup of cooked turnip has 5.0 grams of fiber
One cup of sweat corn has 4.0 grams of fiber
One baked potato has 3.0 grams of fiber
One raw carrot has 2.0 grams of fiber
One tomato has 2.0 grams of fiber
High fiber intake is important because fibers slow the absorption rate
of blood sugar. Your body needs to break down the high content fiber
food in order to extract the sugar present in it.
This process occurs slowly.
Fibers make your intestinal tract more efficient in eliminating fecal matter, thus preventing constipation. They also move faster from your stomach to your intestine signalling your brain that you are full. Fiber help your body detoxify and eliminate cellular waste faster.
important in eliminating excess estrogen from your body. PCOS is an
estrogen dominant condition often caused by xenoetrogen
chemicals present in the environment that mimic the hormone estrogen
your body makes naturally. These chemicals mimic the action of estrogen
in the body causing estrogen dominant condition known to contribute to
the formation of polycystic ovaries.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolve in water, while the insoluble fiber do not. Your body needs both, but too much of insoluble fiber is not as good as previously thought. Insoluble fiber absorb water as they move through your intestines and also contribute to increase the size of your stool. Waste materials are eliminated faster and less toxicity is present in the body.
Too much insoluble fiber that comes from grain fiber is not as good for you because it may interfere with the absorption of important minerals like calcium, magnesium zinc and iron.
Soluble fiber is the type of fiber you
want to have more in your diet. This type of fiber is high in pectins
Soluble fiber are particularly good for insulin resistant cases or diabetes because they slow the absorption of carbohydrates. This is why the old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," is so true!. Apples are loaded with pectins!
The secret to PCOS diet is to eat low glycemic soluble fiber with every meal to lower insulin. Choose apples, raw carrots, oatmeal, flax, oatbran, buckwheat, etc.
Studies have shown how women who suffered from PCOS had also a gluten sensitivity and when treated with an gluten-free diet, their symptoms related to high cholesterol, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, etc. improved.
So, try to see if you are sensitive to gluten by eliminating all products containing gluten from your diet for 2 weeks.
See how you feel after this trial period and then reintroduce gluten loaded foods and see how they affect you. Many women with PCOS find that stay away from gluten helps them greatly.
Make sure to look at the Glycemic Index of gluten-free products because they often have a very high GI value (avoid all rice products).
Lectins are present in many foods and mimic the action of insulin and
can aggravate those with insulin resistance related problems like PCOS.
They are present in most foods but especially in grains like wheat, many
seeds, most beans, and nuts. They are present in fruits, vegetables and
Lectins are proteins that bind to sugar and are called glycoproteins. They bind to sugars on the surface of intestinal cells destroying them and causing the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, celiac disease, IBS, etc. The immune systems detects them in the blood and tries to attack them by synthesizing antibodies. In some rare cases this process can lead to auto-immune conditions but in most cases they cause toxicity.
They also cross the food-brain barrier causing mental imbalances like depression, inability to concentrate and mood swings. They also bind to insulin receptors on the surface of fat cells and mimic its action stimulating the uptake of glucose, which is then stored as fat. This causes weight gain and inability to lose weight typical of insulin resistance cases.
Lectins are present in many foods and many people are sensitive to them to some degree. Since, they are present in a lot of foods, trying to avoid them is virtually impossible.
To inactivate lectins, make sure your grains and beans are sprouted, fermented or cooked. Avoid dairy, soy and nightshade vegetables.
The solution is to protect yourself from their possible negative influences by taking certain types of sea vegetables like Okra and fucus versicolosus, which bind to lectins make them inactive and help their elimination from the body. They also help regulate the thyroid gland.
Taking N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) and D-mannose supplementation can be another way to counter act the effects of lectins.
1. Remember to eliminate all the bad carbohydrates, which are those that
are refined and starchy like white pasta, white rice, white bread, etc.
Avoid starchy fruits and vegetables like potatoes, sweat potatoes,
corn, bananas, etc.
2. Whole grains can be consumed in small amounts but they should be gluten free or low in gluten. For example Kamut pasta is a good substitute for white pasta. Kamut does contain gluten, but in low amounts.
3. Drink more water because being well hydrated helps your body to maintain a good hormonal balance. You should drink lots of water if you are following a high fiber diet especially if you decide to supplement your PCOS diet with dietary fibers. If you have excess estrogen in your system, by drinking plenty of water daily, you assist your body in eliminating these surplus hormones.
4. Eliminate all artificial sweeteners and do not drink pops and colas. High sugar drinks have not place in the PCOS diet.
5. No dried fruits, only fresh fruits that should be eaten with protein. Berries are excellent.
6. Non starchy vegetable are also great and they should be eaten raw or slightly steamed.
7. Add spices like cinnamon and tumeric to your food to improve taste and to help control insulin.
8. Eat lots of cruciforus vegetables because they contain DIM.
9. Increase dietary fibers to your diet.
10. Take key supplements specific for PCOS like Maca to balance testosterone, progesterone and estrogen.
As you can see the PCOS diet is very simple to follow and you can begin today!
If you are trying to get pregnant and have PCOS you may not be ovulating
regularly. In order to improve you condition and get pregnant
naturally, you may need to follow the PCOS diet in conjunction with a
natural remedies, specifically designed for women who are trying to
conceive with PCOS.
To learn more about these natural therapies for PCOS, read my article on getting pregnant with PCOS.
Maria Gioia Atzori
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