What Is The Ideal Diet for Individuals with PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal disorder that is characterized by high levels of androgens (“male” hormones) in women who are of reproductive age. PCOS can result in a wide range of symptoms, including missed or irregular periods, excessive hair growth, and infertility.
There is no cure for PCOS, but at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Lubbock, TX, Dr. Janelle Dorsett offers treatments to manage the condition and alleviate its symptoms. In addition to fertility treatment, individuals with PCOS can also benefit from certain lifestyle changes. Here we discuss the ideal PCOS diet, and how it may help our patients manage their condition.
How Does Diet Affect PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, many women who suffer from PCOS are also found to have unusually high levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps the cells of the body process sugar and turn it into energy.
If insulin levels are high, it can trigger the ovaries to produce more androgens, which is a contributing factor to PCOS. By changing their diet, our Lubbock patients may be able to improve insulin levels and alleviate some symptoms associated with PCOS.
High Fiber and Lean Proteins
Women with PCOS should try to maintain a diet that is high in fiber and lean proteins.
- Fiber slows down digestion to minimize the impact of sugar on the blood
- Lean proteins fill the stomach and help people sustain energy over longer periods of time so that they aren’t reaching for starchy or sugary snacks
Foods to Add to Your Diet
Foods that are good sources of fiber or lean protein include:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Beans and lentils
- Sweet potatoes
Individuals with PCOS should also try to include foods that have anti-inflammatory properties in their diet. Some foods that may reduce inflammation are:
- Strawberries and blueberries
- Spinach and kale
- Olive oil
- Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as almonds, walnuts, salmon, and sardines
Foods to Avoid
We advise our Lubbock patients who suffer from PCOS to avoid foods that are highly processed and those that are high in sugar or refined carbohydrates. These kinds of foods can lead to inflammation and high insulin levels.
Some of the top foods to avoid include:
- White bread
- Pasta (unless it is made with bean, lentil, or wheat flour)
- Sugary desserts
- Fruit juice
Can Changing My Diet Improve My Fertility?
Adopting a healthy and nutritious diet is beneficial for all, but especially those who suffer from PCOS. Diet changes alone, though, may not be enough to improve fertility. Women with PCOS should also consider other lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and reducing stress levels.
Even with these lifestyle changes, women with PCOS may need medical assistance to become pregnant. Dr. Dorsett offers a range of fertility treatments that address the symptoms of PCOS to significantly increase the likelihood of conception.
Learn More About Your Fertility Treatment Options
If you suffer from PCOS and are struggling to get pregnant, Dr. Dorsett would be happy to discuss your fertility treatment options. To learn more about the services offered at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, send us a message online, or call (806) 788-1212 to schedule a consultation.