For women who are suffering from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), a change in diet may be a recommended treatment. As Diet is important for PCOS sufferers because it not only can help with weight management and weight loss, but it can also aid in controlling insulin levels, a hormone that transports sugars (or glucose) from the bloodstream to muscles who then use the sugar for energy. Before we discuss what a PCOS diet should look like, let’s explore the effects of insulin on the body.
The Effects of Insulin Levels on PCOS Sufferers
When your body does not break down sugar properly, the result is high insulin levels. High insulin levels have been linked to common symptoms of PCOS, such as:
- Weight gain
- Increased cravings and hunger levels
- Skin tags
- High cholesterol
- Polycystic ovaries
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Increased hair growth
Tips for a Successful PCOS Diet Plan
Now that you are familiar with the effects of high insulin levels, it is time to explore tips for a successful PCOS Diet Plan.
- Tip 1: Avoid Foods with a High Glycaemic Index (GI). Foods with high GI levels include cakes, white rice, and muffins. Foods with high GI provide the individual with a fast rise in blood sugar levels. This sudden increase in blood sugar results in a jump in insulin levels as insulin kicks into gear to deal with the glucose that has entered the bloodstream. In most cases, foods with high GI tend to be processed foods which are high in calories but lacking in nutrients.
- Tip 2: Eat Whole Grain Foods. Cutting out processed foods and instead eating whole grain foods can make a difference for PCOS sufferers. Whole grain foods are better for maintaining insulin and blood sugar levels. Therefore, substitute that white rice from above for brown rice or whole grain noodles.
- Tip 3: Eat Frequently. It is recommended to eat small meals throughout the day in order to help with cravings and curb hunger. In fact, eating these small, frequent meals can increase metabolism, helping with weight loss and weight management, as well as blood sugar levels.
- Tip 4: Pack on the Fiber. Foods that are high in fiber have been known to cause a slower rise in both blood sugar and insulin levels. This controlled rise in levels is important for proper body function. Therefore, foods such as legumes and vegetables should be included in your PCOS diet.
- Tip 5: Eat a Balanced Diet. Both carbohydrates and protein are needed to achieve a balanced diet. However, eating them in conjunction with each other is important. Protein helps to regulate the spikes in blood sugar that is caused by the carbohydrates.
If you are suffering from PCOS, a PCOS diet may be a recommended method for controlling your symptoms.
If you are suffering from PCOS and having difficulty conceiving, contact Carolinas Fertility Institute today. Our team of fertility providers are experts in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of PCOS. Request an appointment today to learn more.