PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a common issue that affects women of childbearing age. In addition to causing a hormonal imbalance that disturbs normal menstruation, it also affects metabolism. Studies suggest that it is so common that every one in 10 women is affected by it.
Some serious health challenges such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, weight issues, and depression are also associated with it. Experts believe that a healthful diet can help in reducing its overall health impacts.
How Important Is A PCOS Healthful Diet?
There are two basic means through which diet is effective in dealing with PCOS. A PCOS healthful diet aims to reduce the negative impacts of the condition through weight management and insulin level management.
Women with PCOS are often found to have troublesome weight issues. It is extremely important for such women to make efforts in order to maintain optimal body weight. Though it might require more effort, it will eventually generate good results. Women with PCOS have a greater tendency to gain weight as compared to other women.
As the condition is the result of hormonal imbalance hence women with PCOS are more likely to have other hormonal issues such as insulin resistance. Studies tell that about 50% of women with PCOS also deal with diabetes and pre-diabetes symptoms. Thus a diet that helps to maintain optimal levels of insulin in the body might also help with PCOS.
Foods To Avoid
Certain changes in diet can help you deal with PCOS and certainly reduce its impacts. There comes a list of food and beverages that must be avoided. Let us review some of these
1. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol intake interferes with major goals of healthy eating. Number one, it increases blood sugar level, and number two, it is believed to increase estrogen level and decrease progesterone level, which further adds to the problem of hormonal imbalance. It is essential to fix the problem of alcoholism for a healthier life.
After that, you have identified the need for professional treatment; the next step for you is to find the right type of treatment that also meets your needs. In order to make a healthy beginning to life, addicts can acquire detox treatment from any rehab center. Patients are taught handling and management skills to maintain soberness after treatment.
2. Avoid Sugary Beverages
Sugary drinks such as fruit juice and soda drinks have way too much sugar. The excess intake also causes a spike in insulin level that is produced to deal with high blood sugar levels, and over time it can result in insulin resistance. In addition, it can also cause weight issues. Thus it is essential to avoid such sugary beverages for better health.
3. Processed Food
The use of processed food is very popular and common among people all across the globe. However, studies tell that its access can have devastating health effects. Experts support the link between processed food and cardiovascular issues. In adverse cases, it may also cause cancer.
4. Fried Food
Excess intake of fried food or junk food can not only interfere with weight management goals but will also aggravate hormonal issues. In addition, fried food may cause major cardiovascular issues. Thus it is essential to totally avoid fried foods.
5. Solid Fats
Taking way too much unhealthy solid fats should also be avoided. Look to take monounsaturated fats instead. You may also look to add vegetable oil in order to achieve health goals.
Foods To Eat
There is no food with a label to help you deal with PCOS; however, certain types of diets are believed to help and manage the harmful effects of PCOS. We have already discussed how diet can help with PCOS. While planning your diet, the aim should always be to maintain a healthy weight and avoid insulin resistance.
Three types of diet can benefit women who are dealing with PCOS.
6. A Low Glycemic Index Diet
Taking in foods with a relatively low GI index can bring a number of health benefits. The food with a GI index does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar level upon its intake and thus assists the body in a steady supply of insulin. Normally whole grain foods, pulses, fruits, and vegetables are some sources of low GI foods.
Low GI foods are slowly digested, and it also helps with weight management goals. This is because low GI foods keep a person full for quite a long period of time as compared to normal foods. Thus if you are dealing with PCOS, then you can look to add more low GI foods for better health outcomes.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Studies support the benefit of an anti-inflammatory diet, especially for PCOS, for numerous factors. An anti-inflammatory diet helps to deal with excess oxidative stress in the body. Taking in more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet also helps to reduce the effects of PCOS.
Women with PCOS also have a higher inflammatory marker level as compared to other women. Thus the aim is to get rid of excessive oxidative stress by adding more anti-inflammatory food sources.
8. A DASH Diet
A dietary approach to stop hypertension also benefits women who are dealing with PCOS. Normally a DASH diet consists of vegetables, fruits, whole-grain foods, fish, and low-fat dairy items. This type of diet is low in sodium, sugar, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates. Experts believe that in addition to cardiovascular benefits, such a diet is also beneficial for women with PCOS.
Studies support that following a DASH diet not only helps to achieve weight goals, but it is also very effective in avoiding insulin resistance and high cholesterol level. In a study, women followed a DASH diet for eight consecutive weeks and witnessed a significant reduction in belly fat.
There are a number of effective ways diets and lifestyle changes can help with reducing the harmful impacts of PCOS. Many doctors recommend these changes in addition to medication and treatment.