If You Have PCOS, Follow This Diet Plan
“The first step towards healing begins with recognising that there is a problem. Women who have PCOS or have symptoms suggestive of PCOS should ideally seek medical help,” says Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, Consultant Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon at Saifee, Namaha, Apollo Spectra and Currae Specialty Hospitals.
The doctor mentions that weight loss is an integral part of the treatment plan, but it is also important to recognise that PCOS makes weight loss that much more difficult. “While we must respect our body for all that it does for us and need to take care of it, we must also know that a lot depends on offering it the right nutrition,” she says. Dr Aparna offers tips that can be followed by those who suffer from PCOS, along with their doctor’s suggested treatment.
Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker’s tips include:
• Opt for a diet high in fibre and low in sugar. Reduce your calorie intake per day. Include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid processed and fatty foods. Take a dietitian’s help regarding what to eat and what to avoid.
• Avoid very long gap in meals and have a balanced diet.
• Indulge in moderate exercise at least five days a week for 30 to 45 minutes. This can include strength training, running, jogging, swimming, yoga and walking. Try to maintain an optimum weight.
• Drink enough water, avoid smoking and alcohol and stay away from any other addictions.
• Maintain good sleep hygiene and practice mindfulness to keep stress at bay.
• Do seek professional help if your weight is not coming under control despite sincere efforts.
How Does Food Help In Healing?
Studies reveal that being regular with your eating habits is essential for PCOS patients as long intervals between meals can spike insulin levels. “It is advisable to promote a healthy-habit building pattern in terms of nutrition consumption rather than prescribing rigid diets to the PCOS patients, which is why we suggest eating every three to four hours, which can mean breakfast-lunch-dinner plus mid-meal snacks,” advises Mugdha Joshi, Nutritionist and Care Manager, Veera Health, listing what one can eat and avoid while having PCOS.
What To Eat?
• Multigrain and whole grain foods such as pasta, bread, and cereals are beneficial to a PCOS diet. It’s preferable to replace excessively processed refined flour products with healthy alternatives like oats and quinoa. Furthermore, high-fibre fruits with anti-inflammatory qualities are always recommended because they satisfy cravings.
• Low-fat or dairy-free alternatives are far superior to full-fat dairy products. When patients are told to avoid dairy products, rice, coconut, or even almond milk are viable substitutes.
• The PCOS diet should also contain protein-rich foods such as eggs, almonds, and lean cuts of fowl.
• The idea is to choose solutions that are sustainable, because controlling PCOS entails living and eating healthily for the rest of your life!
What Not To Eat?
• Refined carbohydrates like pastries and white bread
• Fried food, especially junk food
• Sugary beverages like sodas and energy drinks
• Processed meats like hotdogs and sausages
• Solid fats like lard and margarine
• Too much red meat like steak and hamburgers
Mentioned above are the generics that every PCOS patient must follow, however, it is only after consulting your doctor that you can get a diet plan that is ideal for you.