PCOS is actually a metabolic ailment which affects 5 percent to 7.5 percent of women all over. It’s regarded as top reason of infertility which, when left untreated, may increase the risk of the endometrial cancer. Furthermore, women who are suffering from PCOS usually have more risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
Earlier, diet wasn’t considered as a significant addition to the treatment of PCOS. However, because of a recent discovery related to the role played by insulin resistance, it is now believed by the experts that diet should also be included in treatment plan and very specific PCOS diet chart should be developed.
Even though more research is required, it’s thought that the diet can be helpful in reducing insulin resistance and it won’t just be helpful with the erratic menses, acne and hirsutism, but can also reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease. Here we’ll be discussing the role that diet can play in PCOS.
PCOS Diet Chart For Weight Loss Program
With the recommendations given below, you can be able to plan the PCOS diet chart for you. You should actually be able to put your hands on something that works best for you. Let’s take a look at these recommendations:
- Don’t eat carbs by themselves. Rather, they should be combined with fat and/or protein.
- Select foods that have low glycemic index because they make sure that your blood sugar does not rise rapidly. Carbs with low glycemic index usually have more fiber as compared to the high glycemic foods. For instance, bran cereal (which contains 10 grams fiber in ½ cup) has a glycemic index that is lower compared to cornflakes (which contain 1 gram fiber in ½ cup). To put it differently, you should select grains, cereals, and breads which are unprocessed to maximum possible extent.
- The carbs levels should not be taken too low that ketosis has to be induced. Simple tests can be performed for this by using ketone test strips that are easily available at pharmacies. When your carbs intake for a day is below 40 grams, you’re likely to induce ketosis.
- Carbodydrates should be spaced out during entire day. This will make sure that you experience less rise in your blood sugar level as well as insulin peak in comparison to consuming all your carbs in one meal.
- Try to avoid carbs which are known to trigger more cravings or hunger.
- Building lean mass that boosts metabolism
- Helping with osteoporosis prevention
- When you are taking a diet that carries very low amount of carbs, you’re advised to check with the MD about some potassium supplement
- In case, if you are facing constipation, you should try a supplement with natural fiber. Also, make sure that you increase your fluid intake too.
PCOS Diet Chart in Hindi
Suggested Mineral/Vitamin Supplements:
- Calcium 1000-1500mg (take 2-3 500 mgs pills every day and make sure that they are spaced out because you can’t absorb more than 500 mg in one go).
- Multivitamin having minerals (ensure that it carries 400mcg folic acid if looking forward to pregnancy)
- Drink non-caffeinated fluid, 8 cups at least, as low carb intake may lead to dehydration.
- To maintain good heart health, foods that have high amount of trans and saturated fats should be limited. These can include whole dairy milk, red meat, stick margarine and butter, fried foods, chicken skin, desserts, etc. You are advised to take monounsaturated fats – such as canola oil, olive oil, nuts – and the omega 3 fats – such as fish, nuts and flaxseed – as they are all known to promote heart health.
Role of Insulin in PCOS Diet
It’s not very clear that how and why PCOS develops but most of the experts agree on the fact that insulin has major role to play in its development. This hormone is powerful and the body’s pancreas releases it when you eat food – particularly carbohydrates.
It takes sugar out from your blood and brings it to the muscle, liver cells and fat where it either gets converted into energy or it is stored in the form of fat. Mostly women who have PCOS have this insulin resistance as well. It means that their process of taking sugar out from blood and in their cells is damaged as their cells resist insulin.
Pancreas should secrete increased amounts of insulin for getting sugar out from the blood and taking it into cells. High insulin levels can inflict havoc in your body which can lead to all or any of these conditions: weight gain and problem in losing weight, polycystic ovaries, increased heart disease risks due to increase in triglycerides and LDL, etc. Furthermore, it increases diabetes risk by 40 percent when you reach the age of 40.
- Calculate the caloric needs you have, whether it is for losing weight or maintaining it.
- Multiply the caloric requirements by 0.4 and then the result should be divided by 4 (there are 4 calories in one gram carbs)
- If you’re insulin resistant and obese, you might be in need of below 40 percent carbs, so check with the nutritionist.
- For instance: If the caloric requirements for losing 1 ½ pounds every week are 1425, it should by multiplied by 0.4 and then divided by 4.
- Total carbohydrate grams should be counted – not the grams of sugar only. All the carbohydrates have a tendency of turning into sugar when they get into your blood.
- For counting “effective” carbohydrates grams, you should subtract amount of fiber in any food from the total carbs content. For instance, there are 15 grams total carbs as well as 3 grams fiber in six whole wheat crackers. Effective amount of carbs in this case is 12 gm. That’s what you’ll count as you add up the carbohydrates grams
The Weight Loss Diets Do Not Work
Almost 50-60 percent women who have PCOS tend to be obese. It’s been discovered that even when you lose 5% of your body weight, it helps in improving your skin, bringing regularity in your menstrual cycles as well as decreasing insulin levels in your body.
But there have been many instances in which women having PCOS face problems in losing weight, maybe because of the fact that their higher levels of insulin promote the storage of fat. The standard diets for weight loss that have high carbohydrate content and are low in fat might not turn out to be the right choice for women having PCOS. Taking higher amounts of carbs, particularly refined carbs i.e. white rice, white bread, sweets, etc.
Will turn into sugar quickly and will cause the insulin levels to elevate. As high insulin levels can lead to lots of issues in women having PCOS, it would be better for them to devise a PCOS diet chart that features diet having lower glycemic index. Such a diet includes foods as well as several food combinations which don’t blood sugar to rise rapidly.
Include exercise in your routine as it can help you in different ways. Aerobic exercise helps in:
- Burning calories and controlling weight
- Raising HDL cholesterol
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving insulin resistance
What’s The Preferred Carbs Intake For A Day?
There aren’t many studies which offer enough data for recommending carbohydrates level that women having PCOS should take. So what should you follow? A diet based on food pyramid that covers 55 percent of its calories from the carbs or a diet in which the carbohydrates are 40 percent or an even strict one which allows for just 20 percent carbs? Well, one thing may not be suitable for everyone.
It is suggested that the women who are not obese and have PCOS and their periods are regular should eat balanced diet and should go for complex unrefined carbs rather than refined carbs. Obese women who are insulin resistant as well should take a diet which carries 40 percent carbs or less, based on their insulin resistance level.
All these are just the guidelines and PCOS diet should actually be tailored in a way that it fits individual women who intend to use it.