Polycystic ovarian syndrome known as PCOS, affect women especially of reproductive age. It is characterised by hormonal imbalance, irregular menses and infertility in some cases. PCOS when left untreated gives rise to complications like Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, heart diseases and hypertension above all greatly affects a women’s emotional health.
The PCOS doesn’t have a specific sure but its symptoms and ill-effects can be reduced to a significant extent but unfortunately most women don’t know about treatments and interventions available due to poor awareness and knowledge.
Women with PCOS are generally obese or overweight women usually suffer from PCOS either way weight loss is first step that helps overcome symptoms of PCOS. A customised diet plan for PCOS is required to help you lose weight and nourish your body at the same time. Research suggest that even a small reduction of 5-10% of total body weight reduces the severity of symptoms, regularises menstrual cycle and improves fertility.
Weight loss using quick ways like following restrictive fad diets, weight loss capsules and powders however is not recommended as it increases the chances of rebound weight gain and at the same time further aggravates the hormonal imbalance. Thus, PCOS diet plan for weight loss formulated under expert advice effectively helps you combat PCOS
So, now let’s take a look at what a PCOS diet for weight loss looks like
THE PCOS DIET FOR WEIGHT LOSS
A PCOS diet plan should aim to provide adequate nutrition but at the same time help you lose weight and overcome insulin resistance. Thus a PCOS diet plan should be –
- Low in glycemic index
Insulin resistance is very common in women with PCOS as a result there are imbalances in blood sugar levels and thus these women are likely to develop type 2 diabetes if left untreated.
Glycemic index is the rate at which any food increases your blood sugar level. Complex carbohydrates and food with high fiber content are low in glycemic index i.e. they gradually raise your blood sugar levels. Some examples of these foods include- whole grain cereals, oats, pulses, nuts, vegetables etc.
Therefore, a complete modification of type of carbohydrate in the PCOS diet is required. A diet with complex carbohydrates is recommended for women with PCOS as it is low in glycemic index.
At the same time complete elimination of simple carbohydrates (like sugar, refined flour etc) which are high glycemic index is required to maintain blood sugar levels and overcome insulin resistance.
- Packed with proteins
Once you start to cut down your carbohydrates you will need proteins to balance your calories. Protein come with many benefits and is required in significant amounts in the body. If you see Indians are generally deficient in proteins. Thus an Indian diet plan for PCOS needs to be high in proteins to promote weight loss, build muscle mass, boost immunity and improve overall health.
In addition proteins also promote a feeling of satiety and helps curb craving which proves advantageous in a PCOS diet plan for weight loss. Go for good quality protein like like eggs, lean white meats, pulses and tofu.
- Rich in anti-inflammatory foods
It has been found that there is higher inflammation in women with PCOS. Thus adding anti-inflammatory foods in PCOS diet is important. Some of anti-inflammatory foods include- green tea, fruits like berries, spinach, kale, olive oil, turmeric and cinnamon and dark chocolate etc.
At the same time avoiding Inflammation causing foods– like Margarine, Red meats, French fries, Coffee etc is also required.
- Adding the chromium
Chromium is a mineral of great importance when it comes to overcoming ill-effects of PCOS. Chromium promotes insulin sensitivity and manages blood sugar levels which in turn help regularize other hormones. The natural sources of chromium which need to be a part of your PCOS diet plan include- Brewer’s yeast, liver, mushrooms, wheat germ, certain cheese, beets, chicken breast etc.
Small changes to your lifestyle and eating habits help you go far when it comes to overcoming PCOS and its symptoms. With medical management, weight loss and healthy eating you can regularise your menses, correct hormonal imbalance , improve your fertility as well as live a health life.