Introduction to the PCOS Diet
Approximately 1 out of 10 American women have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), according to the Office on Women’s Health. If you or someone you know has PCOS, you might be glad to know that there are already ways you can control the terrible symptoms of this ailment with the help of the PCOS Diet. PCOS diets are essentially nutrition systems for managing PCOS. Some have been designed by medical professionals while some have been researched and created by women with PCOS, who have struggled, and continue to struggle with its symptoms.
What many of these diets have in common though, is the fact that they address the symptoms, and do not position themselves as a cure, which is correct, considering that currently, there is no definitive “cure” for PCOS. It’s only possible to address or manage the symptoms, lessening their impact on your life.
To get a realistic handle on the kind of diet that’s advisable for women with PCOS, it’s important to first understand the syndrome. These are the common symptoms of PCOS:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Too much hair growth (hirsutism) or emergence of male pattern baldness, both of which are due to excessive androgen in the body
- Presence of acne in various parts of the body
- Low levels or complete infertility
- Metabolic and hormonal issues – diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia (excess lipids such as cholesterol, in the body), too much insulin or resistance to insulin, too much male hormones (androgen, testosterone), and hypertension
- Psychological issues – depression, anxiety, erratic eating patterns associated with frequent mood changes and psychosexual dysfunction
As such, to control your symptoms, the following strategies are recommended. They can apply to all kinds of PCOS diets:
- Prepare yourself for a lifestyle change, not just a change in diet. That way, you will not easily give in and revert to your old ways of eating when cravings hit you. This is especially true if you have a “sweet tooth,” as it can be hard to control the desire for sugar.
- Actively practice food substitution and make it a regular part of your life. Foods like white bread, potatoes, pasta, cereals, fruits with high fructose content, and sugar-laden snack would need to be replaced by high fiber, nutrient-dense carbs, high protein food, lean meats and legumes, and foods with healthy fats.
- Do not consume alcohol, in any form or amount. Avoid coffee, as well. This is important, as doing so will help cleanse your body of high lipid levels and toxic substances.
- Incorporate lots of leafy green vegetables in your diet and avoid starchy foods.
- Take apple cider vinegar. Dilute 2 tbsp. in ? cup of water and drink this before each meal. This is essential for body cleansing.
You can use the given strategies as a guide to control your symptoms. However, to be safe, it is always best to consult your doctor before going on a PCOS diet, or any kind of diet for that matter.