Yes, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is the most common hormone disorder in women in their fertile period (first to last menstrual period). Between 5 and 10% of women have symptoms of PCOS!
What exactly is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)?
Video Credit: Milann Fertility & Birthing Center
PCOS is a condition that affects women and is often caused by an imbalance of sex hormones in women. This can lead to the following symptoms:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Skin conditions, such as acne
- Excessive hair on the face and body
- Cysts on the ovaries
- Fertility problems
PCOS affects 10% of women. Its origin is still unknown. It may have a genetic component, as women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with the same condition.
PCOS is usually diagnosed in women between the ages of 20 and 30, or even in their teens.
 PCOS and weight gain:
If you have PCOS, it means your body is producing too much androgen hormone.
Androgens are often called “male hormones,” but the female body also produces them in small amounts.
If your body produces too much androgen, you may gain weight, especially in the abdominal area. This type of weight gain can increase the following risks:
 Risk Factors:
Although the exact cause of PCOS is still unknown, it is most likely due to genetic and environmental factors.
Here are some of the most common causes: Heredity – Women whose family members have a history of PCOS have a higher risk of inheriting it.
- Excess insulin – Women whose families have a history of type 2 diabetes are also most likely to develop PCOS. Excess insulin interferes with the ovulation process that triggers the disease.
- Obesity – Excess weight due to lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet can trigger PCOS symptoms.
- Low-grade inflammation – Most women with PCOS are found to have low-grade inflammation compared to others, which stimulates the polycystic ovaries to produce more androgens.
A 31-year-old married woman had failed to conceive a child for the past three years and had a history of irregular periods, acne, and excessive hair growth.
She had obesity, facial hair, and hypothyroidism with normal blood glucose and prolactin levels.
Since lifestyle plays a crucial role in preventing infertility, her doctors advised her to make lifestyle changes, get 45 minutes of regular exercise, follow a low-fat diet and take medication.
Because there are several ways to combat infertility caused by PCOS, the patient was able to conceive on the first cycle of the IU TREATMENT, despite complications with her pregnancy.
While there is no permanent cure for PCOS, managing hormone levels and weight can certainly help reduce it. If you are diagnosed with PCOS, you should focus on maintaining your weight.
You can do this through regular physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet. Diet and nutrition can help prevent PCOS in several ways:
- Fiber-rich foods such as cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, almonds, beans, lentils, and pumpkins should be included to increase insulin resistance and slow digestion in the body.
- A rich source of lean protein such as tofu, chicken, fish, tomatoes, nuts, spinach, and olive oil should also be included.
- Avoid foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, sugary snacks, and drinks, inflammatory foods, such as processed meat and red meat.
- Pasta and noodles made with semolina, durum wheat flour, or durum wheat flour as the main ingredient are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. Pasta made with bean flour or lentils can be a good alternative.
- Apart from this, our lifestyle choices can have a direct impact on the maintenance of PCOS. Therefore, it is also recommended to get at least 15 minutes of physical exercise.
- Sticking to the medications prescribed by the doctor and maintaining a healthy weight can help in the fight against infertility.
PCOS foods to avoid:
In general, patients with PCOS should avoid foods that are already largely considered unhealthy. These are some of them:
- Carbohydrates that have been refined, such as mass-produced pastries and white bread.
- Fried foods, such as fast food, are one example.
- Carbonated beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks, are high in sugar.
- Hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon meats are examples of processed meats.
- Margarine, shortening, and lard is examples of solid fats.
- Steaks, hamburgers, and pork are examples of excess red meat.
 A healthy traditional Indian diet for PCOS:
The best diet for PCOS weight loss.
Why follow a plant-based PCOS Indian diet plan?
Plant-based diets have many health benefits. This type of diet can not only help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but also promote weight loss.
For example, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers such as breast and colon cancer can be prevented.
In addition, the Indian diet, in particular, has been associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the researchers, this is due to the reduced consumption of meat.
(a) An example of a healthy PCOS diet plan Indian for a week:
A healthy Lacto-vegetarian meal plan should be rich in vegetables, fruits, vegetarian protein sources, and healthy fats.
Below is a sample healthy Indian menu for a week that focuses on fresh, nutritious foods.
You can adapt it according to your caloric needs, dietary restrictions, and food preferences.
- Breakfast: Sambar with brown rice idli
- Lunch: Whole grain roast with mixed vegetable curry
- Dinner: Tofu curry with mixed vegetables and fresh spinach salad
- Breakfast: Chana dal pancakes with mixed vegetables and a glass of milk
- Lunch: Chickpea curry with brown rice
- Dinner: Khichdi with Brussels sprouts salad
- Breakfast: Apple cinnamon porridge made with milk and topped with slivered almonds
- Lunch: Roasted whole grains with tofu and mixed vegetables
- Dinner: Palak paneer with brown rice and vegetables
- Breakfast: Yogurt with sliced fruit and sunflower seeds
- Lunch: Roasted whole grains with vegetables
- Dinner: Chana masala with basmati rice and green salad
- Breakfast: Dalia with vegetables and a glass of milk
- Lunch: Sambar with vegetables and brown rice
- Dinner: Tofu curry with potatoes and various vegetables
- Breakfast: Multigrain parathas with avocado and sliced papaya
- Lunch: Large salad with rajma curry and quinoa
- Dinner: Lentil pancakes with tofu tikka masala
- Breakfast: Buckwheat porridge with mango slices
- Lunch: Vegetable soup with whole-grain roti
- Dinner: Cooked tofu with masala and vegetable curry
- Drinking water, seltzer, or unsweetened tea during and between meals will keep you hydrated without adding extra calories.
Be sure to eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables at each meal, as well as healthy sources of fat and protein.
This will keep you feeling full throughout the day, reducing the risk of overeating.
(b) Healthy snack choices:
When choosing a snack, look for a nutritious, low-sugar, nutrient-rich option. Vegetables, fruit, cheese, nuts, seeds, and unsweetened yogurt are all excellent snack choices.
Replacing sugary, high-calorie snacks with healthier options can promote weight loss and help you stay on track to reach your goals.
Just like meals, nutritious snacks should be made with fresh, whole ingredients.
Here are some weight-loss-friendly snack ideas:
- A small handful of nuts
- Fruit slices with unsweetened yogurt
- Vegetable salad
- Sprout salad
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- Fruit slices with nuts or nut butter
- Roasted chickpeas (channa)
- Hummus with vegetables
- Bean salad
- Salted popcorn
- Unsweetened kefir
- Fennel seeds
- Fresh fruit with cheese
- Vegetable soup with broth
If you’re in the mood for a sweet snack to go with your evening tea, replacing your usual dessert with sliced fresh fruit might do the trick.
For another healthy dessert option, top unsweetened yogurt with cooked fruit and crunchy nuts for a satisfying combination.
 Tips for maintaining a healthy weight in PCOS:
How to lose weight with PCOS?
There is no special diet to prevent or treat PCOS. However, eating a balanced diet and being active can help you manage some of the long-term complications of PCOS.
The good news is that losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight may help reduce some weight-related health problems.
If you have PCOS, the ideal diet is one that can help you control your weight and reduce your risk of developing certain long-term diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
This diet should be low in saturated fat and high in fiber. Start by making healthy choices, following Canada’s Food Guide.
(1) Choose Good Fats:
Excessive consumption of saturated and trans fats can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Limit your intake of foods that contain saturated and trans fats.
To replace these bad fats, opt for small amounts of healthy, unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
Aim for a total intake of 30 ml to 45 ml of good fats per day (2 to 3 tablespoons). To learn more about good fats, click here.
(2) Increase your fiber intake:
Eating more fiber can help you control your blood sugar and lower your cholesterol. Plus, fiber makes you feel full, so you’ll tend to eat less.
It can help you control your weight. Aim for 21 to 25 grams per day. Here are some high-fiber foods to try:
- Fruits – especially berries, pears, oranges, figs, and kiwi fruit.
- Vegetables – especially peas, spinach, squash, and broccoli.
- Whole grains – like oats, brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, barley, and buckwheat.
- Legumes – like lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and kidney beans.
- Cereals – such as wheat bran, psyllium, or whole grain oats
- Nuts and seeds – like almonds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.
(3) Enjoy the benefits of protein:
Like fiber, protein helps you feel fuller longer, so you can eat less. It’s a great way to help you control your weight. Make sure you eat protein at every meal and snack.
Instead of always eating red meat, opt for chicken, turkey, or fish or try vegetarian foods such as legumes, soybeans, nuts, or seeds (a quarter cup).
Low-fat milk and yogurt are also good sources of protein.
(4) Foods to eat in moderation:
Some foods can cause weight gain if you eat them often. Avoid very sweet and salty foods and refined flours and fats, such as
- White rice, white bread, or white pasta
- Baked goods and pastries
- Regular sodas
- Sweets and chocolate
(5) Physical exercise:
Try to get at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week. Start with 10 minutes of physical activity, then work up to longer periods to let your body adjust.
If you’re running out of ideas for physical activity, check out Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines.
Even if you don’t lose weight, exercise can help you control your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
There is no special diet to prevent or treat PCOS. However, a balanced diet, combined with physical activity, can help you manage some of the complications of PCOS over the long term.
A diet high in fiber and low in saturated and trans fats can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a gynecologist should be consulted if symptoms of PCOS are present for a better consultation.
Failure to recognize these symptoms can make the situation worse and lead to infertility. In terms of infertility in women, PCOS is one of the most common causes and needs to be treated quickly and effectively.
I hope you will get some knowledge about PCOS and its treatments by reading this article. Comment down your thoughts on this article below. If you have any queries, then ask My Voice.