First lets understand what PCOS is?
It’s an endocrine disorder where in women the ovaries tend to produce higher levels of male hormones (androgen) in the body which can affect the women’s menstrual cycles and cause difficulty in conceiving.
Studies have shown that like hypertension, diabetes and thyroid, PCOS is a lifestyle disorder and is pandemic and is common in women of young and middle aged.
So naturally when there is abnormal weight gain in the abdominal area there is an increased risk for PCOS features like menstrual disorder, abnormal hair growth, infertility and pregnancy complications (preeclampsia, gestational diabetes). Also weight gain is associated with insulin resistance which increases the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Sometimes changing the way we eat can ease out managing PCOS.
Nutrition management should focus on maintaining a healthy weight and impact of the various components of diet on insulin resistance and hence it is important to have a healthy balanced diet and control over portion size.
Keep them low. This helps the body to reduce production of insulin more than needed. So It is always good to go with a hypocaloric diet of 1400kcal-1500kcal per day. 50% of the total calories should be from carbs mainly from low GI foods like oats, whole wheat, millets, legumes, low starch veggies and fruits. Low carb diet reverses the insulin resistance in the body and helps in balancing the hormonal system which will help in ovulation and improves fertility.
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Protein plays an important role in our body, it builds and repairs our muscle tissue, and also plays an important role to synthesize enzymes which keeps our immune system healthy. High protein meal gives satiety and this helps in reducing binge eating or craving for junk foods. Have protein rich diet and try to incorporate in all your main meals and snacks with sprouts, legumes, soya and its products, hormone-free milk, organic eggs and chicken.
The amount of protein needed for your body is roughly estimated by multiplying 1.2-1.6g per kg of your body weight.
30% of calories should come from your proteins.
All you need to know how to choose your fats?
Like there is good and bad in everything so does fats. It is classified as healthy and unhealthy fats. All your healthy fats are your unsaturated fats (mono & polyunsaturated). They are sourced from avocadoes, whole eggs, fish, nuts, chia seeds, olive oil, coconut oil and flax seeds to name a few. Adding these healthy fats in diet helps you feel more satisfied after a meal, which reduces hunger and promotes weight loss potentially.
On the other hand unhealthy fats(saturated and trans fat) can also be found naturally in red meat, organ meat and dairy products but then artificial trans fats are the harmful ones, which will produce more of LDL(bad cholesterol)and lowers good HDL levels in blood, this leads to insulin resistance and weight gain. These artificial fats are found in highly processed foods, packaged foods and fried foods.20% of your total calories should come from good fats.
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Fruits do contain carbs and high carb diet is not good for PCOS. But then the crb in fruit is different from the carb in your table sugar. When the fruit is taken in the form of juice the content of sugar/carbs tend to increase and automatically fiber decreases and hence it is good to have a whole fruit rich in fibre, where the body takes time to digest and slow absorption of carbs happens.
Always try to fill your plate with low starch veggies like gourds, lady’s finger knol- khol and also dark green leafy veggies. Less the starch in veggies less the calories. They are also naturally high in fiber and water, fiber keeps glucose in control and water gives satiety feeling.
It is very important to control your portion size. In todays world due to lack of time and stress we tend to eat hurriedly and sometimes end up binge eating which will eventually lead to weight gain.
Around 2.5-3lts of water per day in your diet is needed. Water is certainly important, along with it other beverages like your herbal tea, infused drink like pudina/lime/ginger which are rich in antioxidants helps in reducing abnormal insulin levels. It is very important to control your portion size. In today's world due to lack of time and stress we tend to eat hurriedly and sometimes end up binge eating which will eventually lead to weight gain.
Also the important thing to remember is to slow down the eating pace, which will give our brain time to receive the satiety signals from stomach and this help in stopping us eating when we are full, which will also help in calories restriction and better digestion.
Along with diet it is also important to do regular physical activity for 30-45mins weekly 5 times like walking, yoga, jogging, cycling or swimming. And the most important rule to follow is not to skip your meals. Or else one could have food cravings and overindulgence, which will lead to weight gain and worsen the pcos symptoms.
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