Research shows that women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), are at higher risk of heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and infertility. This research can be substantiated the moment you talk to any dietitian / dietician regarding the profile of female clients they have. At RxOcean we get a number of females who are obese and are suffering from PCOS. Most of these cases are recommended by our panel of doctors and gynecologists. Reason of involvement of a dietitian in cases of PCOS is that an optimum diet helps in effective management of PCOS and its complications. Proper Diet Planning also gets emphasis because it can help fight insulin resistance, which happens amongst females suffering from PCOS .
Insulin’s primary function is converting foods (especially carbohydrates) in to energy. It helps transport glucose to muscles, fat and liver cells through blood. But in case of a patient suffering from PCOS, this function tends to get impaired, due to which the process of getting glucose out of the blood into the cells gets affected. To counter that body over compensates and secretes more and more insulin to get excess glucose out of the blood. This vicious cycle creates havoc with hormonal levels, ability to lose weight, LDL and triglycerides levels. Hence, the best way to treat PCOS and its symptoms is to correct underlying insulin resistance problem with diet, exercise and if needed and weight loss. Research shows that losing ~10% of body weight can lead to substantial improvement in skin health, menstrual cycle irregularity, response to insulin and even fertility issues. Effectiveness of the diet plan may be determined by factors such as improvement in menstrual cycle regularity, weight loss or decreased insulin levels.
Diet for PCOS
Diet that works for normal weight loss clients doesnt work for PCOS clients i.e. low fat and high carbohydrate. Carbohydrates in our diet get quickly converted in to glucose and cause elevated blood glucose levels, which in turn will increase the insulin production and its related problems. Hence Diet for PCOS should be a low glycemic index diet. This diet would help maintain steady blood glucose levels and help reduce weight.
What to Eat when Suffering from PCOS – diet Composition ?
Even though suffering from PCOS, Diet for Obese women and non – obese women is completely different. In case of non Obese Women suffering from PCOS problem who get regular periods a balanced diet with approx. 50% of calories from complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits and vegetables) and 20-30% from lean proteins( egg whites, whole pulses and low fat dairy products) is recommended. Whereas in case of an obese patient with insulin resistance carbohydrate intake is restricted to 40% and carbohydrates are replaced with healthy mono unsaturated fats like omega 3 fatty acids (flax seeds, olive oil and fish). The diet plan is tailored as per individual requirement and degree of insulin resistance.