Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health condition experienced by one out of 10 women of childbearing age. PCOS can also lead to other serious health challenges, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, depression, and increased risk of endometrial cancer.

Complications of PCOS can include:

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression, anxiety and eating disorders

Two of the primary ways that diet affects PCOS are weight management and insulin production and resistance.

However, insulin plays a significant role in PCOS, so managing insulin levels with a PCOS diet is one of the best steps people can take to manage the condition.

Many people with PCOS have insulin resistance. In fact, more than 50 percent of those with PCOS develop diabetes or pre-diabetes before the age of 40. Diabetes is directly related to how the body processes insulin.

Following a diet that meets a person’s nutritional needs, maintains a healthy weight, and promotes good insulin levels can help people with PCOS feel better.

  • A low glycemic index (GI) diet
  • An anti-inflammatory diet
  • The DASH diet

In general, people on a PCOS diet should avoid foods already widely seen as unhealthful. These include:

  • Refined carbohydrates, such as mass-produced pastries and white bread.
  • Fried foods, such as fast food.
  • Sugary beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks.
  • Processed meats, such as hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon meats.
  • Solid fats, including margarine, shortening, and lard.

Listen To What My Patients Say

  • Urjita Sheth

    I have faced the issue of being overweight since I was a child and there was never an explanation for it as to why was I gaining so much weight. Thereafter the issues piled up so much that it messed up with my menstruation cycle. A few years later a word came in my life “PCOS” which went onto become the answer to my every problem but doctors and dietician had no solution to it other than me starving myself, losing my glow and hair along the way and losing weight the wrong way until Shilpa Joshi, RD was introduced to me. For years I followed diets like they were some sort of punishment for me but with Shilpa’s diet, it is like I finally found solutions to my every problem while still eating the most healthy but the most stomach filling food. The diet not only helped me lose weight but also helped me with my menstruation cycle, my skin glow and my hair shine. For the first time, the diet has become a part of my lifestyle and a part of my daily diet other than just following it for the sake of weight loss.

    Urjita Sheth
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