Nutrition & PCOS

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When we’re thinking about polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and nutrition, it’s important to consider that we want to reduce insulin resistance.

Those with PCOS have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity due to high levels of insulin. Below is our advice for managing your symptoms through nutrition.

1. Eat regular meals – sticking to regular mealtimes can help control blood sugar levels and keep them stable. This can help reduce insulin resistance

2. Choose low GI foods and wholegrains – glycaemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly our blood sugar levels rise after eating carbohydrates. High GI foods mean that our blood sugar raises rapidly after eating, this causes our body to release a large amount of insulin that can further aggravate insulin resistance.

Low GI foods means our blood sugar raises slowly over a period of time, improving insulin levels and resistance.

When choosing low GI foods aim for high fibre foods and wholegrains. Sources include oats, muesli, wholegrain bread and pasta, brown rice

3. Include healthy fats and protein, alongside low GI carbohydrates. This can further reduce the impact of blood sugar levels, this is known as glycaemic load (GL). A low GL can also help you feel fuller for longer and reduce cravings.

Healthy fats including lean meat, eggs, dairy, beans and pulses, tofu, nuts and seeds 

Healthy fats including olive oil, nuts and seeds, rapeseed oil and avocados

4. Include omega-3 fats which can help reduce inflammation, commonly seen in those with PCOS.

Aim for 2 portions of oily fish per week (salmon, anchovies, mackerel, sardines and herring) 

Plant based sources include seaweed, algae, chia, flaxseeds and walnuts.

Further reading

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