Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among women of the reproductive age. It is a set of symptoms seen in women due to elevated male hormone. Some of the symptoms include irregular or no menstrual periods, heavy bleeding during periods, acne, excess facial and body hair, mood disorders etc. Most women grow small cysts over the ovaries which causes infertility. The elevated hormonal level reduces sensitivity to insulin thus increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases among these women.
Dietary Management for PCOS
PCOS has no cure. The treatment involves lifestyle changes i.e. weight loss through balanced diet and exercise. Successful weight management is an effective method to restore normal ovulation.
Some dietary tips:
- Have whole cereals like wheat, jowar, bajra, ragi, brown rice etc. Reduce the intake of simple sugars that is Maida (refined flour) and its products, white rice and fruit juices.
- Junk food like fries and chips as well as canned foods have added sugar/salt hence it is best to avoid.
- Increase the fibre content in all meals by adding vegetable or salads wherever possible
- Have small frequent meals. Do not starve or skip any meal. Consume at least 6 to 8 meals in a day.
- Include good source of protein in your meal like chicken or fish or egg whites. For vegetarians pulses and soya can be included in the diet.
- Reduce the fat content in your food this can be done by using an air fryer or using roasting, grilling, steaming as a method of cooking rather than frying.
- Saturated fat contributes to bad health hence reduce ghee, butter and coconut oil. Choose lean meat over red meat and avoid egg yolk this will help you decrease consumption of saturated fat.
- Use skim cow’s milk only. If you are unable to get skim milk, you can skim the milk at home by heating cooling, refrigerating and then taking off the layer of fat that is formed at the surface.
- Consume flax seeds or fish oil daily as it helps to balance the hormones.
- Include fresh fruits as a mid-snack wherever possible.
- A good amount of physical activity along with a balanced diet is very essential. “A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.” A minimum of 30 minute walk is recommended. Physical activity can also be increased by walking rather than using a vehicle and walking up stairs wherever possible.