Diet plan for pcos for Indian is of paramount importance to every woman who suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome. Life can be slightly miserable while trying to manage your diet while living with pcos. But that’s the price you pay for a healthy body.
How to lose weight with Pcos? With the right treatment, your chances of getting pregnant increase. The key is to get started with the right Pcos diet plan and Pcos weight loss diet plan to prevent future health concerns.
PCOS Weight Loss Diet Plan.
With the uprising of the industrial and packaged food industry we are also seeing a boom in metabolic diseases such as thyroid and PCOS. Research just a decade back that showed the prevalence of PCOS in less than 3- 10% of the female population, is now pointing to one in every ten women affected by PCOS.
That is a massive jump and if we do not act upon changing our lifestyle and diet, this will only get worse. Let’s explore together the potential causes of PCOD and what foods will help best reverse this syndrome.
As the name suggests, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by cyst formations in the ovaries along with inflammation of the ovaries. However, what most women do not realise is, that you do not actually need to have the cyst to have PCOS.
According to the Rotterdam criteria for diagnosis, having two of the below mentioned three symptoms would lead to diagnosing someone with PCOS. Symptoms being:
- Oligo/anovulation- Lack of ovulation during a menstrual cycle.
- Hyperandrogenism- Increased levels of testosterone (male sex hormone).
- Polycystic ovaries- Actual cyst found on ultrasound.
Other symptoms of someone struggling with PCOS include:
- Excess facial or body hair
- Blood Sugar Resistance/ Diabetes
- Painful and irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Acne- particularly on the side of the face.
- Difficulty getting pregnant.
Here are my top 10 Diet Tips to Follow for Weight Loss on PCOS.
1) Minimise the consumption of oil in your diet. Explore oil free cooking and avoid frying food.
2) Start your lunch with a high volume food such as an apple salad. This will help you naturally cut down calories.
3) Include three cups of raw or cooked vegetables in your diet to help increase satiety without adding calories.
4) Ditch alcohol and switch to homemade soda’s or non- alcoholic soda’s instead.
5) Make lunch your heaviest meal and dinner your lightest meal.
6) Drink 3- 4 cups of herbal tea’s and infused water per day. This keeps your thirst hormone (angiotensin) down, which has been linked to obesity.
7) Skip grains (rice/ wheat etc) for dinner and instead add in pseudo grains such as millets and quinoa.
8) Make sure to consume atleast 50 grams of green leafy vegetables per day. They are loaded in thylakoids and helps with fat loss.
9) Eat a minimum of three servings of fruits per day. They are low in calories and packed with nutrition.
10) Add vinegar to your meals. Acetic acid in vinegar boosts the body’s natural fat burning mechanism.
Now Let’s breakdown into what causes PCOS to understand what to eat to treat the same.
AGE’S (Advance Glycation end products)
AGE’s are basically a type of proteins or fats that when exposed to heat and sugar, change their chemical structure and cause chronic diseases. They do this by increasing oxidative stress (basically what causes ageing) and inflammation (triggers the immune system to overact) in the body.
Multiple studies have shown the correlation between higher AGE levels in women who struggle with PCOS vs the control group who do not have PCOS. Take a look at this study below
In fact, PCOS affected populations have almost twice an much AGE levels than others. The most logical thing to do then is to make sure your lifestyle and diet moves towards dropping AGE levels to be able to reverse PCOS. The first place you can start with is not consuming food high in AGE.
I will list the food list to avoid here in a bit but it is also important to understand that cooking method itself plays a huge role in increasing the AGE molecules in food. Take a look at this:
Raw chestnut’s have an AGE of 2723 kU/ 100 grams but just roasting them increases the AGE to 9807 kU/ 100 grams. Deep frying, broiling and roasting drastically increases the AGE content of foods. On the other hand, low- fat, high- carb, unprocessed food diet tends to have the least amount of AGEs.
That being said, plant- based foods STILL had way lower amount of AGE’s irrespective of the cooking method. What foods topped the chart then? Take a look yourself:
Dairy products, meat and oil’s top the list. If you are reading this blog and have made it this far, you are probably affected yourself or know someone who is affected from PCOS.
Observe your diet and note the number of times you reach out for deep fried or roasted food. This should be motivation enough for you to stop.
So how much junk is too much junk? Scientifically speaking, even eating a single meal high in AGEs can have a massive effect on inflammation. Smoking in the form of hooka’s or cigarettes also drastically increases the AGE levels.
A deep-fried meal over the weekend combined with smoking or passive smoking a few times a week is a formula to ensure your PCOS gets worse.
This is why it NEEDS to be a lifestyle change and not a temporary diet. Drop deep frying at home completely, if you must eat outside, choose from vegetarian options vs meat.
Drop dairy cheese and butters completely too. Read these blogs to help you make the switch.
Blood Sugar resistance and Testosterone.
In about half the cases of women who are affected by PCOS are also affected by diabetes or pre- diabetes. I will do my very best to explain Blood Sugar resistance in simple terms so stay with me here.
Every time you eat or drink anything, the food is broken down into small sugary cells called glucose. The glucose floats around in the blood and is transported throughout the body and is eaten up by the cells in the body to be used as energy.
This given you the energy to exercise, walk, digest, eat, think, breath, literally everything. After using up all the glucose, if extra is left, it needs to be stored away for later use. This is when the hormone
Blood Sugar comes into play. This hormone, released by the cells, goes and converts the glucose into something called glycogen, which can then be stored in the liver and muscles.
Resistance is when for some reason, even though the hormone is released by the body, it does not convert the glucose to glycogen. This alarms the body to release even more of the hormone but in vain.
Now the body has excess Blood Sugar and glucose floating around in the blood and does not know how to deal with this. Excess blood sugar if not stored as glycogen may eventually also lead to obesity.
Animal proteins and saturated fats are the number one cause of hormonal resistance. Excess Blood Sugar triggers the ovaries to create the male sex hormone testosterone.
Elevated testosterone levels are what causes excess facial hair, irregular periods, inflammation of the ovaries and even cyst. Thus, reducing floating resistance is one way to reduce testosterone.
Now contrary to the half-truth we have been hearing about carbs, it’s really not the carbs causing resistance. Sure, carbs break down to glucose and if you do not consume carbs, there would be no free-floating carbs glucose in the body, but that not the root- cause, it’s not the solution to our problem.
Diet Plan for Pcos for Indian
Weight loss can be challenging for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), while weight gain is a common effect of the condition. Research suggests that keeping your weight under control helps manage the symptoms, as there is no cure for PCOS. If you are struggling with this, here is a simple and practical Indian PCOS diet plan for weight loss along with foods you should avoid and expert tips on how to achieve weight loss for PCOS.
PCOS And Weight Gain
PCOS affects nearly 6-8% of women in their reproductive years. It is a condition where the body goes through a hormonal imbalance, producing more male hormones or androgens. This can cause excess body hair growth, acne, irregular periods, and weight gain. As obesity and weight gain are two common effects of PCOS, losing excess kilos and managing your ideal body weight becomes challenging due to hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance associated with the condition.
Importance Of A Diet For PCOS
PCOS makes it difficult for the body to utilise insulin responsible for the conversion of carbohydrates into energy. It creates resistance causing insulin and sugar to build up in the bloodstream. High insulin levels prevent lipolysis (or breaking down of fat), making weight loss difficult. Following a PCOS-specific diet to regulate insulin production stimulates lipolysis, helping in weight loss and weight management.
- Breakfast @ 9 am: 1 cup ragi porridge +1 boiled egg
- Mid-morning meal @ 11 am: 8 halves of walnuts
- Lunch @ 1pm: 1 cup brown rice + 1 cup dal cooked with any green leafy vegetable + 1 cup vegetable curry
- Mid-afternoon meal @ 3 pm: Cut fruits with pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Evening snack @ 5pm: Vegetable smoothie
- Dinner @ 7pm: Sautéed chicken with vegetables + buttermilk
- Breakfast @ 9 am: 1 nachani (millet) dosa + green chutney + tea/coffee without sugar
- Mid-morning meal @ 11 am: Cut fruits with pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Lunch @ 1pm: 1 multigrain roti + 1 cup dal + 1 cup vegetable + salad
- Mid-afternoon meal @ 3 pm: 8 almonds and 1 glass buttermilk
- Evening snack @ 5pm: Roasted tomato soup + 1 boiled egg
- Dinner @ 7pm: 1 Millet roti + 1 cup kadhi + green leafy vegetable
- Breakfast @ 9 am: 1 cup daliya upma with vegetables + tea/coffee without sugar
- Mid-morning meal @ 11 am: 1 cup fruits+ green tea
- Lunch @ 1pm: 1 cup brown rice pulav + vegetable raita
- Mid-afternoon meal @ 3 pm: 1 cup sprouts bhel
- Evening snack @ 5pm: 1 glass apple smoothie
- Dinner @ 7pm: 1 multigrain roti+ 1 cup paneer/egg curry+ curd
- Breakfast @ 9 am: 2 idli + sambar + tea/coffee without sugar
- Mid-morning meal @ 11 am: 1 bowl oats with fruits and curd
- Lunch @ 1pm: 1 methi thepla with vegetable curry + curd salad
- Mid-afternoon meal @ 3 pm: Cut fruits with pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Evening snack @ 5pm: 1 boiled egg + carrot soup
- Dinner @ 7pm: 1 cup brown rice+ chicken/mushroom curry+ I cup curd + salad
- Breakfast @ 9 am: 1 cup oats porridge with fruit toppings
- Mid-morning meal @ 11 am: 1 cup jowar/wheat puffs+ buttermilk
- Lunch @ 1pm: 1 Multigrain roti +1 cup dal + 1 cup vegetable+ salad
- Mid-afternoon meal @ 3 pm: Cut fruits with pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Evening snack @ 5pm: 1 cup chana masala+ tea/coffee without sugar
- Dinner @ 7pm: Dal/okra curry + 1 cup brown rice + grilled chicken/egg plant
- Breakfast @ 9 am: Veg oats upma+ tea/coffee without sugar
- Mid-morning meal @ 11 am: Green tea+ nuts
- Lunch @ 1pm: 1 Multigrain roti+ 1 cup dal + 1 cup vegetable + raita
- Mid-afternoon meal @ 3 pm: Cut fruits with pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Evening snack @ 5pm: 1 cup sprout salad + tea/coffee without sugar
- Dinner @ 7pm: Broccoli almond soup + sautéed chicken/fish/tofu with vegetables
- Breakfast @ 9 am: Vegetable upma + tea/coffee without sugar
- Mid-morning meal @ 11 am: 1 boiled egg
- Lunch @ 1pm: 1 cup brown rice + rajma + raitaMid-afternoon meal @ 3 pm: Nuts + buttermilk
- Evening snack @ 5pm: Cut fruits with pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Dinner @ 7pm: Spinach soup+ grilled fish/ paneer with sautéed vegetables
How to Lose Weight with PCOS?
- Do not skip meals. This leads to hunger pangs and binge eating, resulting in weight gain.
- Have small, frequent meals (5-6 meals per day, as mentioned in the diet chart), as it helps reduce insulin surge and sugar release.
- Replace refined and regular wheat flour with multi-grain or millet flours. Consider adding bran while kneading the flour. You can also opt for oats or quinoa.
- Eat salads, raita, and soups to help reduce sugar surge and control cholesterol levels, both of which are essential for weight loss.
- Satisfy your sweet cravings with fruits.
- Have a protein-rich diet, as it will help regulate your blood sugar levels.
- Include at least 150 minutes of medium-intensity physical activity per week to keep your weight in check.
- Cinnamon is proven to be beneficial in reducing PCOS symptoms by improving the antioxidant status and lipid profile. You can take cinnamon powder with warm water.
- Have green juice. (A combination of mint, bottle guard, cucumber, lemon, and ginger helps detox on an empty stomach in the morning). This drink, rich in antioxidants, helps reduce inflammation and symptoms of PCOS.
Foods To Eat for PCOS Weight Loss
The main goal of PCOS diet is to avoid simple carbohydrates and reduce the meal’s glycaemic load.
Here is the list of food items you can choose from:
NOTE: The effects of PCOS vary from person to person and you must consult a doctor before charting your diet plan.
- Whole Grains And Millets: Whole wheat, daliya, brown rice, jowar, bajra, ragi, oats, and barley are great options for your main staple. These are rich in fibre and complex carbohydrates. They help maintain a balance in blood sugar levels, as they take longer to digest and get absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Pulses: Pulses is another food group with a low glycemic index and helps regulate insulin levels. Add moong dal, chana dal, split peas, dried beans, soyabean, chickpeas and other pulses to all your meals.
- Lean Protein: Proteins help regulate PCOS as they help synthesize different hormones like insulin, estrogen and testosterone. Make sure you add lean protein sources like egg, chicken, fish, tofu, skimmed milk, and curd. Note that you must limit your dairy intake to two servings per day if you also suffer from PCOS-induced acne.
- Vegetables: Add high-fibre vegetables like green leafy vegetables, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, guard vegetables and carrots liberally to all your meals. They help slow down digestion and maintain blood sugar levels, which eventually help in reversing insulin resistance.You need 25 gms of fibre every day. Add cooked vegetables, salads and unstrained soups to your daily menu.
- Fruits: Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. Enjoy seasonal fruits like melons, apples, berries, banana, guava, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, and citrus fruits. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth with fruits.
- Note: Make sure that you have them in limited quantities. Fruits have varying amounts of sugars and eating large servings can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
- Spices And Herbs: The use of various spices and herbs makes the Indian diet rich in antioxidants. Turmeric, ginger, clove, cinnamon, fenugreek, mint, and basil are all functional foods with various health benefits and can help reduce symptoms of PCOS.
- Nuts And Seeds: A handful of nuts (20gms) like almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds add to good fats, which are also helpful in managing PCOS. You can either add the seeds to your fruit bowl as toppings or enjoy a lovely chutney with meals.
7 Foods to Avoid for PCOS Weight Loss
Striking off the following foods from your diet chart can help you maintain your optimal weight.
- Refined And Processed Foods: You will find refined flours and processed foods across supermarkets. These are high in sugar and calorie content and have little nutritional value, hence avoid them.
- Fried Foods: Saturated and trans-fats increase the production of estrogen and those with PCOS must avoid them.
- Sweets: Avoid excess consumption of Indian sweets as they can spike blood sugar levels and increase the levels of insulin, which have adverse effects on PCOS symptoms.
- Oils: Vegetable oils are processed and contain a significantly high amount of omega-6 fatty acids. Choose from healthier options like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or ghee.
- Starchy Vegetables: Vegetables such as potatoes and yams are rich in starch content and can cause a hormonal imbalance.
- Processed Fruit Juices And Concentrates: Fruits are very rich in fibre, but fruit juices are not. Packaged fruit juices and concentrates contain artificial sweeteners adding zero nutritional value to your diet. opt for whole, fresh fruits instead.
- Red Meat: Ready-to-eat, processed meats like sausages, ham, salami and bacon have a high content of salt and preservatives. Red meat like mutton, pork and beef are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. Avoid them as they can lead to further hormonal imbalance.
Some research has shown that diet can help reduce the impact of PCOS. Learn more about a PCOS diet in this article.
How does diet affect PCOS?
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.
People with PCOS are often found to have higher than normal insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that’s produced in the pancreas. It helps the cells in the body turn sugar (glucose) into energy.
If you don’t produce enough insulin, your blood sugar levels can rise. This can also happen if you have insulin resistance, meaning you aren’t able to use the insulin you do produce effectively.
If you have insulin resistance, your body may try to pump out high levels of insulin in an effort to keep your blood sugar levels normal. Too-high levels of insulin can cause your ovaries to produce more androgens, like testosterone.
Insulin resistance may also be caused by having a higher body mass index. Insulin resistance can make it harder to lose weight, which is why people with PCOS often experience this issue.
A diet high in refined carbohydrates, like starchy and sugary foods, can make insulin resistance, and therefore weight loss, more difficult to manage.
Can PCOS be cured with diet?
There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms associated with this syndrome by consuming a wholesome diet. As already mentioned, include foods with a low glycaemic index, healthy fats, lean proteins in your diet and supplement them with enough physical exercise. As already mentioned above, this helps maintain your ideal body weight and in keeping symptoms of PCOS under control.
Omega-3 for PCOS
Omega-3 fatty acids may be a unique treatment for PCOS. Omega -3 helps in increasing the sensitivity to insulin and reducing inflammation and plays an important role in immune regulation, cellular differentiation, and ovulation.
Supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids helps in reducing cholesterol absorption and LDL synthesis, thus improving various cardio-metabolic risk factors in women with PCOS. Research also shows that they may reduce the risk of PCOS in women. include plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils, fish and other seafood, nuts and seeds such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts in your diet. You can also include fortified products or supplements in your diet by consulting your doctor or nutritionist.
Benefits Of an Indian Diet for PCOS Weight Loss
Traditional Indian meals are functional, offering additional nutritional value beyond the essential vitamins and minerals. They prevent the risk of disease by supporting the immune system, aid weight loss, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Here are some of the benefits of following an Indian diet plan for PCOS:
- The wide variety of vegetables and whole grains make the Indian diet naturally rich in fibre, essential in maintaining the optimal glycaemic load. Foods with a low glycaemic index prevent insulin levels from fluctuating. For example, rice has a high glycaemic index compared to dal. When you eat it in the form of khichdi, which is a combination of both, the glycaemic index becomes optimal.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that causes hormonal imbalances and problems with metabolism.
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.
Why is the glycaemic index (GI) of the diet important?
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body utilise energy from food. Many women with PCOS are resistant to its effects, resulting in higher insulin levels in their blood.
Energy- restricted low glycaemic index diet helps improve glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. It is ideal for women with PCOS because of its higher dietary compliance and its efficiency in reducing insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, hirsutism, acne, and menstrual irregularities.
Substituting high-GI items for low-GI foods may be beneficial as they can increase the body’s capacity to react to insulin in women with PCOS. A low-GI diet can also promote regular periods accompanied by weight loss. The key is to reduce your intake of processed foods and increase your fibre.
- Fermented foods like idli, dosa, or curd, which are staples in the Indian diet, are rich in probiotics. They help in maintaining the health of the digestive system and aid in weight loss.
- Indian meals use a variety of spices and herbs containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which help manage symptoms of PCOS.
- Indian diet has several low-calorie options for snacking like jowar or wheat puffs, makhana, and roasted chana. You can opt for these relatively healthier snacks instead of packaged foods, which are generally high in preservatives and can be harmful to the body.