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PCOD Diet: What Foods to Eat and Avoid

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a condition where the ovaries release many immature or partially mature eggs, which eventually turn into cysts. PCOD treatment & PCOD diet focus on minimizing the severity of symptoms.

Irregular or absent menstrual periods, painful menstrual periods, excess  facial hair, acne breakouts, pelvic ache, difficulty in having a baby, and areas of dense, darker, velvety skin are all indications of PCOD. Type 2 diabetes, morbid obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, heart problems, psychological issues , and endometrial cancer may be the future consequences of PCOD .

Nearly one-third of all women in the globe suffer from the polycystic ovarian disease.

What Causes PCOD?

The ovaries normally produce female sex hormones and a small  amount  of male sex hormones (androgens). These help in the proper development of eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is connected to an imbalance in these sex hormones. PCOD causes production of  more androgens. Patients stop ovulating, develop acne, and develop excess facial and body hair due to this.

PCOD Diet: How does diet affect PCOD?

Insulin levels in women with PCOD are frequently reported to be higher than usual. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. It aids the conversion of sugar (glucose) into energy in the body’s cells.

Blood sugar levels can rise if the patient doesn’t create enough insulin. This can also happen if the patient is insulin resistant, which means the patient cannot use the insulin efficiently.

If the patient is insulin resistant, the body may try to keep the blood sugar levels in check by pumping out lot of insulin. Insulin levels that are too high lead the ovaries to create more androgens, such as testosterone.

Insulin resistance can also be caused by a body mass index that is higher than normal. Insulin resistance makes it difficult to lose weight, which is why PCOD women frequently have this problem.

Weight loss can be achieved by avoiding  starchy and sugary meals.

Foods to consume in PCOD

According to research, what people eat has a big impact on PCOD.

There is considerable agreement on which foods are good and appear to assist people in managing their disease and which foods should be avoided.

Three diets that may help PCOS patients manage their symptoms are listed below:

  1. A diet with a low glycemic index (GI): Meals with a low GI are digested more slowly by the body, which means they do not cause insulin levels to rise as much or as quickly as foods with a higher GI, such as some carbs. A low GI diet includes whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, non starchy  vegetables, and other unprocessed, low-carbohydrate foods.
  2. Anti-inflammatory foods: This includes berries, fatty salmon, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil, which  may help to alleviate inflammation-related symptoms .
  3. The DASH diet: To lower the risk or impact of heart disease, doctors frequently recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. It may also help with treating the PCOS symptoms.

The food items that must be included in PCOD are:

  • Foods that are unrefined and natural
  • Fishes with high Omega fatty acids , such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel
  • Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli
  • Dark red fruit like crimson grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries
  • Healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and coconuts and  nuts, such as pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios
  • Spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon
  • Dark chocolate in moderation

Avoid these foods to get rid of PCOD

Patients with PCOD should avoid items that are already regarded as unhealthy in general. Here are a few examples:

  • Refined carbohydrate sources include cakes, pastries and white bread.
  • Fried food and fast food such as pizza and burgers
  • Carbonated beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks. They are high in sugar.
  • Processed meats, such as salami, sausages, and hot dogs, cured ham and bacon, along with luncheon meat.
  • Margarine, shortening, and lard
  • Red meat like steaks, pork and hamburgers

Diet chart for PCOD patients

 BreakfastMid-mealLunchEveningDinner
Sunday2 Idlis with Sambar 1/2 cup and  Green chutney or Tomato Chutney1 cup green gram sprouts2  Rotis, 1/2 cup salad with  Fish curry (100 gm fish) and 1/2 cup cabbage subji.A portion of fruit but avoid high sugar fruits like banana, Jack fruit, Mango, Chikku.)2 Roti / chapati. +  Tomato subji 1/2 cup.
Monday2 Slices brown bread. +1 slice low-fat cheese+2 Boiled egg whites.A portion of fruit but avoid high sugar fruits like banana, Jack fruit, Mango, Chikku.)Veg pulao rice 1 cup+ 1/2 cup Soya Chunk curry+ 1/2 cup Butter Milk.1 cup light tea+ 2 wheat rusks2 roti/ Chapati+ Ladies finger subji 1/2 cup.
TuesdayChapati 2 + 1/2 cup green peas curry.1/2 cup boiled black chana1 cup rice+ 1/2 cup Dhal+ Palak subji 1/2 cup+ 1/2 cup low-fat curd.A portion of fruit but avoid high sugar fruits like banana, Jack fruit, Mango, Chikku.)Broken wheat upma 1 cup+ 1/2 cup green beans subji
WednesdayMethi Parata 2+ 1 tbsp green chutney.  A portion of fruit but avoid high sugar fruits like banana, Jack fruit, Mango, Chikku.)1 cup rice+ chicken curry (150 gm chicken)+ 1 cup cucumber salad.1  cup light tea+ Brown rice flakes poha 1/2 cup.Wheat Dosa 2 + 1/2 cup Bitter guard subji.
ThursdayVegetable Oats Upma 1 cup+ 1/2 cup low-fat milk.  Plain Yoghurt and raw vegetables or 1 cup grilled vegetables1/2 cup rice + 2 medium chappatis+1/2 cup Kidney beans curry+ Snake gourd subji 1/2 cup.1 cup boiled chana+1 cup light tea.2 Roti/ chapati+ 1/2 cup mixed veg curry
FridayMixed veg Poha 1 cup+ 1/2 cup low-fat milk.  A portion of fruit but avoid high sugar fruits like banana, Jack fruit, Mango, Chikku.)2 Chapati+ 1/2 cup cluster beans subji+ Fish curry (100g fish) 1/2 cup.1 cup tea+ + 2 biscuits (Digestive or Oatmeal.)2 Rotis / chapathi + Ridge gourd subji 1/2 cup.
SaturdayUthappam 2+ 1 tbsp green chutney.  1 cup boiled chana1 cup rice+ Soya chunk curry1/2 cup+ Ladies finger subji 1/2 cup+ 1 small cup low-fat curd.A portion of fruit but avoid high sugar fruits likea bnana, Jack fruit, Mango, Chikku.)Broken wheat upma 1 cup+ 1/2 cup green beans subji

Along with following this diet chart, the patient must remember the following:

  • Increase the diet of high-fiber carbohydrates gradually
  • Food high in lean protein should be prioritized.
  • Include foods high in monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Include lots of low glycemic index fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Meals should not be skipped.
  • Consume less amount of food in each meal .

Lifestyle change aiding in PCOD

People with PCOD can also benefit from a change in their lifestyle. According to studies, combining a PCOD diet with physical exercise can result in the following advantages:

  • Slimming down
  • Increased insulin sensitivity
  • More consistent periods
  • Male hormone levels are lower
  • Low cholesterol level

Women can use behavioural measures to assist them to reach their weight-loss goals, which will help them manage their PCOS symptoms. These are some of the practices:

  • Social support networks for goal-setting
  • Strategies for self-monitoring
  • Taking care of one’s mental health

Self-care habits like getting enough sleep, avoiding over-commitment, and setting aside time to unwind can also help with PCOD management.

When to seek medical attention?

Even though the diet is being followed , the patient might want to see a doctor if there is presence of following symptoms:

  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Weight gain, particularly around the stomach
  • Oily skin
  • Irregular periods
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Having trouble getting pregnant

Many people put off getting medical help until they are having trouble conceiving.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should consult a Gynecologist  about their concerns; the sooner they can begin therapy, the faster they will feel better.

The patient may become frustrated if they dealing with PCOD or any of its symptoms. Taking proactive measures to improve  health can help them feel better and lessen the symptoms.

Making a good food/bad food list and sticking to it is one of the greatest methods to do this.

Almost every food that can make the illness worse has a healthier, more beneficial equivalent. For example , you can switch to high-fiber whole grain bread with olive oil or avocado if you are used to margarine and white toast for breakfast.

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