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This Weight Loss Diet Will Help You Deal With PCOS!

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Did you know that 1 in 5 Indian women suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)? Yes, it’s that common. So it wouldn’t be surprising if a colleague, sibling or friend is one of them. While sudden weight gain, acne and irregular periods are often the most common signs, some women also experience the growth of facial hair and even infertility. That’s why you simply can’t ignore it. If you’re suffering from this lifestyle disorder, or know someone who is, read on to know how to deal with PCOS.

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

As the name suggests, polycystic ovaries refer to multiple fluid-filled sacs called cysts in the ovaries. These cysts are caused by an over-production of male hormones like testosterone.

Now you’re probably wondering where the male hormone pops up from? Well, women do produce a small amount of male hormones anyway, but in women with PCOS, high insulin levels cause the ovaries to produce an excess of these hormones. This results in an irregular menstrual cycle.

The high levels of insulin are often caused by unhealthy eating habits, overconsumption of highly processed food and lack of physical activity. These habits lead to weight gain, and in turn, high insulin production, which predisposes women to the risk of developing diabetes.

The Best Diet For PCOS

The good news is that milder cases of PCOS can actually be cured with the right diet and a regular exercise routine. If you manage to correct your lifestyle, and keep your weight in check, more than half the battle is won. So here’s what you should be eating…

1. Fibre

High fibre foods are known to decrease insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity. So load up on high fibre foods to keep your blood glucose in check, and also lower high cholesterol levels, which is common in those suffering from PCOS. Whole wheat products, beans as well as fruits like pear, guava, papaya and salads will contribute to your fibre intake.

2. Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-friendly and decrease inflammation. Studies showed that people consuming Omega-3 foods were able to reduce their testosterone levels. Fish like salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds will give you your required dose of Omega 3.

3. Low Glycemic Index Foods

Glycemic Index (GI) is the value assigned to foods based on how quickly or slowly they increase your glucose levels. Make sure to include foods with a low Glycemic Index in your diet, like oats, lentils, beans, apples, kale and pumpkin seeds. Eating higher GI foods are associated with larger waistlines as well as higher bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol in women with PCOS. This is important because high cholesterol also puts you at a risk of heart disease.

Weight Loss and PCOS

  • Losing weight is harder when you’re fighting PCOS, as your body is already dealing with hormonal imbalances. But do not lose hope, keep going! One thing is for sure, weight loss will surely alleviate all symptoms of PCOS.
  • Take guidance of a certified nutritionist to get yourself a balanced nutrient rich diet.
  • Exercise is the best accompaniment for your diet. Regular exercise is known to release good chemicals, which triggers a positive feeling. Apart from this, exercising will also improve insulin sensitivity and help in weight loss too.

Prachi Mandholia is a registered dietician and a certified diabetes educator. She is a practising Clinical Nutritionist, based in Mumbai, India. For a personal consultation, you can reach out to her on [email protected]

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