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    PCOS Food List: Your Guide to Eating Smart with PCOS


    PCOS Food List: Your Guide to Eating Smart with PCOS

    Updated on 1 September 2023

    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

    Living with PCOS can be challenging, especially when symptoms like weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and insulin resistance wreak havoc on your day-to-day life. Nutrition plays a pivotal role in helping women living with PCOS take charge of their health and lives. With a curated PCOS food list in your PCOS arsenal, you can unlock the power of nutrition to manage Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

    In this comprehensive guide, we will navigate the world of food, understand the role of diet in PCOS management and explore the best foods for PCOS as well as the worst foods for PCOS to help you take charge of your diet and life.

    How Does Diet Impact PCOS?

    Diet plays a crucial role in managing PCOS symptoms and promoting overall health. The foods you consume can have a significant impact on your hormone levels, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all of which are closely linked to PCOS. By making smart dietary choices, you can help alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life.

    What are the Best Foods for PCOS?

    Here is a PCOS food chart with the best foods to consume when you have PCOS:

    1. Leafy Greens

    Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in essential nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. They are also low in calories and high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.

    2. Berries

    Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber. They have a low glycemic index, meaning they won't cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Berries also offer anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce insulin resistance.

    3. Fatty Fish

    Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. Including fatty fish in your diet can help improve hormone balance and reduce the risk of heart disease.

    4. Nuts and Seeds

    Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are rich in healthy fats and fiber. They can help stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss. Including a handful of nuts or seeds in your daily diet can have numerous health benefits.

    5. Lean Proteins

    Opt for lean sources of protein like chicken breast, turkey, tofu, and legumes. Protein is essential for hormone production and can help keep you feeling full for longer. Including protein in your meals can also help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote weight management.

    6. Whole Grains

    Switch to whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread instead of refined grains. Whole grains are rich in fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. They can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

    7. Probiotic-Rich Foods

    Yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health. A healthy gut microbiome is crucial for hormone balance and overall well-being. Including probiotic-rich foods in your diet can support digestive health and reduce inflammation.

    Besides consuming foods to cure PCOS or rather manage it, you can also add dietary supplements like Myo-inositol and herbal drinks like PCOS tea to your daily routine. Mylo offers non-hormonal solutions to combat the symptoms associated with PCOs like weight gain, insulin resistance, acne, irregular periods, and mood swings.

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    What are the Worst Foods for PCOS?

    Here is a PCOS food list to avoid consisting of PCOS foods to avoid:

    1. Processed Foods

    Highly processed foods like fast food, packaged snacks, and sugary drinks should be avoided as much as possible. They are often high in unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, and added sugars, which can worsen PCOS symptoms and contribute to weight gain.

    2. Sugary Treats

    Foods and beverages with a high sugar content, such as candies, pastries, and sodas, can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This can lead to increased insulin production and worsen insulin resistance, a common issue in PCOS.

    3. Refined Grains

    White bread, pasta, and rice have been stripped of their fiber and nutrients during processing. They can cause a quick rise in blood sugar levels and contribute to insulin resistance. Opt for whole grain alternatives instead.

    4. Dairy Products

    While dairy can be a part of a healthy diet, some women with PCOS may have sensitivities to dairy products. In such cases, it is advisable to limit or avoid dairy consumption as it can contribute to inflammation and hormonal imbalances.

    5. Red Meat

    High consumption of red meat, especially processed red meat, has been linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance and inflammation. It is recommended to choose lean protein sources like poultry, fish, and plant-based proteins instead.

    6. Highly Caffeinated Beverages

    Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks can disrupt hormone levels and contribute to adrenal stress. Limiting caffeine intake can help promote hormone balance and reduce PCOS symptoms.

    7. Alcohol

    Alcohol can affect liver function and disrupt hormone metabolism. It can also contribute to weight gain and worsen insulin resistance. It is advisable to limit alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether when managing PCOS.

    You may also like : PCOS Self Care: How to Nurture Your Body and Mind

    Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing Your PCOS Food List

    While preparing a PCOS food chart for yourself, you should keep the following things in mind:

    1. Balance Your Macronutrients

    Aim to include a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your meals. This can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote hormone balance.

    2. Choose Low-Glycemic Index Foods

    Foods with a low glycemic index release sugar into the bloodstream slowly, preventing blood sugar spikes. Opt for whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    3. Prioritize Fiber

    Include plenty of fiber-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels, promote weight loss, and improve gut health.

    4. Stay Hydrated

    Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to support overall health and promote proper digestion. Avoid sugary beverages and opt for water, herbal tea, or infused water instead.

    5. Mindful Eating

    Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. This can help prevent overeating and promote healthy weight management.

    6. Meal Planning

    Plan your meals in advance to ensure you have nutritious options readily available. This can help you avoid unhealthy food choices and make sticking to a PCOS-friendly diet easier.

    7. Seek Professional Guidance

    If you are unsure about what foods to include in your PCOS food list or need personalized advice, consider consulting a registered dietitian or a healthcare professional.

    You may also like : PCOS Natural Treatment: The Ultimate Guide to Natural Remedies for PCOS

    Are There Any Foods to Cure PCOS?

    While there is no specific food that can cure PCOS, adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity, can help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being. It is essential to focus on nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods and making sustainable lifestyle changes rather than relying on a single food or remedy.

    How to Stick to a PCOS Food Chart?

    Sticking to a PCOS dietary chart can be challenging, especially when faced with temptations or a busy schedule. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

    1. Set Realistic Goals

    Start by setting realistic goals and making small changes to your diet. Trying to overhaul your eating habits overnight can be overwhelming and unsustainable.

    2. Meal Prep

    Prepare your meals and snacks in advance to ensure you have healthy options readily available. This can help prevent impulsive food choices and save time during busy days.

    3. Find Healthy Alternatives

    Look for healthier alternatives to your favorite foods. For example, swap sugary desserts for a bowl of mixed berries or replace refined grains with whole grain options.

    4. Practice Mindful Eating

    Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Eat slowly and savor each bite, focusing on the taste and texture of your food. This can help prevent overeating and promote a healthy relationship with food.

    5. Stay Accountable

    Share your goals and progress with a supportive friend or family member. Having someone to hold you accountable can help you stay motivated and committed to your PCOS food list to avoid.

    6. Reward Yourself

    Celebrate your achievements along the way. Treat yourself to non-food rewards like a relaxing bath, a new book, or a massage. This can help reinforce positive behaviors and keep you motivated.

    Final Thoughts

    Creating a PCOS food list that focuses on nutrient-dense, whole foods can have a significant impact on managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall health. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice and guidance. By making smart dietary choices, practicing mindful eating, and adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can take control of your PCOS and live a vibrant, fulfilling life.


    1. Xenou M, Gourounti K. (2021). Dietary Patterns and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a Systematic Review. Maedica (Bucur).

    2. Barrea L, Frias-Toral E, Verde L, Ceriani F, Cucalón G, Garcia-Velasquez E, Moretti D, Savastano S, Colao A, Muscogiuri G. (2021). PCOS and nutritional approaches: Differences between lean and obese phenotype. Metabol Open.

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    Medically Reviewed by

    Dr. Shruti Tanwar

    C-section & gynae problems - MBBS| MS (OBS & Gynae)

    View Profile

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    Drawing on more than a decade of expertise in administration, Anandita Sharma currently serves as a content operations e

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