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PCOS Diet – Holistic Wellness & Fitness

Here know all about PCOS… PCOS Intro… What are the first signs of PCOS? How to cure PCOS permanently? PCOS Diet. PCOS Test.


About PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder1, is a hormonal condition primarily affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterized by an excess production of androgens (male hormones also present in females in small amounts) by the ovaries, leading to a range of symptoms.

Pathogenesis includes insulin resistance, hyperandrogenism, and chronic inflammation, which can disrupt ovarian function and lead to hormonal imbalances1.

Health condition PCOS has a complex cause that hasn’t been clearly identified yet, but it is considered to be linked to:

PCOS Causes

  • Combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  • Insulin resistance, which leads to elevated levels of insulin

PCOS Symptoms (What Are The First Signs of PCOS?)

The disorder is referred to as “polycystic” because it results in the production of numerous small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts are harmless but can cause several symptoms, such as:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, or absence of periods
  • Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, or back (hirsutism)
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Darkening of the skin (acanthosis nigricans)
  • Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant

PCOS symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women with PCOS will experience all symptoms.

PCOS Types

Here below find several distinct PCOS types…

  • Insulin-Resistant PCOS

High insulin levels cause the ovaries to release too much androgen (a male hormone). Women with this kind of PCOS may struggle to lose weight, especially around the belly.

  • Inflammatory PCOS

Inflammation causes insulin resistance and increased androgen levels. This kind of PCOS can cause acne, hair loss, and inflammation.

  • Post-Pill PCOS

This type occurs after a woman stops taking hormonal birth control pills. When a woman stops taking the pills, her body may have trouble ovulating naturally. This PCOS can cause acne, weight gain, and irregular periods.

  • Hidden-cause PCOS

Thyroid or adrenal issues develop this kind of PCOS. This PCOS causes irregular periods, acne, and other symptoms without excessive androgen levels or insulin resistance.


  • Women with PCOS may experience pain in the pelvis or abdomen, particularly during ovulation. This pain is often described as a dull ache or cramping sensation.
  • Some women with PCOS may get headaches or migraines due to hormonal imbalances.

Risk Factors Associated With PCOS

  • Family history of PCOS
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Sedentary lifestyle

PCOS Complications

If left untreated, PCOS can lead to various complications, including2:

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Fatty degeneration of internal organs
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Dysbiosis
  • Cancer

PCOS Diagnosis (PCOS Test)

Clinical presentation, laboratory tests, and imaging studies are used to diagnose PCOS.

PCOS is usually diagnosed based on at least two of the following criteria:

  1. Irregular periods or absence of periods: Women with PCOS often have irregular menstrual cycles, which may be longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days. Some women may also experience absent periods.
  2. High levels of androgens: Women with PCOS often have elevated levels of androgens, such as testosterone, in their blood.
  3. Polycystic ovaries: On an ultrasound scan, the ovaries of women with PCOS may appear enlarged and contain multiple small cysts.

Other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to PCOS, such as thyroid or adrenal gland disorders, should also be ruled out during the diagnostic process.

Laboratory tests that may be used to diagnose PCOS include:

  1. Hormone tests: Blood tests can measure hormone levels, such as luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and androgens.
  2. Glucose tolerance test: This test can help diagnose insulin resistance, commonly associated with PCOS.
  3. Lipid profile: Blood tests can measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can be elevated in women with PCOS.

Imaging studies that may be used to diagnose PCOS include:

  1. Ultrasound scan: An ultrasound can detect the presence of polycystic ovaries.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI can screen out other conditions that might cause symptoms similar to PCOS.

Diagnosis of PCOS can be challenging, and the condition can present differently in different women. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic follow-up care are necessary to diagnose PCOS accurately.

Can PCOS Be Cured?

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is one of the most common hormonal disorders amongst the women of reproductive age.

An estimated 10%-20% of reproductive-aged women suffer from PCOS condition… leading to enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.

As a matter of fact,

There is no specific cure for the PCOS complex condition… However, treatments are available to manage symptoms potentially slow down the disease process… in order to keep it away from worsening.

PCOS Treatment (How To Cure PCOS Permanently)

There is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. The treatment of PCOS aims to manage symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and improve quality of life. Treatment options may include:

  • Medications to regulate menstrual cycles, lower androgen levels, and improve insulin resistance.
    • Anti-androgen medications block the effects of androgens.
    • Metformin to improve insulin sensitivity.
    • Fertility medications to help women with PCOS get pregnant.
  • Lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise to manage insulin resistance and promote weight loss
  • Surgery to remove cysts on the ovaries (in rare cases).
  • Psychological counseling or support for mental health concerns.

PCOS Diet & Guidelines2,3

Here below find PCOS diet…

Low glycemic index (GI) diet 

  • The glycemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrates (the body’s first energy source) by their blood sugar level. High-GI foods elevate blood sugar quickly, while low-GI foods increase it gradually.
  • A low-GI diet that emphasizes low-GI carbs & non-starchy may help manage insulin resistance, weight management & reduce inflammation.
  • Familiarize yourself with the GI rankings of different foods. Aim to choose foods with a GI score of 55 or lower.
  • Include a variety of low-GI foods in your meals and snacks. For example, choose whole grains such as brown rice (GI: ≤55), quinoa (GI: 53), and whole grain bread (GI: ≥50) instead of refined carbohydrates.

Some other examples with a low GI (≤55)

  • Apples (GI: 36)
  • Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (GI: 32-40)
  • Cherries (GI: 22)
  • Grapefruit (GI: 25)
  • Kiwi (GI: 53)
  • Oranges (GI: 42)
  • Peaches (GI: 28)
  • Pears (GI: 38)
  • Plums (GI: 24)
  • Broccoli (GI: 10)
  • Cabbage (GI: 10)
  • Cauliflower (GI: 15)
  • Carrots (GI: 41)
  • Eggplant (GI: 15)
  • Green beans (GI: 15)
  • Kale (GI: 5)
  • Spinach (GI: 15)
  • Tomatoes (GI: 15)
  • Almonds (GI: 0)
  • Chia seeds (GI: 1)
  • Flaxseeds (GI: 1)
  • Peanuts (GI: 14)
  • Pistachios (GI: 16)
  • Walnuts (GI: 15)

It’s important to note that while these foods have a low GI, they still contain carbohydrates and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

  • Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day to avoid large spikes in blood sugar levels.

High Protein Diet

  • Protein is essential for tissue growth and repair.
  • PCOS-afflicted women may benefit from a high-protein diet that regulates blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity. This reduces unhealthy food cravings and keeps you satiated longer.
  • Choose lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, turkey, tofu, and legumes.
  • Avoid high-fat animal products such as bacon, sausage, and full-fat cheese & processed meats such as deli meat and hot dogs.
  • Try to consume protein at every meal and snack to obtain various nutrients.

Mediterranean Diet

  • MedDiet (Mediterranean diet) is a popular nonpharmacological PCOS treatment. This help to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, which is crucial for PCOS women who are at higher risk.
  • This diet emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods that are often available locally and in season.
  • MedDiet diet includes
    • High intake of plant-based foods (5 serving per day) such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
    • Healthy fats include olive oil (as your primary cooking oil and for dressings and dips) & fatty fish.
    • Include fish and seafood (at least twice a week).
    • Moderate intake of dairy, poultry, and eggs.
    • Limited intake of red meat and processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats.

Ketogenic Diet

  • The ketogenic (keto) diet is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has been shown to improve insulin resistance and weight loss in women with PCOS.
  • The goal is to induce a metabolic state called ketosis, in which the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
  • Keto diet involves consuming healthy fats, limiting carbohydrates, and moderate protein intake.
  • The ketogenic diet is highly restrictive or challenging to maintain long-term and may not be appropriate for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions.


  • The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet emphasizes eating whole, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products while limiting saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.
  • This diet may help reduce inflammation, promote healthy blood pressure, and support overall health in women with PCOS.
  • Consider adding spices and herbs to your meals instead of salt.
  • The DASH diet may not be appropriate for everyone, especially those with medical issues like kidney disease.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

  • An anti-inflammatory diet also emphasizes foods high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation. Inflammation in the body can contribute to insulin resistance, a key feature of PCOS.
  • This diet typically involves eating whole, minimally processed foods high in nutrients and low in inflammatory substances such as saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugars.
  • For example, fatty fish, leafy greens, berries, nuts, whole grains, turmeric, ginger, and extra-virgin olive oil, so on.

Pulse-based Diet

  • A pulse-based diet involves consuming pulses-rich foods like lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
  • This diet may help improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss in women with PCOS.

With this above discussion, it is clear that… via proper nutritious diet plan, PCOS disease condition can get prevented or reversed…

In this, Rajashree Gadgil, founder of TruWellth Integrative Health Center (Top Nutrition Center in Thane) can help you out.

Rajashree Gadgil – Best PCOS Nutritionist India

Rajashree Gadgil (a renowned celebrity nutritionist) is the best nutritionist in India. Since she practices at TruWellth Integrative Health Center Thane… this is the reason known as the best nutritionist in Thane.

Rajashree is amongst the few nutritionists in Thane, India… who believes in the fact  that nutrition as a therapy can be modern days most effective way of preventing and reversing PCOS condition.

According to her, 

Via appropriate diet plan, exercise and lifestyle choices… PCOS symptoms can be kept under control.

You must consult Rajashree Gadgil (Best Nutritionist in Thane) for the best diet plan guide on how to cure or prevent PCOS condition.

PCOS Herbs Remedies

  • Cinnamon is a spice that may help PCOS women control their menstrual cycles and increase insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon may increase glucose metabolism whether added to the diet or taken as a supplement.
  • Licorice is a root that may increase insulin sensitivity and regulate menstrual cycles in PCOS-affected women. Licorice should be taken with caution because it can lower blood pressure.
  • Spearmint is an herb that may lower androgen levels in women with PCOS, improving hirsutism and acne problems. Consume spearmint tea or take spearmint supplements.
  • Nigella sativa (black seed) might reduce inflammation and increase insulin sensitivity. Nigella sativa supplements may improve glucose metabolism and lower cholesterol.

PCOS Supplementation

  • Supplementation with certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and inositol, may help improve insulin resistance, weight management, and menstrual regularity in women with PCOS.
  • It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation

Watch Eating Habits:

  • Eat regularly: Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent overeating.
  • Avoid skipping meals: Skipping meals can cause overeating and blood sugar imbalance.
  • Pay attention to hunger cues: Eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full can help to prevent overeating and promote healthy weight management.


  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated can help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Limit sugary drinks: Beverages such as soda and juice can be high in sugar, which can worsen insulin resistance and inflammation.

Limit or avoid alcohol & caffeine consumption:

  • Alcohol consumption has been linked to disruptions in hormone control and metabolism, which may worsen PCOS symptoms such as insulin resistance and painful or irregular periods.
  • Caffeine affects hormones and insulin sensitivity, but less than alcohol. Limiting caffeine may help PCOS women with anxiety and insomnia.

Lifestyle Considerations

  1. Individualized Approach: 

  • The most effective dietary strategy for PCOS may vary based on individual needs and preferences, and a personalized approach is recommended.
  • A registered dietitian can help develop a dietary plan tailored to an individual’s unique needs and goals.
  1. Exercise Regularly: 

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Exercise can help to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy weight management.

Some recommended forms of exercise for PCOS may include:

  • Cardiovascular exercises like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming can help improve heart health and burn calories.
  • Resistance training or weight lifting can help build muscle mass and improve insulin sensitivity.
  1. Manage stress: 

Chronic stress can worsen inflammation and hormone imbalances in PCOS.

  • Finding ways to manage stress, such as mindfulness, Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and other mind-body practices.
  • Engaging in activities you enjoy. Consider hobbies like reading, gardening, or creative activities like painting or crafting.
  • Spending time with friends and family can help to reduce stress and promote a sense of connectedness.
  1. Quitting smoking

Women with PCOS should quit smoking to avoid the disorder, improve their health, raise their chances of pregnancy, and lessen symptoms, including insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

  1. Time management: 

  • Learning to manage time effectively can reduce stress by helping to prevent feeling overwhelmed and overcommitted.
  • Make a schedule and prioritize tasks to help manage your time.
  1. Therapy: 

  • Talking to a therapist can help to develop coping strategies for managing stress and addressing any underlying emotional or psychological issues.
  • Therapy can also help to address any body image concerns or feelings of anxiety or depression that may be associated with PCOS.

PCOS and Pregnancy

PCOS and pregnancy are without any doubt very directly connected to each other…

In case one is suffering from PCOS, chances are very high for her to struggle in being pregnant.

Nonetheless, via lifestyle changes or infertility treatment, ladies with PCOS can get pregnant.

In this situation, Rajashree Gadgil (Top Dietitian in Thane) can help you out. You can consult her for individual advice for your situation.

Key Points To Be Considered

  • Overall, a balanced diet that focuses on whole, nutrient-dense foods and includes regular physical activity and stress management can help to improve PCOS symptoms and promote overall health and wellness.
  • Women with PCOS should have regular check-ups with their healthcare provider to monitor symptoms, manage related health conditions, and adjust treatment plans as needed.
  • Remember that PCOS is a chronic condition, and finding the right combination of treatments and lifestyle changes to manage symptoms effectively may take time.