Have you heard of the medical term PCOS? You might be familiar with it, especially if you belong to the half a million Australian women experiencing this condition. Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS as it is familiarly known, is one of the most common hormone disorders, affecting about 9-18% of women in their reproductive age. It is caused by an imbalance in the women’s sex hormones. This leads to changes in their menstrual cycle, problems in the skin, increase hair growth in the face and body, cysts in the ovaries, and troubles getting pregnant.
Women with PCOS are also at much greater risk of weight gain. This type of weight gain, later on, contributes to their high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, abnormal triglycerides, heart disease, and diabetes.
Nutrition for Women With PCOS
PCOS is a manageable condition, as long as diet and lifestyle modifications are in place. There is no specific diet that can prevent or treat PCOS. However, eating well and being active can help manage some of the long-term complications of PCOS. The most important aspect is to lose at least 5-10% of your weight in order to improve both metabolic and reproductive parameters associated with PCOS.
New studies have also shown that eating foods that have a low glycemic index and glycemic load or modifying carbohydrate, fat, and protein amounts have been shown to reduce metabolic markers associated with PCOS, even without weight loss.
Top Health Tips for Women With PCOS
1. Choose Healthy Fats
Avoid foods that are high in saturated and trans fat as they can lead to weight gain and abnormal blood lipids. Instead, it’s better to consume health unsaturated fats, which can be found in vegetable oils like canola or olive oil.
2. Up Your Fibre Intake
Fibre has been found to be significant in lowering cholesterol levels and maintaining blood sugar. It also has a satiety factor which helps you feel full for less. In a day, aim for 25-30 gram by eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
3. Stay Active
Exercise has enormous benefits, even for women with PCOS. Even though you don’t lose weight through it, it can also help in controlling your blood sugar and cholesterol levels to lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
PCOS is a complex and overlooked condition with significant long-term metabolic risk factors throughout a woman’s lifespan. Since diet and lifestyle are the primary treatments, we can help you optimise your health and prevent disease. Connect with us now!