Daniel Murphy // Dietitian // Nov 23
Are you struggling with the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone. PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects millions of women worldwide. The good news is that managing PCOS through diet can make a significant difference in alleviating symptoms and improving overall well-being.
In this ultimate guide, we will dive into the science behind PCOS and explore how dietary choices can influence its progression. From understanding the role of insulin and inflammation to embracing a balanced approach to nutrition, we will provide you with actionable tips and strategies to incorporate into your everyday life.
Whether you have been newly diagnosed or an individual living with it for years, this guide is designed to empower you to take control of your health. We will debunk common myths surrounding PCOS diets and reveal evidence-based recommendations that can restore hormonal balance and improve your quality of life. Get ready to embark on a journey towards better health and well-being. Let’s conquer PCOS together.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal disorder characterised by an imbalance in reproductive hormones. It is estimated that up to 10% of women of childbearing age are affected by PCOS and the condition is typically marked by irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, and high levels of androgens, also known as male hormones.
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, there is evidence to suggest that genetics, insulin resistance, and inflammation play a role in its development. Due to this, PCOS can lead to a range of symptoms, including weight gain, acne, hair loss, and fertility issues.
Diet plays a crucial role in managing PCOS symptoms as it can directly impact hormonal balance, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation levels. Due to this, making the right food choices can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce insulin resistance, and minimise the production of androgens.
If you’re looking to focus on your nutrition, the key is a balanced and nutrient-rich diet in managing PCOS. This means focusing on whole foods that are low in processed sugars and refined carbohydrates, and high in fibre, healthy fats, and lean proteins. By adopting a PCOS-friendly diet, you can support your body’s natural hormonal balance and minimise the impact of the condition on your overall health.
A balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential for managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall well-being. Here’s why:
By adopting a balanced and nutrient-rich diet, you can lay the foundation for managing PCOS and promoting optimal health and well-being. Diet & lifestyle take time so implement these changes slowly over a few months.
When it comes to managing PCOS through diet, some foods are more beneficial than others. There are certain myths out there that Dairy & Gluten need to be removed from the diet. This is NOT true. Dairy is essential for calcium and bone health which can be detrimental for long term female health. Also Keto is NOT the answer. Many advocate this diet but it’s not sustainable so I advise against it in most cases. Read below for some key components of a PCOS-friendly diet. Adding some of these to the diet makes it easier to follow overall:
By including these foods in your PCOS-friendly diet, you can provide your body with the necessary nutrients to support hormonal balance and manage symptoms effectively.
While certain foods are beneficial, there are others that can benefit PCOS if they are portioned or limited in the diet. Here are some foods to be mindful of:
By being mindful of these foods and making healthier choices, you can support your PCOS management efforts and improve your overall well-being.
Meal planning and portion control are essential tools for managing PCOS through diet. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
By implementing these meal planning and portion control strategies, you can maintain a balanced and nutritious diet that supports your PCOS management goals.
In addition to diet, regular exercise plays a crucial role in managing PCOS symptoms. Exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity, aid in weight management, reduce inflammation, and boost mood and energy levels.
When it comes to exercise for PCOS, finding activities that you enjoy and can sustain long-term is key. Aim for a combination of cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, and strength training exercises to build lean muscle mass. Both cardio and resistance training are both great for PCOS. Even having a mix of both is very beneficial for insulin resistance.
Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. If you’re new to exercise, start gradually and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
Remember to listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program.
Stress can have a significant impact on PCOS symptoms, as it can disrupt hormonal balance and exacerbate inflammation. Finding effective stress management techniques is crucial for managing PCOS and promoting overall well-being. Here are some strategies to consider:
By implementing stress management techniques into your daily life, you can reduce the impact of stress on your PCOS symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
In addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle, certain supplements may offer additional support for managing PCOS symptoms. It’s important to remember that supplements should not replace a balanced diet, but rather complement it. Here are some supplements and natural remedies that may be beneficial for PCOS:
Before starting any supplements or natural remedies, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your individual needs.
Meet Sarah. Sarah was an Apex Member with PCOS. She red loads of different articles online around weight loss, insulin resistance, metformin and PCOS, and just felt lost. We advised Sarah around PCOS and helped her reach her goals through a balanced and nutritious diet.
“My journey to overcome PCOS and weight issues had been a challenging one, and I often felt discouraged and isolated. Sarah’s discovery of the Apex Nutrition Program was a turning point for us. The personalised nutrition plans were a breath of fresh air because they were tailored to address the specific needs of individuals with PCOS.
It was as if someone finally understood what I was going through. The knowledge we gained about nutrient timing, portion control, and the role of macronutrients empowered me to make informed choices. I’ve had poor experience with previous nutrition coaches, but Apex Nutrition is honestly the best nutritionist in Ireland.
I could ask questions, they even fine-tuned our meal plans, and gave the support I needed on this journey. But what made all the difference was the supportive community. Sharing our ups and downs with others who faced similar challenges was incredibly motivating. Alongside our nutrition plans, I embraced regular exercise, which not only helped me lose weight but also improved my overall health. The Apex Nutrition Program gave me the tools and the support I needed to conquer our PCOS and weight issues.
Now, we’re healthier, happier, and living life to the fullest