The Best And Worst Foods For PCOS

worst and best foods for pcos

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

PCOS is a hormonal, genetic, reproductive, and metabolic disorder affecting one in ten women of childbearing age worldwide.

Although there is no known treatment for PCOS, dietary and activity changes can help manage the symptoms.

Women with PCOS should avoid certain meals to effectively manage their symptoms, as some meals can worsen PCOS symptoms while others can help. This blog will discuss the best and worst foods for women with PCOS.

The Importance Of Nutrition With PCOS

The right kind of food helps our bodies make energy and keep all our systems in balance, which is important for healthy functioning.

Food is important for managing PCOS since it greatly impacts insulin resistance, a typical issue among women with this disorder.  It is important to control insulin levels to reduce PCOS symptoms. A balanced diet can help control insulin resistance and other PCOS symptoms.

Insulin resistance happens when the body’s cells stop responding to the hormone insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels. 

The body creates more insulin to make up for this, raising the blood’s insulin level. This increase in insulin levels can worsen PCOS symptoms by making you gain weight, messing up your hormones, and causing inflammation.

In particular, a diet high in fiber, healthy fats, lean protein and is low in refined carbohydrates and added sugars will help control blood sugar levels and enhance insulin sensitivity.

A good diet can help manage insulin resistance and typical PCOS symptoms like weight gain, acne, and irregular periods.

  • Eating anti-inflammatory foods, like fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids, can, for instance, assist in lessening inflammation and enhancing skin health.
  •  Similarly, a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support hormone regulation and enhance menstrual regularity.

The Best Foods For PCOS

Although PCOS has no known cure, several lifestyle adjustments can help control the symptoms. Keeping a healthy diet is one of the best ways to control PCOS. Although no one diet works for all PCOS sufferers, including these foods can help you control symptoms and improve your overall health.

Good fats

Many people scream when they hear “fat,” yet are unaware of the significant differences between good and bad fat. Where it’s at is good fat! You may eat healthy fats—from avocados to oily fish—without risking your health. These fats can help the body become more sensitive to insulin and experience less inflammation. Nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty seafood like salmon are some of the best sources of good fats.

good fats for pcos, food for pcos

Foods high in probiotics

PCOS is linked to gut dysbiosis, which can be treated by probiotic foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir are a few nutritious options.

High-fiber foods

Women with PCOS often struggle with insulin resistance, which fiber-rich foods can help to control. Fiber slows down the bloodstream’s absorption of sugar, which can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Vegetables, Fruits, legumes, and whole grains are some of the finest sources of fiber.

high fibre foods food for pcos

Lean protein

Eating lean protein can help keep your blood sugar level steady and make you feel full longer. Lean protein is in chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, and legumes.

lean protein food for pcos

Foods with a low glycemic index

Consuming these foods can help control blood sugar levels and lessen insulin resistance. Whole grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes are a few healthy options.

Foods that decrease inflammation

Because PCOS is linked to chronic inflammation, eating foods that reduce inflammation can help control symptoms. Berries, leafy greens, turmeric, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish are a few healthy options. They are excellent for keeping a healthy weight or decreasing weight because they are high in nutrients and low in calories. Vitamin B is abundant in leafy greens such as spinach.

Magnesium-rich foods

Magnesium is a necessary mineral that helps control blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy greens are some excellent sources of magnesium.

Staying hydrated is essential: Drink plenty of water and unsweetened coffee or tea. Instead of soda, try seltzer with a splash of fruit juice.


Along with a healthy diet, some supplements can also be helpful. Vitamin B insufficiency affects more than 80% of PCOS patients and can cause various symptoms, including obesity, hirsutism, and infertility. Vitamin D supplements can lessen the severity of your symptoms.

Here are a few great benefits of vitamin D for PCOS

  • Enhance oxidative stress and hormones.
  • Decrease hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance.
  • Enhance triglyceride and lipid metabolism.
  • It is important for the development of eggs within the ovary to be enhanced for fertility.
  • Reduces the risks of miscarriage and complications

PCOS Foods To Avoid

It is important to limit processed foods, sugar, and refined carbs because they can worsen insulin resistance and inflammation. Working with a certified dietitian or getting our Meal Plan may make maintaining healthy eating habits easier.

Here are some foods that PCOS-afflicted women should avoid or limit.

Sugar and Processed Foods

Women with PCOS should avoid sugary and processed foods since they can raise insulin levels. Women with PCOS frequently have insulin resistance, and eating too much sugar or processed food can worsen it. Weight gain and other PCOS symptoms might result from insulin resistance, which makes it more difficult for the body to control blood sugar levels. Candy, soda, baked goods, and white bread are a few examples of sugary and processed foods that should be avoided.

sugar and processed foods, foods to avoid with pcos

Foods high in glycemic index

Another kind of food that women with PCOS should avoid is food with a high glycemic index. The body breaks down these foods fast, which causes a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Moreover, this may raise the body’s insulin levels and worsen insulin resistance. White potatoes, bread, bagels, rice, and sweet morning cereals.

Dairy Products

Although they are a healthy source of calcium and protein, they can also cause issues for women with PCOS. Dairy should not be eaten by women with PCOS due to insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 functions similarly to insulin in the body,

Hormones in dairy products may throw off the balance of hormones in the body and raise insulin levels.

Women with PCOS may want to reduce their dairy intake or switch to non-dairy options like oats or almond milk.

diary products


Several medical specialists advise avoiding gluten since it causes inflammation, which then develops into insulin resistance, which raises your risk of developing diabetes even though PCOS doesn’t make you gluten intolerant.

Soy-based foods

Phytoestrogens, found in soy products, can mimic the effects of estrogen on the body. Since women with PCOS already have more male hormones than usual, eating soy products could even reduce their hormonal balance. Women with PCOS should avoid tofu and soy milk or consume them in moderation.

Caffeine and alcohol

Lastly, women with PCOS should avoid alcohol and caffeine or drink them in small amounts. Both alcohol and coffee have the potential to alter the body’s hormonal balance and raise insulin resistance. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, tea, and coffee may be restricted for women with PCOS.

In conclusion, controlling PCOS symptoms through nutrition is an important component. Thus, some foods should be introduced, and others should be cut out for you to live a healthy, happy life free from difficulties. Women with PCOS should try to limit their intake of alcohol and caffeine and stay away from sugary and processed meals, foods with a high glycemic index, dairy products, and soy products. Women with PCOS who eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of full, nutrient-dense foods can effectively manage their symptoms.

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