5 otherwise healthy foods women with PCOS must avoid at all costs

Published on: 24 August 2020, 14:51 pm IST

Following a PCOS diet if you have been diagnosed with the disease is essential. And so, it is very important that you avoid these foods.

Pcos diet
Healthy, yes! PCOS-friendly, not so much. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Listen to this article

When it comes to healthy eating, you’ve got to be super-selective about what you’re feeding into your system. However, in the case of a woman suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the magnitude of care needs to be even higher due to the prevailing health condition.

Basically, PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system that leads to a hormonal imbalance (typically, excess production of the male sex hormone called androgen). As a consequence of this disorder, women tend to develop small cysts in their ovaries which can lead to problems such as irregular periods, excessive facial hair, heaviness in their voice, baldness, acne, mood swings, obesity, diabetes, depression, and anxiety.

Hence, she’s got to be extra careful about her diet. So much so that certain foods that might be perfectly healthy can be quite harmful to her. Take a look at five of such foods to avoid if you have PCOS:

1. Cereal grains
A Danish study showed how women with PCOS are four times more likely to develop type-2 diabetes, a condition in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (the hormone responsible for utilising energy from food for various functions) or simply becomes resistant to the insulin produced. This results in an increase in blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of kidney and heart problems.

jackfruit and diabetes
If you have PCOS then stay away from foods that are high on sugar content. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This is why women who have PCOS should stay away from foods that contain high amounts of sugar. Whole grains and cereals such as wheat naturally contain high amounts of these sugars which are released slowly into the bloodstream. Hence, they’re capable of causing insulin hikes in the bloodstream several times. So, whole wheat and other cereals are a great source of fibre and carbohydrates for a healthy person, a woman with PCOS must avoid it.

2. Potatoes
Potatoes are a great source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, fibre, and antioxidants. However, it is also a starchy vegetable and can lead to an insulin spike. Thus, women with PCOS must avoid eating potatoes.

Also, read: Doctors suggest how you can manage PCOS and PCOD at home during the lockdown

3. Milk
There’s all the talk in the world about how calcium from milk is necessary for healthy bones and how the healthy fat content in it can benefit your body. However, cow’s milk also contains the insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) hormone which is a naturally-occurring hormone that mimics the molecular structure as well as the role and activity of the insulin hormone in our body.

Several studies have proven that women with PCOS have higher-than-normal levels of it and that their ovaries are particularly sensitive to even small amounts of IGF-1 from milk.

foods that help you sleep
Yes, Milk is not good for women suffering from PCOS. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Additionally, cows are injected with several hormones to boost their milk production and these hormones can easily pass into the milk, creating a hormonal flurry in the body of a woman suffering from PCOS if they consume it.

4. Soya
Women with PCOS may also have higher-than-normal oestrogen levels in their bodies, a condition called estrogen dominance. As per a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, soy products such as tofu and soy milk which are deemed as the perfect source of protein for vegetarians contain high levels of isoflavones which are a class of compounds generally known as phytoestrogens that have estrogen-like structures.

This means that the consumption of soy can throw your body into an estrogen overdrive and make the case of your PCOS worse.

5. Coffee
Coffee is known to boost stamina, increase concentration, and is also known to be packed with antioxidants. Hence, drinking it in moderate amounts can really benefit a healthy person. However, the same caffeine that boosts energy and concentration can really backfire in the case of a woman suffering from PCOS.

Firstly, caffeine is known to up your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. This can increase insulin production, making it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels. Secondly, it can cause acidity and disturb the balance of your gut health which could affect all the other bodily functions negatively. Lastly, you’re more likely to drink coffee with sugar or a sweetener which can also give you an insulin spike. Hence, steering clear of coffee and other caffeinated beverages can be the safest bet for you if you suffer from PCOS.

benefits of quitting coffee
Stay away from coffee! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

So, ladies, cut these items out of your diet to keep the symptoms of PCOS under control.

Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.

Wellness Store

Indulge in curated wellness products
for healthy living

Shop Now