We often come across reports of women suffering from PCOD. In India alone, more than 35% of the women folk including young girls, suffer from PCOD. PCOD, Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease, also called PCOS. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a medical condition, wherein it affects the health of women only, as it is a female endocrine or hormonal disorder. Diet Chart of PCOD/PCOS along with suggested lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for women diagnosed with PCOD.
The medical condition is caused because of the ovary getting enlarged due to the constant development of follicular cysts and is characterized by painful or irregular periods, weight gain, growth of unwanted body hairs, acne, abnormalities in appetite, finding it difficult to lose weight, and many more. It has also been observed that women with PCOD develop metabolic syndrome, which increases the chances of developing some dreaded health conditions like diabetes and heart diseases.
Changing the way you eat, has been shown to have proved beneficial and reducing the chances of associated health problems with PCOD.
PCOD/PCOS facts that you should always remember:
- PCOD is one of the leading causes of female infertility: With growing instances of PCOD among women, the prevalence of infertility in PCOD/PCOS women is very high (almost 70 to 80%). With the hormone levels running up and down, it makes it very hard for women to become pregnant, increasing the chances of miscarriage.
- PCOD has no known cause: There are many theories from genetic components to environmental influences, gene mutation, hereditary reasons to leading a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption, that has been touted to be the cause of PCOD, but nothing is confirmed yet.
- Obesity in women is often correlated with PCOD: Women with PCOD experience hormonal imbalance along with insulin sensitivity. Due to their PCOD and insulin sensitivity, the body is not able to convert sugar into energy. The higher levels of insulin in the bloodstream increase the production of androgen and you will have a higher appetite, resulting in weight gain.
- Diagnosis of PCOD is possible without the presence of ovarian cysts: Women with PCOD can be diagnosed with and even without the presence of cysts in their ovaries. Due to its unknown causes and the complexities associated with the condition, doctors judge the presence of PCOD by combining one or more symptoms, even the test results do not verify the presence of any ovarian cysts.
So, what does PCOD/PCOS Diet Plan Say:
PCOD is a condition that results in hormonal imbalance in women in their reproductive age. The symptoms of PCOD for each woman are different and unique. Studies have taught us some very vital aspects of PCOD:
- With PCOD, a woman may be affected by the overproduction of the male hormone, androgen. With higher levels of androgen in women, the risks of heart diseases, diabetes, and higher cholesterol levels increases. They may also face consistent acne issues.
- Hormonal imbalances can be controlled with a PCOD/PCOS diet plan that consists of nutritious, high fiber foods and removing the chances of blood sugar problems associated with PCOD. Regulating hormones levels in the body effectively can control the symptoms of PCOD and help improve fertility problems related to the condition in women.
- Common PCOD symptoms and weight gain can be overcome with exercise and following a PCOD/PCOS diet chart.
The basics of the PCOD diet chart
- The Balanced Diet
For women with PCOD, it is important that women should achieve a neutral and hemostatic state with their bodies, and for which they must consume a well-balanced diet comprising of foods for PCOD. A proper and balanced diet chart for PCOD helps the insulin in the body to function properly, allowing glucose to the cells for the energy needs. This further allows less insulin into the bloodstream, decreasing the androgen levels and managing the symptoms associated with the condition.
- Choose carbs that are of high quality and have high fiber contents
Diabetes is a common health issue that most women with PCOD face. To maintain their diabetes or keep it in control, it is necessary to follow a PCOD food list that contains high quality – high fiber carbohydrates. It helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Choose foods that are nutrient-dense with high amounts of minerals and vitamins
To decrease and take control over the severity of the symptoms associated with PCOD, it has been proved that foods rich in vitamin D, B, iodine, magnesium, and selenium are the best. Salmon, Eggs, Tuna, Mushrooms, Avocado, whole grains, fortified milk, nuts and seeds, strawberries, bananas, and dark chocolate are just some of such foods.
PCOD and Weight Loss
Weight loss can be a big challenge for women with PCOD/PCOS but is always achievable. You will have to know and understand that the process of weight loss with PCOD is very slow and gradual. This can be blamed mainly on the hormonal imbalances, blood sugar issues, and inflammation associated with it.
To achieve weight loss in PCOD you will have to incorporate a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, and take medicines to improve your insulin sensitivity. Even if you are successful in achieving a 5 to 10 % loss of weight, you will find a great difference in your conditions with PCOD.
The best diet chart for PCOD weight loss: To get relief from the symptoms of PCOD and achieve weight loss, you should get the right balance of nutrients your body needs to manage the symptoms. The best diet for PCOD weight loss should constitute of the following:
- Lean Proteins: Aids in weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer.
Examples: Beans, Tofu, Salmon, Tuna, Skinless Chicken, and Turkey.
- Fruits and Veggies: Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies boost immunity, decrease inflammation, and helps against weight gain.
Example: Carrots, Broccoli, Beets, Tomatoes, Strawberry, blueberries, Kiwi, Apples, and Cherries.
- Complex Carbs: Complex carbs with high fiber help lowering insulin and keeps inflammation under check.
Examples: Brown Rice, Quinoa, Oats, Beans, Lentils, Sweet and White Potatoes.
- Healthy Fats: Healthy fat is a necessity for the body. It helps to regulate hormones, aids in the absorption of vitamins in the body, keeps the heart-healthy, and fights obesity.
Example: Olive oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and avocado.
Foods to avoid in PCOD
Not all foods are made equal. As the PCOD diet chart for weight loss stresses eating whole and unprocessed foods, it is also important that you should stay away from certain foods that might increase the possibilities of symptoms and worsening your conditions.
Some of the most foods that you should stay clear of, are:
- All processed foods.
- All baked, sweetened, and refined four foods like cakes, cookies, and candies.
- All high sugar content cereals and things like protein bars.
- All kinds of chips.
- All packages foodstuffs.
- Sweetened juices, fruit syrups, sauces, sodas, and soft drinks.
- Foods made of refined grains like pasta, bread, white rice.
- Some experts also recommend staying away from caffeine, as it could trigger the symptoms and aggravate the problems.
Although PCOD is typically a reproductive health condition with women, other parts of the body are also significantly affected by the condition, including mental health.
If you have been diagnosed with PCOD. You will like to have to work with more than just one health expert to successfully manage your PCOD/PCOS symptoms. As far as the diet is concerned, make the necessary changes in your eating and lifestyle habits, and follow the guideline mentioned above. Your body and you will have to continuously make adjustments and know the new way of eating to the new you.