Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition primarily affecting women of reproductive age, characterized by varied symptoms like acne, facial hair growth, hair loss, mood swings, irregular periods, fertility issues, and weight gain. Insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances are the key factors contributing to PCOS, making lifestyle modifications the initial approach to managing this condition.
Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head - South Zone, Dietetics, Nutrition and Dietetics at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, advises that certain supplements, including Vitamin D, Omega-3, Inositol, and Vitamin B12, have the potential to enhance insulin sensitivity.
Dietary recommendations and exercise guidelines advisable for individuals with PCOS are:
• Lowering refined carbohydrates consumption
• Following a regular and high-intensity exercise regime
• Prioritizing protein intake
• Choosing only healthy fats – switching to monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), the sources are: nuts, seeds, and olives, and omega-3 fatty acids from almonds, salmon, and tuna
• Limiting saturated fatty acids (SFA) and trans fats (TFA)
• Increasing dietary fiber intake – through fruits, vegetables, millets, legumes, and fiber-rich cereals intake
• Opting for nutritional supplements in case of a deficiency – such as Vitamin D, Omega-3, Inositol, and Vitamin B12 enhance insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, and menstrual regularity.
Why is protein intake vital in PCOS?
Consuming sufficient protein aids in satiety and improves insulin sensitivity. Individuals with PCOS should be recommended to take nearly 15-20% of their total calorie intake as proteins. Eggs are particularly beneficial for PCOS management as they are rich in protein and essential micronutrients like calcium, biotin, vitamin D, and selenium.
Individuals with PCOS can effectively manage their symptoms and enhance their overall well-being by making informed dietary choices, incorporating regular exercise, and considering suitable supplements. Healthcare professionals and registered dietitians can customize such interventions and plan a lifestyle guide based on the individual’s dietary habits, requirements, and health status.
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