Being diagnosed with PCOS can come with a range of questions. From which medications to take, to which exercise to do and what to eat. When it comes to eating the right kinds of foods – remember that a PCOS diet chart is all about sustainability, developing a healthy relationship with food and being mindful.
Whether you realise it or not, breakfast is actually one of the most important meals of the day. However, most breakfast options that you normally see are loaded with carbohydrates. Muffins, pancakes, bagels, bread especially those made with refined flour are not good for PCOS. Your breakfast should be heavy in terms of quality which means you should include a small portion of low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates, best quality protein, healthy fats and fibre.
Importance of having breakfast with PCOS
A lot of people skip on breakfast or grab something quick like a protein bar or coffee. However, there are proven benefits of eating breakfast in the morning, especially with PCOS.
Around 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance which means your body’s cells become less sensitive to insulin and don’t allow the entry of glucose in the cells. This means your body doesn’t use the available insulin effectively to keep your glucose levels stable.
As a result, the body produces more insulin and higher levels of insulin increase the production of testosterone in the ovaries. One way to have stable blood sugar levels is to include more sources of low GI foods, protein and healthy fats that don’t raise your blood sugar as much and help reduce insulin resistance.
But following a PCOS diet chart does not have to be complicated. In fact, many of the ingredients or food items might already be a part of your daily meals. As a result, the key is to be aware of the sources and avoid high GI foods i.e. foods that increase your blood sugar levels such as processed or sugary foods.
Tips on planning breakfast with PCOS:
Remember that there is no one BEST breakfast for PCOS. Hence, Certain foods work well for different people. So pay attention to how eating certain foods make you feel. For some, eating dairy or yoghurt may not be the option, in such cases, you can switch to lactose-free options.
- Include more protein and fat
Traditionally, breakfasts are heavy in carbohydrates. However, for PCOS, apart from including sources of low GI carbohydrates, adding protein and fat improves the nutritional value of your breakfast. A high-protein breakfast is known to control appetite and curb feelings of cravings – something which women with PCOS struggle with.
- Fibre is important
An understated nutrient – dietary fibre is important to keep your bowel movements smooth, maintain satiety and control blood sugar levels. Whole foods are rich in fibre and you can include sources such as steel-cut oats, multi grain bread, chia seeds, flax seeds or fruits.
- Include anti-inflammatory foods
PCOS associate with chronic low-grade inflammation, and adding more anti-inflammatory foods can potentially reduce inflammation and the associated pcos symptoms. Leafy greens, nuts and seeds, turmeric, fatty fish and berries.
- Keep it simple:
You don’t have to complicate your breakfast planning. Meal preps are the best way to stay prepared in the morning, So especially if you are getting late. Therefore, Overnight oats or a simple toast with nut butter can be a good option.
There are some PCOS-friendly breakfast ideas that make the perfect option to get started with your day:
- Baby spinach omelette
- Oats with banana and egg pancakes
- Mushroom egg saute
- Oats chilla
- Oats and berries smoothie bowl
- Onion roast oats dosa
- Vegetable upma
- Vegetable poha
- Pongal (with brown or red rice)
- Vegetable dalia
- Beetroot and vegetable idli
- Mixed sprouts salad
- Apple and oats pie
- Avocado toast with scrambled eggs
- Oat flour pancakes with fruits
- Ragi dosa
- Greek yoghurt with fruits
- Vegetable sandwich
As you can see, PCOS diet is about visualising food as a way to nourish your body. You don’t have to follow a restrictive diet or skip breakfast to see results. Limit intake of processed and sugary foods and instead increase your intake of whole foods. Therefore, It is also important to keep a track of how much you eat. A nutritionist or your doctor can help customise a PCOS diet chart according to your symptoms and dietary preferences.
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