7 FOODS YOU NEED TO STOP EATING RIGHT NOW TO HELP HEAL YOUR PCOS
After weeks of researching, I found that there is a MEGA amount of information regarding the types of foods you should eat to help heal and reverse PCOS. However, what there isn’t a lot of information about is what you SHOULD NOT eat.
So I decided to look a little more into it, and what I found is actually quite surprising.
There is no one perfect diet for PCOS, and what works well for one person may not be the same for another person. However, what we do know is that some foods are known to negatively impact and inflame PCOS symptoms.
Here is my list of the top 7 foods you should avoid if you have PCOS:
Sugar – Refined sugar (AKA the devil), cane syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or just any processed sweeteners, are on the top of my list of foods to avoid if you have PCOS. Sugar (or any high GI foods) cause your blood sugars to spike and insulin to be released, which can directly and (negatively!!) effect your PCOS symptoms.
2. Stevia – So you have probably just found out how bad sugar can be and the direct effects it can have on your PCOS symptoms... and now you’re avoiding sugar like the plague. #sugaristhedevil! So chances are, (if you’re anything like me!) you are now looking for something else to satisfy your sweet tooth. You may find yourself supplementing with sweeteners to help you through your sugar-free transition. Now on the surface, Stevia sounds like a good option- it’s natural, low GI and even looks like regular sugar, BUT Stevia is actually a highly processed sweetener that has actually been historically used in some countries to PREVENT pregnancy! So if you’re trying to increase your fertility chances, I would recommend steering clear of Stevia, and opting for other sweeteners such as coconut nectar, agave, blackstrap molasses etc.
3. Foods that have more than five ingredients - Whenever you buy pre-packaged foods, the first thing you should do is read the ingredient list. If the list of ingredients is longer than five items, it is very likely the food is highly processed and probably not a great choice. Try to stick to foods with less than five ingredients that are natural and organic. Or better yet, make them yourself at home, so you know exactly what’s in them!
4. Red Meat – Red meat is a highly inflammatory food that can cause your PCOS symptoms to flare up. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has also recently declared red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and processed meats as “carcinogenic to humans." The IARC’s final assessment is that consumption of red meat can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases, and may lead to a higher risk of dying from these diseases. So basically it is known to cause cancer and should be avoided as much as possible.
5. Dairy— Dairy is yet another known food that causes high levels of inflammation. Recent research has shown that consuming dairy may trigger acne outbreaks while also directly affecting obesity and insulin resistance. The hormones found in dairy products are also said to negatively impact on PCOS symptoms.
6. Raw Veggies – Yes, you read that right! (I was shocked when I found this one out too!) Well, it turns out all those cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, bok choy and cabbage contain ‘goitrogens’ which can actually suppress thyroid function when eaten raw and contribute to your PCOS symptoms!!! Crazy right!? So don't forget to just saute them a little before eating them - heat neutralises the goitrogens.
7. “Cooling” foods – If you follow the concept of Ayurvedic medicine, you may know that foods such as cucumber, mint, spirulina are considered “cooling” foods. This is because they are thought to have a cooling effect on our reproductive organs. Having PCOS means that your uterus is considered ‘a damp and stagnant place’ SO we actually need to include more “warming” foods to reverse the situation and avoid cooling foods where possible. The best warming foods for PCOS include cinnamon, cayenne and turmeric.
Remember that PCOS symptoms are just your body’s way of trying to tell you that something is unbalanced. Food is one of the most powerful ways to help nourish and rebalance your body to ensure it can function properly.