5 Foods To Avoid with PCOS (and 3 to Incorporate Into Your Diet)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common health condition caused by an imbalance of hormones.

Unfortunately, PCOS has no cure. However, there are lifestyle changes that we can make that allow us to manage the symptoms. In this article, we will look at how food and diet affect PCOS and what changes we can make to our lifestyle to help us live with the condition. 

What Has Diet Got To Do With PCOS?


Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant, which means that their body can’t effectively use the insulin it makes. Because of this, women with PCOS are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the people with PCOS will go on to develop type 2 diabetes before the age of 40

There are also other health conditions that women with PCOS are more at risk of developing. These include high blood pressure and heart disease, and these conditions also are affected by the food we eat. On top of this, women with PCOS are more likely to be overweight or obese than those without it.   

This means that those of us with PCOS need to be extra careful with our diet! Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet means that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is lessened and the symptoms of PCOS are alleviated. 

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5 Foods To Avoid With PCOS

Being mindful about what we eat allows us to live a healthy life with PCOS. Because insulin regulates glucose and fats, foods with high levels of sugar and refined carbohydrates should be consumed in moderation. 

So what are some common foods to be aware of when living with PCOS?

White Bread

White bread is high in refined carbohydrates, which are carbs that are stripped of a lot of fiber and vitamins. Refined carbohydrates can affect insulin resistance in women with PCOS and therefore should be eaten in moderation. 


Sugary Sweets

Unfortunately, sugary sweets are not good for women living with PCOS. Sweets that are high in sugars and fats can impact a person’s insulin levels and therefore increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Consuming sugary sweets also means that weight gain is more likely, which is something many of us with PCOS have issues with. 


Durum Wheat Flour Pasta


A lot of pasta is made from durum wheat flour. However, this means that the carbohydrates in the pasta are refined and processed and therefore should be avoided when living with PCOS. 

Soda and Sugary Drinks

Giving up soda and other sugary drinks is a great way of reducing your glucose intake, and you will hardly miss them! It is quite surprising how much sugar can be in fruit juices and smoothies, and some ‘healthy’ drinks can be just as bad as fizzy pop. 


Make sure you check what is in your drink before consuming it, or better still, stick to water!

Cakes and Cookies

Cakes and cookies are filled with refined carbohydrates and should be avoided when wanting to manage PCOS. Of course, the odd treat is fine, but drastically reducing the intake of these foods can really improve your health and wellbeing. 

3 Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet


Thankfully, it is not all doom and gloom when it comes to living with PCOS. There are so many tasty foods that allow you to live a healthy lifestyle and manage your PCOS symptoms.

Fruits, Berries, and Nuts


Swapping sugary sweets, cakes, and cookies for healthy snacks means that you will not be feeling hungry between meals. It allows you to treat yourself but without the worry of affecting your health. Fruits, berries, and nuts are all great, tasty snacks that give you energy, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Food With High Fiber 


Fiber is important when wanting to combat insulin resistance and therefore women with PCOS should be conscious of involving high fiber food in their diet. Beans, lentils, and green leafy vegetables such as kale or broccoli are high in fiber and are easy to work into recipes. 


Whole Grains


A lot of food that we love contains refined carbohydrates, however, these should be avoided when living with PCOS.  Thankfully, there are so many great alternatives to refined carbs! Opting for wholegrain bread means that you are eating good, unprocessed carbohydrates that work with your body, not against it. It doesn’t mean that we have to live without pasta, either. Wholemeal pasta or pasta made from lentil or bean flour tastes just as good, but much better for your health.

Living With PCOS Means Eating The Good Stuff!


For women with PCOS, making lifestyle and dietary changes is really important when wanting to manage the symptoms. Of course, this can be overwhelming at first, and you may feel as if you have to give up all the food you love. 


However, there are so many tasty alternatives to refined carbs and sugary snacks that improve your mood, overall health, and PCOS. Living with PCOS means eating the good stuff, and enjoying a healthy, balanced lifestyle.