What is a PCO diet?
PCO refers to polycystic ovary syndrome. It is a condition faced by women, in which hormones are messed up; as a result, the woman will have problems with her menstrual cycle and face a lot of difficulties for pregnancy. The condition also makes many alterations to the way you look. This includes having acne and facial hair. When you do not treat PCO, it could lead to several health issues like heart problems and diabetes.
When a woman has PCO that means that she has small cysts on her ovaries. The cyst itself is not a problem, but it will sabotage the normal levels of hormones in the body. When you get diagnosed early, you will prevent any problem from happening on the long run.
Hormones are simply messengers that are needed for many processes including growth, energy production and other jobs. For women who get diagnosed with PCO, one hormone gets out of balance and creates a sort of a chain reaction. An example is with sex hormones. Women do produce a very small amount of male sex hormones. When there is PCO, this means that more of this male hormone is produced, which will lead to acne, an ovulation cessation and facial hair.
There are many symptoms that could indicate the presence of PCO. These include:
- Weight gain
- Trouble losing weight
- Having thin hair (on the head)
- Extra unwanted hair
- Periods that are not regular
- Some women might not even have periods
- Fertility issues because they are not ovulating
To diagnose this issue, a doctor’s visit is a must. You will be asked about your family history as well as health problems that are existing. You will also get a physical done and some lab tests to check the blood glucose level and insulin. You might also want to check your thyroid hormones to rule out any thyroid issue. Finally, a pelvic CT scan will look for the cysts that could be suspected.
To treat PCO, you will be asked to have a healthier lifestyle like exercising, eating healthy and controlling your weight. Working out does not have to be the heavy type of exercising; a simple walk will be great. All these measures are essential to manage this condition. Quitting smoking is surely a clever step too. You might be given some birth control pills to lower some of the symptoms. If you are trying to get pregnant, you might be on fertility pills.
The causes of PCO are still not really understood. Genetics are probably one risk factor. So, if anyone in the family has it, you might have it as well. Such a condition is passed on to girls from both parents. So it can come from your father or your mother’s side.
A PCO healthy diet is a system that allows you to manage your condition in the best way to prevent any development of future side effects. It will also help you manage the existing symptoms. You can take a look at what is a low cholesterol diet.
What is the PCO diet plan for weight loss and its guidelines?
If you have an irregular period or a lack of period, you might have PCO. This means that you probably have several cysts on your ovaries that could lead to complications if untreated. Studies show that 50% of women who have PCO are either overweight or obese. Other symptoms include acne, and male pattern baldness like thin hair. Feel free to check some acne diets. For women who have PCO, they can also at high risk of developing high blood pressure. It also means that you have higher levels of insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas, that helps controlling your blood sugar levels. When your body has low insulin, this means that your blood sugar levels are not going to be high. This is called insulin resistant. In this case, your body will exert a lot of efforts to produce more insulin, which will lead to the production of more male hormones like testosterones. This happens also when you have a relatively high BMI (obese or fat). You do not need to think of diet pills like the Belviq diet pills to lose weight; all you need is to adjust the food chart you are allowed to take in and you will lose weight. For those suffering from gout, you can take a look at the Gout diet recipes.
So, the basics of the PCO treatment diet include three food groups to be added:
- Veggies options that are very high in fibers.
- Proteins that are lean like fish
- Foods that are anti-inflammatory like spices and tomatoes. Also take a look at the Alkaline diet reviews.
High fibers food can be vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, green leaves, peppers, beans and legumes, almonds, berries, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. Lean proteins include tofu, fish, and chicken. Anti-inflammatory foods include spinach, tomatoes, kale, almonds and walnuts, blueberries, and fatty fish like salmon and sardines. These options are filling and can be a part of amazing recipes. They are great options even when you are following a wellness diet.
Food to avoid
These include three groups of foods:
- Foods that are high in carbs like white breads, muffins and bagels.
- Drinks that provide the body with a lot of carbs like sodas.
- Inflammatory food like processed meats and red meat.
You have to keep in mind that a diet high in refined carbs can cause inflammation in the body and this will led to insulin resistance. When on a PCO diet, you need to stay away from white breads, muffins and cakes, pastries, sugary desserts, white potatoes, and any other kind of bakery item that is prepared with white flour. You will also need to eliminate pasta and noodles. You are going to have to start reading labels and staying away from anything that has high amounts of sugar like sucrose, fructose and corn syrup. You also need to stay stead of dextrose. Finally, it will be a great idea to take out food that are over-processed like French fries, margarine, red meats, hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, hams, and cured meats. Overall this system will bring your body to a higher level of wellness and health status.
PCOs diet support and meal plan
The PCO diet is a great way to manage your condition and feel well. Here is a sample meal plan that can help you understand how to put the food together.
- Breakfast: you can have two boiled eggs with ½ a cup of melon, a cup of kashi and a cup of nonfat milk.
- Snack: your snack can consist of a cup of carrots and some hummus
- Lunch: you can have for lunch the following food like lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes, celery, and carrots with half a cup of chickpeas and 1 quarter a cup of feta cheese. This will be a salad with some oil and vinegar dressing. On the side, you can have small pita bread made of whole wheat.
- Snack: you can have yogurt parfait for your afternoon snack. Your snack will be made of plain yogurt, frozen berries and almonds.
- Dinner: this is the main meal of the day and is some baked salmon, with steamed veggies, ¾ a cup of brown rice and some water. Makes sure you do not fry the salmon.
- Snack: your night snack can be a banana with some peanut butter and a cup of non-fat milk.
- Breakfast: you can have half a cup of cottage cheese with some peaches (sliced) and a toasted whole wheat muffin. You can add to it a small spoon of peanut butter and a cup of non-fat milk
- Snack: cheese sticks low-fat with some grapes
- Lunch: canned tuna in water with half a cup of celery and one small spoon of light mayonnaise, one pear and a cup of non-fat milk
- Snack: one apple with a small spoon of peanut butter
- Dinner: green salad with one tomato and two ounces of grilled meat with half a whole wheat pita and a vinaigrette dressing.
- Snack: a cup of milk with half a frozen banana
PCOs diet recipes
There are several recipes to prepare when you are following a PCO diet system. You can invest in a good recipes book. Here are a few options for your considerations.
- Lentil soup: this soup is prepared by mixing the following ingredients. You need carrots, celery sticks, onions, small red potatoes, garlic, oil, dry lentils, and one head of escarole, chicken broth and tomatoes. You will need to add about three cups of water.
- Berries smoothie: this is a great recipe that includes blackberries, blueberries, Greek yogurt, milk that is non-fat, vanilla extract and some ice. You can also take a look at the lemonade diet reviews.
- Tomato and mozzarella pockets: you will need whole wheat pita pockets for this recipe that you will fill with tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella cheese that is part-skimmed, garlic, basil leaves and some salt. This surely looks like a small pizza pocket.
- Tofu bean salad: you need tofu, kidney beans, sliced olives, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Easy hummus: all you need for this great dip are some cooked chickpeas, water, tahini, garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. You can also add vinegar. Feel free to take a look at the apple cider vinegar diet.
- Tuna melt: this is a great option for lunch or even dinner. It consists of light tuna in water, whole wheat English muffins, tomatoes, canola mayo, relish, low fat cheese, mustard and tabasco sauce. Feel free to also check the 30 days whole food diet.
- Eggs and tomato omelet: this is a great recipe that includes whole grain bread, some butter, garlic peeled and chopped, parsley, eggs, tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil leaves and some low fat cheddar cheese. Feel free to take a look at the boiled egg diet menu.
- Fruit salad: you need to use the following fruits as strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, kiwi and banana. It is a refreshing salad that you can even freeze and blend as a smoothie with some ice. Feel free to check some detox smoothie diet