General Dietary Guidelines for PCOS

There’s been a noticeable shift in women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and the numbers seem to be increasing. Women also seem to be getting diagnosed with it younger and younger.

PCOS puts a strain of one’s fertility health, ability to get pregnant and ability to carry a child to term. It also makes life difficult in general. For anyone living with PCOS, they’re all too aware of this reality. Anovulation, months and months without a cycle, increased testosterone levels (caused by poor insulin regulation) and possible insulin resistance.

If this reality is yours, you’re part of the 10-20% of women who suffer from this syndrome. Thirty years ago, PCOS was practically unheard of and many doctors think this increase is due to an increase of awareness. But like other health complications that are becoming more prevalent in society, PCOS is increasing among young women who are entering their child-bearing years at alarming rates and it’s affecting their ability to successfully get pregnant and have babies once they are older.

You might be wondering what is causing this increase. Unfortunately, there’s no one reason. Environmental toxins, increased hormone exposure, and, most notably, our increase in sugar consumption are all culprits. PCOS is one of the end-results of an assault on the organs that regulate sugar handling – the pancreas, adrenal glands and liver and supporting those organs and their health is key to restoring homeostasis in your own body.

Diligent charting, diet, exercise and adequate hydration are the best remedies. For a woman struggling with PCOS, SymptoPro NFP provides a secret look into her body. It allows her to figure out where she’s at in her fertility cycle and even if and when she’s ovulated. It also empowers her to be able to advocate for her own health with her doctor and to participate much more fully in her health management.

Mild and moderate exercise will help calm the body, as is the case with yoga or pilates, while providing necessary lymph flow. More moderate exercise, such as jogging or speed walking or swimming, aids in weight management of PCOS. (One of the side effects of PCOS is weight gain and fat cells store excess hormones in them, which further complicates symptoms.)

A healthy diet is key. Women with PCOS would do best to avoid starchy carbs, pasta, bread, grain, excess sugars, processed sugars and foods, and too much fruit as these metabolize as sugar in the body and cause the liver to work overtime to process the onslaught of glucose. When the liver can no longer keep up, the pancreas takes over with beta cells to produce insulin. Over time, if there is too much of a tax on the system, two things can happen. The pancreas will burn out and stop producing enough insulin (as we see with type 2 diabetes) or there will be a constant over-abundance of insulin in the system – which can lead to insulin resistance. Both outcomes present their own problems but avoiding those foods that cause a sugar yo-yo effect will help allow the affected organs time to heal.

A diet rich in organic vegetables (especially green vegetables); healthy grass-fed and pasture-raised meats and wild-caught cold-water fish; pasture-raised and organic animal fats (such as tallow, schmaltz or lard), grass-fed butter, coconut oil, expeller-pressed virgin olive oil and fish oil; soaked and sprouted nuts; and low-glycemic fruits will go a long way in self-regulation of PCOS. Some examples of low glycemic fruits include pears, apples, etc.

Hydration is the other core item to regulating PCOS. Water should be your best friend and the general rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. So, for example, if you weight 100lbs, you would drink 50oz of water a day. This is for general management. If you are exercising, you will want to make sure you are getting more water and especially more electrolytes. Cooking with Celtic sea salt provides those electrolytes.

PCOS shouldn’t be a syndrome that dictates your life, taking charge of your diet and making basic changes will do a lot to help. Further nutritional recommendations and assistance should be done under the guidance of a doctor or nutritional therapist, the information contained in this post does not constitute as medical advice.




Lee, John MD. A New Epidemic that Causes Infertility, Excess Hair, Acne and More. The John R. Lee, M.D. Medical Letter. July 1999.

Course Notes. Nutritional Therapy Association. Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Course. 2014.