Dealing with PCOS? Include more protein-rich foods in your diet

PCOS is something that is talked about all the time and yet not talked about enough. Pooja Makhija, a certified nutritionist, shared on her Instagram that proteins should be consumed if a person is dealing with PCOS.

In her reel, she explained how proteins can help:

1. Proteins help control appetite. It stimulates the hormones that help us reduce our cravings.

2. It also helps improve blood sugar control; because proteins are digested slowly, they impact your blood sugar levels relatively less.

3. It helps temper down insulin response. Protein stimulates a hormone called glucagon that prevents a drastic drop in your blood sugar levels and counteracts the action of insulin. Just the right amount of protein can help a person with PCOS.

We also reached out to some experts to understand more about it. “A high protein and low carb diet undoubtedly helps patients with PCOS. It helps to reduce their metabolic syndrome, improve insulin sensitivity and promote weight loss. Weight loss improves menstrual function as well as fertility in these patients,” said Dr Pradeep Rao, Director & Head, Dept of Urology, Global Hospital, Mumbai.

Karishma Shah, Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach said, “The main problem with PCOS is this phenomenon known as insulin resistance. Once that happens, all the symptoms start. Research has found dietary proteins have an insulinotropic effect. This promotes insulin secretion and helps with enhanced glucose clearance from the blood. It’s important to understand women who have PCOS and insulin resistance need to put their bodies in an insulin sensitive stage to be able to achieve weight loss, handle their symptoms, get their menstrual cycle on track along with reducing acne and facial hair.

“If they have a diet rich in protein, it helps them reach that insulin sensitivity stage and it aids in weight loss. Protein-rich food is the facilitator to clear out the excess glucose from your body and utilise it in the right way. It’s not right to only focus on protein though, it’s important to have a balanced diet, but protein is one of the key nutrients you need.”

“Lifestyle modifications in patients with PCOS is the first step. Diet plays a major role, and reducing your carbohydrate intake reduces insulin resistance. A high level of protein and fibre is essential. It helps to reduce metabolic changes and correct the hormonal imbalance,” said Dr Anshumala Shukla Kulkarni, Head Minimal Invasive Gynaecology at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

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