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PCOD Diet Plan: Foods To Eat And Avoid In PCOD/PCOS

HealthcareOnTime Team 2024-05-26 2024-05-27 3 Min Read
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  • PCOD Diet Plan: Foods To Eat And Avoid In PCOD

    Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a prevalent condition that stems from a hormone imbalance in women, affecting many during their reproductive years. Although there is no cure for PCOD, managing the condition is possible through a combination of strategies, including medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, and dietary adjustments. 

    Apart from lifestyle changes and other home remedies for PCOD, taking a PCOD diet is one of the best ways to manage the disease. This guide will focus on a dietary approach that helps regulate hormone levels and alleviate symptoms, providing detailed insights into the foods to embrace and those to avoid.

    Did you know: 

    • In India, experts claim that 10% of women have PCOD. However, there is no proper published statistical data on the prevalence of PCOD in India. 1
    • PCOD represents a significant public health issue and is among the most prevalent endocrine disorders in women.
    • PCOD is a common hormonal disorder affecting at least 5%–15% of females of reproductive age globally. 2
    • About 70% of women with this condition remain undiagnosed globally. 3

    Diet Plan for PCOD: 8 Foods To Eat To Control PCOD 

    Any female of reproductive age can develop PCOD over time. As stated earlier, there is no cure for PCOD. However, you can manage it better when you understand the condition, its signs, and the lifestyle strategies and dietary changes necessary to tackle it. 

    Generally, the signs of PCOD include:

    Other symptoms can include:

    So, if you notice any of these symptoms occurring frequently, you might be at risk of PCOD. A female hormonal profile test can detect the PCOD problem in women.

    Unprocessed food, olive oil, avocados, dark chocolate (only a moderate intake), and spices like turmeric are some of the best food-related solutions to the PCOD problem. 

    The eight other food items you should include on your PCOD diet food chart are as follows: 

    1. Fruits for PCOD

    The diet plan you must follow for PCOD will depend on individual factors like your weight and the severity of the condition.

    Regardless, increasing the intake of fresh fruits must be at the top of your list of dietary changes. 

    Here is a list of the best fruits for PCOD:

    • Red grapes
    • Blueberries
    • Blackberries
    • Cherries 5
    • Winter squash
    • Pumpkin
    • Strawberries
    • Tomatoes 6

    2. Vegetables

    Your diet chart for PCOD must include nutrient-packed and leafy green vegetables, as mentioned below. 

    Cruciferous vegetables, such as:

    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Brussels sprouts

    Leafy and green vegetables such as:

    • Red leaf lettuce 
    • Arugula
    • Kale
    • Spinach

    3. Fatty Fish 

    Adding a specific variety of fatty fish to your PCOD diet can be a solution to your problem. This is because fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

    Research studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids in the diet showed improvement in PCOD patients by:

    • Making their periods come more regularly
    • Encouraging weight loss (especially around the waist area)
    • Decreasing their lipid profiles 7

    Therefore, here is a list of the best fatty fish for PCOD patients:

    • Salmon
    • Tuna
    • Sardines
    • Mackerel

    4. Nuts

    Nuts are a valuable addition to the PCOD diet food chart. Since they have a low glycemic index (GI) (ability to keep insulin levels in your body balanced), they help to control PCOD effectively. 

    Hence, here is a list of nuts that PCOD patients must include in their diet:

    • Pine nuts
    • Walnuts
    • Almonds
    • Pistachios

    5. Spices

    Although not a prominent food item on the PCOD diet chart, some spices can prove beneficial when added in limited amounts to the diet. 

    These include:

    • Turmeric: Turmeric reduces the PCOD complications associated with oxidative stress. 8
    • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is good for the management of insulin in PCOD patients. Insulin management is the most important part of PCOD treatment. 9

    You can make a DIY drink using these spices to get a tasty yet healthy solution for your PCOD problem. 

    6. Protein-Rich Foods

    Your diet plan for PCOD is incomplete without foods with a healthy protein level. That is why it is essential to include the following protein-rich foods in your PCOD diet food chart:

    • Chicken and tofu (as they have plenty of lean protein)
    • Dried beans
    • Lentils
    • Other legumes

    7. High-Fibre Foods

    High-fibre foods are beneficial for PCOD patients in 2 ways:

    • They minimise the effect that sugar has on your blood
    • They slow down digestion 

    Both of these processes ultimately lead to improved insulin functioning in the body, which, in turn, helps control PCOD. 

    Here is a list of some good high-fibre sources that you must have on your PCOD food diet chart:

    • Vegetables like brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower
    • Leafy greens like red leaf lettuce
    • Lentils, beans, green peppers, and red peppers 
    • Nuts like almonds

    Apart from these, winter squash, pumpkin, and berries are among the healthiest, fibre-rich fruits for PCOD. 

    8. Anti-Inflammatory Foods

    Anti-inflammatory foods are another excellent solution to the PCOD problem. They help to control PCOD by: 

    • Managing your high blood sugar
    • Decreasing your risk of heart disease
    • Improving body composition
    • Balancing your hormones

    That is why it is essential to include the following anti-inflammatory foods in your PCOD diet plan:

    • Olive oil
    • Berries (particularly strawberries and blueberries) 
    • Leafy greens like spinach
    • Oily fish such as sardines and salmon 
    • Vegetables such as kale
    • Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds 

    While the specific PCOD diet varies, focus on fruits (berries), vegetables, fatty fish, nuts, lean protein, high-fibre options, and anti-inflammatory foods to manage symptoms and promote overall well-being. Remember, consult a doctor or dietician for a personalised plan.

    8 Foods to Avoid in PCOD

    A hormone imbalance test provides an estimate of your body's hormonal status. As mentioned above, hormonal imbalances are directly related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOD). That is why, following the test results, you can follow a PCOD diet plan for prevention and management.

    At the same time, you must know what foods to avoid if you have PCOD, just as you must know what to eat. 

    Therefore, here is a list of 8 varieties of foods that should not be on your PCOD food diet chart. 

    1. Refined Carbohydrates

    People with PCOD must avoid food items that have a high content of refined carbohydrates. It is because refined carbohydrates have adverse effects on your body. These include:

    • Increased insulin resistance 
    • Onset or worsening of inflammation

    Most foods that are highly processed have an abundance of refined carbohydrates. 

    Examples include bakery items such as:

    • White bread (or any snack or dessert made using white flour)
    • Sugary desserts
    • Breakfast pastries
    • Muffins

    2. Wheat flour Pasta or Noodles 

    Apart from refined carbohydrates, a low-fibre diet and a high-carbohydrate diet are also a threat to the health of a PCOD patient. These are usually present in several pasta and noodle types available on the market.

    So, it is always a good idea to look at the label of the packaging before purchasing anything that has a high amount of:

    • Durum flour
    • Semolina
    • Durum wheat flour

    Instead of these, you should prioritise ingredients like bean flour or lentil flour when buying pasta. These are a much healthier and more wholesome alternative that can make a great addition to your PCOD diet plan. 

    3. High Sugar Foods And Beverages

    Sugar is nothing but a type of carbohydrate. That is why it is one of the most dangerous foods you must avoid in PCOD. 

    However, you might not always find the word 'sugar' on the ingredient list of packaged foods. It is because sugar comes in different forms, such as:

    • Sucrose
    • Dextrose
    • Corn syrup (high in fructose)

    Therefore, the sugary beverages that need to be removed from your diet if you are a PCOD patient include:

    • Energy drinks
    • Fruit juices
    • Sodas

    Apart from this, it is equally important to eliminate desserts and other bakery items mentioned above. 

    4. Inflammatory Foods

    When you eat inflammatory foods, your ovaries get stimulated to produce more androgens (male hormones). When this happens, the symptoms of PCOD tend to get worse. So, avoid foods that cause inflammation when on a PCOD diet.

    Examples of such highly inflammatory foods include the following:

    • Fries
    • Margarine
    • Processed meats
    • Red meat

    6. Processed Meats

    Processed meats contain a high amount of fat and also cause inflammation. Hence, some examples of highly processed meats that should not form a part of your PCOD diet plan include:

    • Hot dogs
    • Sausages
    • Luncheon meats

    7. Red Meats

    Red meat is one of the most dangerous foods for people with PCOD.

    Even for people who don't have PCOD, it increases your risk of developing long-term health complications, ranging from diabetes to heart disease (which can even lead to stroke) and cancer. 10

    The main types of red meat cuts that a PCOD patient must limit in their diet are as follows:

    • Steaks
    • Hamburgers
    • Pork

    8. Solid Fats

    Those fats available in the solid state that melt on heating are known as solid fats. These types of fats are also called saturated fats. They are unhealthy, just like trans fats. So, they give rise to problems like heart-related disorders. Therefore, your PCOD diet food chart must not contain solid fats. 

    Food items having a high content of solid fats include the following:

    • Butter
    • Palm oil
    • Coconut oils
    • Cheese
    • Red meat 11
    • Margarine
    • Shortening
    • Lard

    Apart from this, the other food items that are not good for people who have PCOD include: 

    • Fast Foods
    • Fried foods
    • Foods that contain too much salt or too much sugar

    Making dietary changes by carefully formulating a PCOD food diet chart can be one of the most essential steps in managing PCOD. 

    Furthermore, PCOD does not have a cure, but what you can do is take the right diet and limit the intake of the above-mentioned foods to avoid its complications.

    Weekly PCOD Diet Plan/Chart for Weight Loss


    Morning Drink







    (Soak 2 teaspoons of methi seeds in a cup of water at night and drink it in the morning)


    (Flour:- besan, moong dal, corn flour, barley)


    (Use seasonal vegetables)


    RICE with DAAL 



    (Dry and powder curry leaves; mix 1 teaspoon in a glass of water and drink it)


    (Use vegetables  and poha in the ratio of 1:1


    (Use seasonal vegetables)







    (Steep a teaspoon of dried Moringa leaves in a cup of hot water)


    (With apple, spinach, oranges, and ginger)


    (Use seasonal vegetables)






    (Use black carrots and mustard seeds)


    (Use seasonal vegetables)








    RICE with DAAL 







    (Use seasonal vegetables)






    (Steep sliced cinnamon and ginger in hot water, then add lemon juice)


    (Use vegetables  and poha in a ratio of 1:1)


    (Add pumpkin seeds, coconut pieces, or dates)



    Management and Prevention of PCOD

    Modifying your food habits is one of the best solutions to deal with the problem of PCOD. Apart from this, there are other lifestyle changes and PCOD home remedies that you can adopt to prevent and manage it. Below, we have mentioned these in detail:

    Home Remedies For PCOD Problem

    Here is a list of some PCOD home remedies:

    • Eliminate coffee from your diet
    • Take supplements that contain vitamin D, calcium, chromium, etc. Get a doctor's advice before taking supplements
    • Intake Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) to reduce stress

    Lifestyle Changes To Cure PCOD

    The lifestyle changes that you can make along with following a PCOD diet include:

    • Keep your body weight balanced (avoid being underweight or overweight)
    • Get engaged in regular physical exercise.
    • Set up a routine to help you have a relaxed and uninterrupted sleep of at least 8 hours.
    • Manage your stress levels by adopting techniques like yoga and meditation 12

    When To Seek Medical Attention? 

    Sometimes, missing periods can result from nutritional deficiencies and unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as stress or a lack of physical activity. However, if you suspect your symptoms are not the result of these reasons, you can take a PCOD profile test to be more sure. 

    Here is a list of signs that indicate that you must seek medical attention for PCOD:

    • A menstrual cycle that's not regular over a long duration. There should not be a gap of more than 40 days between 2 consecutive periods. 
    • Excessive hair growth in various body parts, ranging from arms to face. 
    • Appearance of sudden and stubborn acne
    • If you're having difficulty in conception (getting pregnant) 13

    So, whether you have PCOD or not, it is always a good idea to book full body checkup, as it can help you find out about any underlying condition that you might be at risk of.


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