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PCOD Diet Guidelines To Cure, Manage and Treat Hormonal Imbalance

Manage Hormone, Nutrition, PCOS
PCOD Diet Guidelines To Cure, Manage and Treat Hormonal Imbalance

Do you know, 1 in every five women in India have Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)? While, Polycystic Ovarian Disease or PCOD (also called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS) has become a common condition which is affecting women of reproductive age, what disheartening is the low awareness about this medical condition in India.

PCOS lets a woman’s body to produce more androgens than the normal level, which interfere with the development and release of eggs. Overall, it disrupts the ovulation process. As healthy eggs are not released, sperms can’t fertilize them, which means, you can’t conceive. Also, PCOS can lead you to miss your periods or you may have irregular periods, which are some common signs of PCOD/PCOS.

The sad part is that due to our changing lifestyle, even girls as young as 15 or 18, are also becoming the target of PCOD.

Our expert Dr Nidhi Aggarwal (Lifestyle Disease Management & Nutrition Specialist) is here to talk about PCOS treatment in India. Even if you are fertile (or at least you think so!), go through the guide to understand all the disease which doesn’t make any discrimination when it comes to ‘choosing’ its victims. You might be fertile today, but you don’t know what the future holds for you! So, prevention is better than cure.


Let’s First Understand PCOD

In simple terms, PCOD or PCOS is a medical condition in which a woman’s sex hormone level— estrogen and progesterone, become imbalanced. These may lead to growth of ovarian cysts and the following conditions-

  • Oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea associated with decreased ovulation
  • Hyperandrogenemia or clinical features of androgen excess
  • Abnormal ovarian ultrasound with 12 or more follicles, with each ovary having a diameter of 2-9 mm or increased ovarian volume
  • Increase LH (Luteinizing Hormone) with increased LH/FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) ratio

What Causes PCOD/PCOS?



In PCOD/PCOS ovaries are generally working much below to their efficiency. And the worst part is that it catches the attention only when a lady is trying to conceive as PCOD can cause issues with her fertility. Failure to conceive and the fear which derives out of these sudden negative transitions only worsen the problem.

The more stress you give to your body, the more it would cause an imbalance to your hormones and vice versa.

Even those women who are lean or have a normal weight, stress and overexertion disrupt their delicate hormonal balance.


Do you know, at least 50% of women with PCOS are overweight? Abdominal adiposity or android pattern obesity (Waist hip ratio > 0.85) is also common in PCOS.

A women’s body weight is highly correlated with her hormonal health. Obesity has significant effects on clinical manifestations of PCOS:-

  • 1= Increase in menstrual or ovulatory disturbances
  • H2= High androgen levels
  • 3= Low fertility
  • 4= Increase in spontaneous abortion
  • 5= More risk of endometrial carcinomas.
  • 6= High risk of gestational diabetes


Being overweight seems to complicate hormonal issues and PCOS symptoms while weight loss improves the endocrine profile and increases the likelihood of ovulation and pregnancy in women with PCOS.

Studies have found that overweight women can improve both their menstrual cycles and ovulation with a healthy weight loss of as little as 5% of their initial body weight.


Other Causes Of PCOS

Here are some other factors that can induce and aggravate hormonal imbalance causing PCOD problem=

  • 1= Increase intake of refined carbohydrates like cakes, pastries, white bread, muffins, burgers and pizzas
  • 2= Increase intake of refined sugar, fizzy drinks, sugary snacks and ready to eat (with hidden sugar content)
  • 3= Absence of required fiber, protein and vitamin rich food in the daily diet
  • 4= Absence of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet
  • 5= Long gaps between meals or late night meals
  • 6= Lack of exercise
  • 7= Mindless binging on street foods
  • 8= Overeating


PCOS Treatment Diet Management

We often forget that “We are what we eat”. If we want to come out of this vicious cycle of hormonal imbalance we need to nourish our body. We need to do some introspection regarding the diet management, especially when it comes to fighting with a problem like PCOD, PCOS. You can treat PCOD with diet & nutrition.

A balanced PCOD diet at the right time is what your body needs.


Calorie Requirement in PCOD Diet

Since the majority of women with PCOS are overweight, calories are very important. For weight control, remember – all calories, whether from fat, protein or carbohydrate, which are in excess of your body’s needs, will turn to fat. In order to lose weight, you must stay within your PCOD diet calorie limit.

A calorie need of every woman is different and depends on her body weight and daily activity.

  • 1= It is important to focus on your eating pattern and macronutrient content of Indian diet for PCOD
  • 2= It is essential to note that improved abdominal obesity and insulin sensitivity may occur without an overall change in body weight

You can go for short term PCOD diet meal substitution to achieve calorie deficit.



  • 1= It is the most energy rich macronutrient component of the diet. Our body has infinite capacity to store fat, particularly in hyper insulinaemic individuals
  • 2= Fat excess decreases carbohydrate oxidation, which in turn increases fat deposition

An increased consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) have beneficial effects on metabolic parameters, whereas consumption of transfats has been linked with increased risk of anovulatory infertility.



  • 1= High intake of protein improves glucose and insulin response to a glucose load
  • 2= High protein increases satiety
  • 3= Increase postprandial thermogenesis as well as decrease abdominal fat

You should manage your PCOD diet with the right food that should deliver 20% of its calories as protein, which can help you lose weight or improve glucose tolerance.



  • 1= The glycemic index of a diet is defined as the amount of carbohydrate multiplied by glycaemic index (GI). Foods with high GI deliver carbohydrate rapidly following ingestion. High glycaemic load is associated with increased risk of diabetes and poor glycaemic control in patients with diabetes
  • 2= Gylcaemic load can be decreased either by decreasing amount of carbohydrate or by consuming foods of lower GI. Lower GI foods have shown to improve insulin sensitivity, decrease postprandial hyperglycaemia and increase HDL cholesterol


Live By This Rule: Never Skip Breakfast

In women who are overweight mostly with a sedentary lifestyle and battling insulin resistance should follow an Indian diet for PCOD which should be aimed at healthy weight loss. This can achieve with a PCOD diet which is Low glycaemic, with low sugar and nutrient dense. While in women who are batting adrenal or thyroid “burnout”, who are stressed, fatigued or underfed, a PCOD diet that is more nutrient dense and rich in calories is effective.



A PCOS patient should exercise for at least 30 minutes for at least 5 days of the week. It will not only help in shedding extra kilos but will also boost ovaries circulation.


Indian PCOS/PCOD Diet- What Food to Eat When Having PCOD

You can manage PCOD with the right food. You can follow the Indian diet for PCOD and curb this problem. The key to losing weight if you have PCOS is to keep your blood sugar at the optimum level as possible. This reduces fat storage, starts fat burning and may also lessen the sugar cravings that may be driving your weight gain. This is not to say it will be easy. As a PCOS sufferer, you know that you put on weight more easily than your non-PCOS friends. This is deeply unfair, but there we are. However, do not give up. You can lose weight and manage PCOD with the right food.

Here are the guidelines I give my PCOS patients who need to lose weight. Follow these PCOD diet guidelines for good results=


1. Plenty of Proteins : This means involving some lean protein in your every Indian diet for PCOD.

One serving of protein is: 120g skinless chicken breast /two eggs/75g low fat cheese/100 gm low-fat cottage cheese/1 palmful of nuts/seeds or 2 scoops of whey protein.
2. Make Friends with Good Fat: You should eat some good fat at least three times a week.

One serving of good fat is contained in 2 slices of smoked salmon /½ avocado/1 palmful nuts or seeds/1 tablespoon olive or flax oil
3. Eat Regularly: The Indian diet for PCOD/PCOS is based around three good meals and one snack a day. You should try to space these meals evenly.
4. Limit Your Carbohydrates: Limit your carbohydrate intake such as bread, pasta and potatoes to 2 portions p/day. Also, your diet should be wholegrain, and therefore, avoid white bread, pasta, rice, noodles, pastry, cakes etc.
5. Reduce Stimulants: Stimulants may trigger the release of stress hormone cortisol, so causing your blood sugar and insulin to rise and then triggering further testosterone production by the ovaries. So reduce or preferably completely avoid normal tea/coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, energy drinks, sweets, chocolate, biscuits and cakes and alcoholic drinks. Instead, you can drink herbal teas and decaffeinated coffees, sparkling and still water.
6. Reduce Sugar: Sweets, chocolate and cakes are high in sugar, so are the fruits, dried fruit and fruit juices, as well as cordials. The PCOS diet allows you one serving of fruit per/day only.

One serving is: 1 apple/pear/orange/pear/half a grapefruit.

Other fruits such as mango, grapes, pineapple are not permitted. Stay away from the dried fruits of all kinds, fruit juices and cordials.


Treat PCOD With Diet & Nutrition: Eat Non-Root Vegetables As Much As You Want

You can cure PCOD with Indian diet and eat unlimited non-root veggies as much as you like. Non-root vegetables are packed with lots of nutrients so are great for general health. They also contain fibre and water which make them filling and so are great for dieters.

  • Salads – e.g. lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, celery
  • Steamed veggies – e.g. broccoli, leek, cauliflower
  • Roasted veggies- e.g. onions, brinjal, sweet potato, carrot, squash, turnip, beetroot – limit to 2 x week only.
  • Avoid: White potato


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