pcos diet

Importance Of High Protein Diet For Women In PCOS

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a disorder that causes weight gain and, in some circumstances, obesity.

Many medical professionals recommend that women with PCOS should adopt a PCOS diet to reduce weight since obesity can result in major health issues such as an elevated risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Protein For PCOS : Why Is It Important?

A high-protein diet for PCOS may be a good way to avoid weight gain, type 1, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are major health risks of the condition.

Protein, together with carbohydrates and fats, not only provides energy but also serves to build bones, muscles, skin and blood. It also plays a vital role in the production of hormones, including estrogen, testosterone, and insulin – functions that are affected by PCOS.

The best diet for PCOS must include a decreased carbohydrate consumption and meals that are low in fats. Finding the right diet and exercise for PCOS, preferably with the advice of a dietician, may be a good approach to avoid many of the negative effects.

Fact Check: By the age of 40, more than half of the women suffering from PCOS have diabetes.

Benefits Of Protein For PCOS

While a high protein diet for PCOS isn’t a “cure” or a “therapy,” studies demonstrate that it can help in a variety of ways:

Help Boost Metabolism: 

best diet for pcos

All foods have a thermic impact, which means they speed up metabolism and boost the number of calories expended. Protein has a thermic impact of 15 to 30 percent, significantly more than carbohydrates (5 to 10 percent) or fats (5 to 10 percent). (0 to 3 percent ).

Increasing your protein intake can boost your daily calorie burn by up to 100 calories.

Control Appetite 

Control Appetite

The production of cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1, and peptide YY, hormones involved in satiety, is stimulated by a high-protein diet for PCOS, which helps to control hunger and minimise cravings.

Improve Blood Sugar Control

protein diet for pcos

Every food causes a glycemic reaction, which increases blood sugar (glucose) levels.

Protein has a low effect on blood sugar since it is absorbed slowly. 

People with type 2 diabetes who adopted a high-protein diet for six weeks had lower postprandial (post-eating) and fasting glucose levels, according to a study published in Diabetologia in 2019.

Temper The Insulin Response

Insulin - pcos diet

Protein triggers the release of glucagon, a hormone that elevates blood glucose levels while counteracting insulin’s effect.

The proper quantity of protein in your diet can help you maintain a healthy ratio of glucagon and insulin in your blood.

The results of research on the impact of a high-protein diet on PCOS have been encouraging. According to a 2012 Danish study, women with PCOS who followed a similar diet for 6 months shed an average of nine pounds of fat.

In a 2012 study conducted in Iran, 60 obese women with PCOS who followed a 30 percent protein diet lost weight, had reduced testosterone, and increased insulin sensitivity as well.

Dietary Recommendations

For women with PCOS, there are no special dietary guidelines. However, evidence indicates that boosting protein in the meals from 15% to 30% or even more than 40% of calories may be quite advantageous.

The Department of Health and Human Services states that women of age 19 and above obtain 10 to 35 percent of their daily calories from protein for PCOS.

DHHS Protein Intake Recommendation 
1-313 g
4-819 g
9-1334 g
14-1846 g
19-3046 g
31-5046 g
51 and over46 g

There are reasons for this guidance. Even though protein is broken down slowly, 50% to 60% of it is converted to glucose. If eaten alone, its effect on blood sugar is minimal since the glucose gets dissolved in the bloodstream at a slow pace.

However, this might not be the case when protein, carbohydrate, and fat are combined. In some cases, protein can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels if the ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat is not properly controlled.

This was confirmed in a 2015 review of studies published in Diabetes Care, which found that pairing 30 g of protein with 35 grams of carbs raised postprandial blood glucose by 2.6 mmol/L.

Fact Check: In female PCOS patients, even a 5% weight loss can increase insulin sensitivity, hyperandrogenism (high testosterone), menstrual function, and fertility, according to a 2014 study published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Protein Foods For PCOS

Food items that are low in saturated fat are the best sources of protein for PCOS weight loss. The following are some great protein foods:

  • Almonds
  • Eggs
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Quinoa
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Oatmeal
  • Lentils
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey Breast
  • Canned Tuna
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Soybeans
  • Chicken Breast 

Fact Check: You’d have to cut your daily calorie consumption by 500 calories to lose one pound per week.

A Word From Healthkart

If you have PCOS and are having trouble losing weight or controlling your blood sugar, you might want to try a high-protein, low-carb diet.

Consult a doctor or a dietitian to plan the best diet for PCOS that is not only suitable for your age, weight, and medical condition, but is also centered around food items you are comfortable with. This way, you’ll be able to maintain your diet and all of its benefits.