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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What's the best diet for a PCOS sufferer?

    I have PCOS and am overweight. I’ve heard following specific diets are important for controlling PCOS is this true and if so what diet should I be following?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Mel Haynes


    Chef, Scientist and Nutritionist. I specialise culinary nutrition and disease prevention with plant based diets. View Profile


    One of the best diets for PCOS is to follow a low GI diet which entails some similar principles to a diabetic diet.  This included low GI foods, including healthy fats and lean protein with meals, spacing carbs out during the day and choosing wholegrain and high fibre varieties.  Other things you can do to help with PCOS are 20+ minute walk after meals and a fish oil supplement.

    Talk to your doctor about a medications which are available, Oral hypoglycemics and contreceptives are two which are regularly prescribed.

  • 3


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    ANyone with PCO'S must exercise regularly, watch portion sizes and try to eat unprocessed food. Must watch their carbohydrate intake and try have wholegrain not white sugary and fatty foods. Keeping to a good weight is essential as it helps prevent the side effects of PCOs.

  • 2


    Natalie Carter

    Personal Trainer

    Natalie Carter, owner of New Outlook Fitness & a PT with over 10 years experience in helping her clients transform their lives. She takes a … View Profile

    Reduction of processed grains is essential. Try substituting for wholegrains such as quinoa and brown rice.
    Moderate fruit amounts: go for low sugar fruits like berries, kiwi fruit
    Eliminate all processed foods, go for organic where possible
    Lots of protein rich foods at EVERY meal 
    Avoid alcohol and too much caffience (try swiss water method decaf)
    Not diet related however Weight Training is a MUST to lower bodyfat levels and increase lean muscle mass. You will need to exercise most days of the week, including cardio training.

  • 1


    Pam Robinson

    Personal Trainer

    Personal Trainer Figure Competitor View Profile

    I would definately recommend keeping off grains and sugars (fruits) completely and live the Paleo way.

    More benefits that just assisting with PCOS

  • 18


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile


    I would like to know where your evidence lies with your suggestions to elminate grains and fruit from the diet?

  • Lynn Kagan

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Chris,

    I just posted an answer to this question and referenced a few studies. Also, my experience and that of many women I talked to all show that the lower the sugar in the diet, the better we feel. I now follow a zero sugar diet and I believe that helped me completely heal my PCOS. The trick is to replace grains and fruits with complex carbs from the gluten-free whole grains (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and wild rice)

  • 20


    Kate Marsh

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Kate works with clients with type 1 and gestational diabetes, PCOS, and those following a plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet. As a diabetes educator, she … View Profile

    The underlying problem for most women with PCOS is insulin resistance which is the same problem that occurs in type 2 diabetes…so the dietary recommendations for PCOS are aimed at improving this. This includes eating regularly over the day, balancing low GI carbs and lean proteins with lots of vegetables and salads and small amounts of healthy fats.  Choose wholegrains (particularly lower GI varieties like barley, oats and quinoa) and include some plant proteins (like tofu and legumes) in place of too much red meat. Avoid processed meats.  Other lifestyle factors including regular exercise, getting enough sleep and managing stress are also important.

  • 3


    Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is a leader in women’s health, supported by funding from the Australian Government. We provide trusted and easy-to-understand information to … View Profile

    The best foods to eat for PCOS are the same as we all need for good health: plenty of fresh fruit, veggies and low GI or wholegrain cereals, some foods with lean protein and minerals like iron and calcium and then be careful with food or drinks that are high in fats, sugars and kilojoules.

    Fine-tuning your eating and your lifestyle to suit your hormones may need a bit of further advice from a qualified health professional, but start with the Jean Hailes PCOS website:

  • 1


    Christina Turner

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Christina is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who specialises in working with community members living with Eating Disorders. She currently provides online consultations. View Profile

    Apart from generaly healthy eating and exercise advice, there definitely needs to be an emphasis on carbohydrate intake of people with PCOS.

    Not only the GI of Carbohydrate foods someone eats but the amount of carbohydrate foods (carbs) is important. I would not encourage someone to avoid carbs. However it is important to understand all the foods that contain carbs and perhaps have a set amount at meal and snack times.

    If you have PCOS and want to discuss this kind of thing further I would search for an Accredited Practising Dietitian in your area. You can search via the Dietitians Assoication Website on

  • 2


    Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

    Like all women, those with PCOS need to eat a nutritious diet and a wide variety of quality foods. Women with PCOS need to be more mindful of eating a moderate amount of high fibre, low glycaemic carbohydrate based foods like grainy breads and wholegrain cereals and pastas. Their diet should be high in vegetables, legumes and fruit (the current guidelines suggest 5 serves of vegetables per day, where a serve is the equivalent of a cup of salad vegetables or ½ cup cooked vegetables or legumes) and 2 serves of fruit per day. They also need good quality protein from sources such as lean meat and fish. Low fat dairy products and small quantities of nuts and seeds also provide good quality sources of protein, carbohydrate and fat.

    Women with PCOS also benefit from monitoring their portions sizes, and obtaining regular vigorous exercise and strength training, as well as favouring water based beverages.


    Women’s Health EducatorHealth Information Line, Women’s Health Queensland Wide Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane). Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer

  • 3


    Angela Jackson

    Exercise Scientist

    I have qualifications as an Exercise Scientist, Herbalist and Health Coach, with over 10 years experience in the preventative health industry helping people to improve … View Profile

    Hi, it looks like you've had lots of great answers to this question, so I hope you've found the help you need.

    I wanted to let you know that I run 3 and 6 month programs working with women just like you who are struggling with losing weight becuase of PCOS. My sessions are run via phone or skype, so they're available Australia-wide.

    Often it takes more than knowing the right foods to create real health benefits, but support from someone who is your champion to make small changes bit by bit to create real, lasting health improvements. I'd love to support you on your health journey and I know you'll feel fabulous and look great. I'd be happy to offer you a free consultation if you're interested to try it out, obligation free.

    All the best either way, good luck on your journey!

  • 7


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    If you have PCOS and need help with your diet, it is recommended you see a dietitian who can help you to develop an eating plan to suit your individual needs. The diet used to treat PCOS is similar to that of a diabetic or someone who has insulin resistance. Specific focus should be on:

    • Limiting your intake of saturated fats by choosing lean meats and poultry, fish, low fat dairy, avocado, and plant-based oils.
    • Fill your plate with a variety of different coloured vegetables or salad
    • Base your carbohydrate choices on high fibre, low GI foods such as whole-grain bread, oats, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, and wholegrain pasta.
    • Eating small regular meals and snacks throughout
    • the day (this helps to prevent large rises in blood
    • glucose and insulin levels)
    • Snacking on fresh fruit, low fat natural yoghurt with berries, raw nuts and seeds instead of high fat/high sugar snack foods

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