When you are on course with your PCOS treatment you can encounter a lot of confusion around going gluten-free in PCOS. It's no secret that gluten free diets have become popular in recent years. Many people claim to feel better when they eliminate gluten from their diets. But what does that mean for those of us with PCOS? Can going gluten free help improve our symptoms? And if so, how can we make sure we're following a healthy and satisfying gluten free diet?
In this article, I've touched upon the benefits of going gluten free in PCOS, as well as the disadvantages. I've also provided tips on how to follow a healthy and satisfying gluten free diet while living with PCOS.
Gluten is a protein. Some foods like barley, wheat and rye have gluten content. It provides chewy texture to food. For instance, it helps pasta hold its shape.
Gluten free foods include many grains such as rice, corn and quinoa, as well as some alternative flours such as almond flour or coconut flour.
Gluten-free foods, as the name suggests, are foods that are devoid of gluten content. Gluten-free products are available in most grocery stores and online.
There is some evidence that suggests gluten may have impact on PCOS symptoms of some women, if not all. One study found that women with PCOS who followed a gluten-free diet had improvements in their insulin resistance, reproductive hormones, and menstrual cycle. However, more research is needed to determine the full impact of gluten on PCOS symptoms.
If you have PCOS and are interested in trying a gluten free diet, you should speak to your doctor about it first. There are some important things to keep in mind when following a gluten free diet. For example, you'll need to make sure you're getting enough nutrients like fiber, iron, and B complex vitamins. Gluten-free products can be expensive and not all of them are nutritious. It's important to choose healthy gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of processed gluten-free products.
If you decide to go gluten free, there are a few things you can do to make sure your diet is healthy and satisfying:
- Choose Healthy Gluten-Free Foods: As I've mentioned earlier, not all gluten-free products are healthy. It's important to choose healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of processed gluten-free products.
- Make Sure You're Getting Enough Nutrients: Following a gluten free diet can sometimes make it difficult to get enough nutrients like fiber, iron, and B complex vitamins.
- Find Gluten-Free Products That You Enjoy: There are a variety of gluten-free products available on the market. It's important to find products that you enjoy so that you stick with your diet for a longer term.
- Seek Out Social Support: Going gluten free can sometimes be isolating. Seek out social support from friends, family, or online groups to help you through the process.
- Educate Yourself: Learn about the benefits of going gluten free and how to do it properly. You can find adequate content in public domain in the form of books and online articles.
- Make a Plan: Decide which foods you will eat and which you will avoid. Make a list of gluten-free foods that you like and that are easily available.
- Be Prepared: Always have snacks and meals with you when you are away from home. This will prevent you from getting hungry and making unhealthy choices.
- Avoid Processed Foods: Gluten-free processed foods are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Choose whole, unprocessed foods instead.
- Talk to Your Doctor: It is best to have a word with the doctor before starting a gluten-free diet. They can help you make sure that you are getting all the nutrients you need.
Going gluten free in PCOS can have many potential benefits. It is important to educate yourself about the diet and to make a plan before you start. Be prepared by always having snacks and meals with you, and avoid processed foods.
If you want to go gluten free, you should avoid all foods that contain gluten such as bread, pasta, cereal, and cookies. Examples of some foods containing gluten are:
- Pizza crusts
Gluten-free versions of these foods are available, but they may not be as healthy as the regular versions. It's important to choose healthy gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of processed gluten-free products.
Find below a list of various benefits of going gluten free in PCOS:
- Gluten-free diets can help improve insulin resistance, reproductive hormones, and menstrual cycle in women with PCOS.
- Gluten-free diets can help you lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
- Gluten-free diets can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Gluten-free diets can help improve your gut health by reducing the amount of inflammation in the gut.
- Gluten-free diets can help increase your energy levels and reduce fatigue.
Find below a list of various ways to fulfill your nutrient requirement when you are going gluten free:
- Focus more on eating green leafy vegetables, fresh seasonal fruits, and whole grains.
- Choose healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds.
- Include lean protein sources like chicken, fish, tofu, and lentils.
- Use a supplement to get enough vitamins and minerals if you are not getting enough from your diet.
There are a few potential disadvantages of going gluten free in PCOS that you should be aware of:
- Gluten-free diets can be expensive.
- Gluten-free diets can be difficult to stick to in the long term.
- Gluten-free diets can sometimes make it difficult to get enough nutrients like fiber, iron, and B complex vitamins.
If you're eating out while on a gluten-free diet, there are a few things you can do to make sure your meal is safe and satisfying:
- Call ahead: Call ahead to the restaurant and ask about their gluten-free options.
- Speak to the chef: When you arrive at the restaurant, ask to speak to the chef or manager about your gluten-free needs.
- Order what you're sure of: Order plain grilled meats or fish, salads, and steamed vegetables.
- Avoid known gluten sources: Avoid ordering sauces or dressings as they may contain gluten.
- Ask for Gluten-Free Options: Most restaurants now offer some sort of gluten-free option on their menu. However, it's always best to call ahead or ask when you arrive so that the kitchen can prepare a safe and satisfying meal for you.
There are a few myths and misconceptions about going gluten free in PCOS that you should be aware of:
- Myth: Gluten-free diets are only for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
- Myth: Gluten-free diets are only for people who want to lose weight.
- Myth: Gluten-free products are always healthy.
- Bring your own gluten-free food to share with others.
- Ask the host ahead of time if they can provide some gluten-free options for you.
- When you arrive at the event, scope out the food situation and choose foods that are safe for you to eat.
- Avoid any foods that look like they may contain gluten.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions about the ingredients in the food.
If you have PCOS and are interested in trying a gluten free diet, speak to your doctor about it first. Gluten-free diets can be helpful for some women with PCOS, but they may not be necessary for everyone. Be sure to choose healthy gluten-free foods and make sure you're getting enough nutrients while on a gluten free diet. Finally, seek out social support to help you stick to your diet in the long term.
Dr. Sanchita Dharne - Homeopathy Doctor (Expert in PCOS Treatment)
Dr. Sanchita Dharne is a homeopathic doctor with years of experience in helping women with PCOS. She offers one-on-one online consultations so that you can get the help you need to make the best decisions for your health. Contact her today to get started!
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