PCOS: PCOS-Friendly Foods, Snacks, and Grocery Shopping Tips

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PCOS iconsYou’ll stay full longer, have an easier time keeping your weight healthy, and have better control of your insulin levels if you include some protein, carbohydrate (preferably high-fiber), and healthy fat at each meal and snack. Snacks are important because they help keep your energy level up between meals so you can do the things you like to do. Eating small, well-balanced snacks between meals can also keep you from overeating at meal time.

Below are lists some of foods that are good sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Remember to pick unprocessed high–fiber carbohydrates (such as whole wheat bread or vegetables) instead of sugary of refined carbs. Try to choose mostly plant–based proteins and unsaturated fats.

Take a look at the Sample PCOS-Friendly Menus to get some ideas, and then plan your own menu using the foods from the lists below. Include an item from each column at all of your meals and snacks. After you’ve planned your menu, make a shopping list of the foods you will need to help you eat a balanced diet.

PCOS-Friendly food lists:

Protein Carbs Fat

What snacks should I choose?

Foods from the grain, fruit, vegetable, protein, and dairy groups are healthy snacks because they are packed with nutrients. Foods such as chips, cookies, and candy are not as healthy because they are loaded with refined grains and sugars that can raise your insulin levels. It’s okay to eat these snacks once in a while, but not every day. Remember to pick high–fiber, low sugar foods from the grain group and combine them with high protein foods. For example, try an apple or celery with peanut butter, whole wheat crackers and cheese, whole wheat pita or carrots and hummus, or yogurt and nuts.

Easy snack ideas

Grocery Shopping

Before you go grocery shopping, make a list of all of the types of foods and drinks you’ll need: vegetables, fruits, dairy foods, lean meats, plant–based proteins, and high–fiber grains. If you have a variety of these foods, you’ll be able to plan healthy meals and snacks. By paying attention to the labels on food products, you’ll be able to choose foods that you like, and are healthy for young women with PCOS. See the sample list below.

How do I use the Nutrition Facts label when grocery shopping?

Nutrition Facts labels are located on most food products, and list the nutrients that are found in one serving. Reading the labels can help you figure out which of your favorite foods are the most nutritious choices, and can also help you decide which foods to buy when you are grocery shopping.

Reading Nutrition Facts labels can help you find foods that are high in the nutrients you are trying to eat more of, and low in the nutrients you are trying to limit. Comparing labels can help you make healthy choices. Read labels to help find nutritious foods that you like to eat.

Sample Grocery Lists:

Produce Dried/Canned foods Meat/Poultry/Fish Non-meat Protein Dairy/Eggs Oil/Dressing Grains/Cereal Snacks and Drinks