By Kym Campbell, BSc. | Updated May 26th, 2022

If you’re ready to see what a PCOS diet can do for you, then this free 3-Day PCOS Meal Plan is a great place to start.

Here’s what’s in your PCOS meal plan pdf download:

  • 3 days of easy PCOS meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • A full set of gluten and dairy free PCOS recipes for each meal with practical tips and tricks.
  • A complete shopping list for the 3 days.

For a more comprehensive experience, you can also sign-up for my next free 30-Day PCOS Diet Challenge. During this live event, you’ll get weekly meal plans and recipes. It also includes video lessons and activities. The program is delivered within a supportive community to help keep you on track.

The article below explains some of the science behind a PCOS diet. This will help you understand the principles behind this gluten and dairy free PCOS meal plan.

The Link Between PCOS And Diet

PCOS is primarily a hormone disorder. It’s our dysregulated hormones that cause all our unwanted symptoms. This includes difficulty managing weight and excess stomach fat. Irregular periods and infertility are also very common. Many women with PCOS also struggle with unwanted hair and acne. Others often suffer from insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

All these PCOS symptoms are caused by chronic inflammation and poor insulin regulation. Diet can help with both of these problems. Eating in a way that reduces inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity is key to getting your PCOS under control.

The Best Diet For PCOS In 7 Points

There are a lot of healthy diets to choose from, each with its particular nuances.

A PCOS diet most closely resembles a Paleo or Primal diet. There’s also a lot of overlap with Whole30, the DASH diet, and the Mediterranean diet. What all these diets have in common is that they’re whole food-based. They include lots of vegetables and avoid processed foods.

A PCOS diet requires that you:

  1. Reduce your sugar intake. Fructose sugar causes inflammation. It’s one of the biggest risk factors for insulin resistance, obesity, and other metabolic health problems [1-3]. The glucose component of sugar also isn’t great. It causes blood sugar spikes which can cause or worsen insulin resistance [4].
  2. Eat slow-carb and low carb, from whole food sources. This one’s all about managing insulin levels. “Slow-carb” means choosing carbohydrate foods with a low glycemic index. Things like root vegetables, and black rice. “Low carb” means to keep serving sizes small.
  3. Eat healthy fats. Fat should be the largest macronutrient within a PCOS diet. Fat helps regulate appetite [5]. Many whole food sources of fat are healthy and promote weight loss [6-12]. Despite popular perception, saturated fats are not less healthy than polyunsaturated fats [13, 14].
  4. Eat enough protein. Dietary protein is essential for good health. Many women with PCOS consume much less than USDA recommendations. Increasing protein consumption can be particularly helpful for weight management [15].
  5. Eat lots of fiber. On average, women with PCOS consume less fiber than non-PCOS women. This difference is associated with insulin resistance and elevated androgen levels [16]. The consumption of fiber-rich foods has many health benefits. This is especially true when it comes to body weight and type 2 diabetes [17].
  6. Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables. Non-starchy vegetables support gut health and provide a range of important micronutrients. Increased vegetable consumption is linked to better health outcomes across populations [18, 19].
  7. Avoid inflammatory foods. Dairy and gluten are the most important ingredients to cut from a PCOS diet. Vegetable oils and processed foods should also be avoided.

The addition of intermittent fasting can further improve a PCOS diet. A ketogenic diet for PCOS may also be helpful for short-term weight loss. But I don’t recommend this dietary approach as explained in the linked article above.

You can learn more about a PCOS diet here.

How To Create Your Own PCOS Meal Plan

Putting these principles into practice is simple. If you generally follow these guidelines, you’ll be able to create your own perfect PCOS meal plans:

  • Eat about 18 oz (500 g) of protein-rich food per day (weighed raw). Meat, seafood, and eggs are best.
  • Aim for at least 6 cups of non-starchy vegetables per day.
  • Limit carbohydrate-rich foods to ½ cup servings (cooked) per meal. This includes starchy vegetables, beans, and fruit.
  • Enjoy as much high-fat food from whole food sources as it takes to fill you up. Think olive oil, nuts, avocado, and coconut products. Oily fish and fatty meat are also good.
  • Choose organic where possible. Use the Dirty DozenTM and Clean FifteenTM to inform your fruit and vegetable choices.

It’s best to meet your dietary needs with two to three meals a day. If you need to snack though, you should. Just make sure to choose snack foods that meet the 7 PCOS diet principles described above.

Remember that the principles are what matters, not the exact meal plan. You should always make ingredient or meal swaps to suit your personal preferences.

Ready To Take The Next Step?

  • Join my next free 30-Day PCOS Diet Challenge here. This is a live program where you’ll receive weekly meal plans and helpful video lessons. You’ll also be part of a motivated and inspiring community of like-minded women.
  • If you haven’t yet done so, download my free 3-Day PCOS Diet Meal Plan here. This is perfect for getting started before the next 30-Day Challenge begins.
  • Join my PCOS Monthly Meal Planning Service here. This service includes hundreds of PCOS recipes within a pre-populated, yet customizable meal plan. It’s designed to save you time and help you apply a PCOS diet.
  • Sign up for my next Beat PCOS 10-Week Program. This is a comprehensive live program that runs quarterly. Topics covered include diet, PCOS-centric emotional eating, exercise, stress management, and more. The 10-Week Program includes the same recipes and meal plan as my monthly meal planning service.
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    References

    1Dornas, W.C., et al., Health implications of high-fructose intake and current research. Adv Nutr, 2015. 6(6): p. 729-37.

    2Softic, S., et al., Fructose and hepatic insulin resistance. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci, 2020. 57(5): p. 308-322.

    3Lustig, R.H., Fructose: it’s “alcohol without the buzz”. Adv Nutr, 2013. 4(2): p. 226-35.

    4Samuel, V.T. and G.I. Shulman, The pathogenesis of insulin resistance: integrating signaling pathways and substrate flux. J Clin Invest, 2016. 126(1): p. 12-22.

    5Samra, R.A., Frontiers in Neuroscience Fats and Satiety, in Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects, J.P. Montmayeur and J. le Coutre, Editors. 2010, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Copyright © 2010, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.: Boca Raton (FL).

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    10Mumme, K. and W. Stonehouse, Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Acad Nutr Diet, 2015. 115(2): p. 249-263.

    11St-Onge, M.P. and P.J. Jones, Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity. J Nutr, 2002. 132(3): p. 329-32.

    12Albracht-Schulte, K., et al., Omega-3 fatty acids in obesity and metabolic syndrome: a mechanistic update. J Nutr Biochem, 2018. 58: p. 1-16.

    13Hamley, S., The effect of replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat on coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Nutr J, 2017. 16(1): p. 30.

    14Astrup, A., et al., Dietary Saturated Fats and Health: Are the U.S. Guidelines Evidence-Based? Nutrients, 2021. 13(10).

    15Paddon-Jones, D., et al., Protein, weight management, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr, 2008. 87(5): p. 1558s-1561s.

    16Cutler, D.A., S.M. Pride, and A.P. Cheung, Low intakes of dietary fiber and magnesium are associated with insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism in polycystic ovary syndrome: A cohort study. Food Sci Nutr, 2019. 7(4): p. 1426-1437.

    17Weickert, M.O. and A.F.H. Pfeiffer, Impact of Dietary Fiber Consumption on Insulin Resistance and the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. J Nutr, 2018. 148(1): p. 7-12.

    18Gołąbek, K.D. and B. Regulska-Ilow, Dietary support in insulin resistance: An overview of current scientific reports. Adv Clin Exp Med, 2019. 28(11): p. 1577-1585.

    19Cook, L.T., et al., Vegetable consumption is linked to decreased visceral and liver fat and improved insulin resistance in overweight Latino youth. J Acad Nutr Diet, 2014. 114(11): p. 1776-83.