This post was updated on August 31st, 2022
By Kym Campbell, BSc. | Updated August 31st, 2022
If you want to take back control of your health and fertility, then changing your diet is one of the best things you can do. That’s why so many women see improvements within the short duration of my free 30-Day PCOS Diet Challenge.
But making the right diet changes is easier said than done.
Finding reliable, low-sugar, low-GI, gluten-free, dairy-free recipes is tough. It’s like trying to pick a new hat.
The following gluten and dairy free recipes for PCOS should help make things easier. Covering every occasion between breakfast and dessert, you’re sure to find a PCOS-friendly recipe to enjoy.
What Is PCOS And How Can Diet Help?
PCOS is diagnosed by any pair of three salient features. Elevated androgen levels, irregular menstrual cycles, and polycystic ovaries. But the most common symptoms include weight gain, irregular periods, unwanted facial hair, hair loss, and acne. Anxiety and depression also often come along for the ride.
These symptoms result from chronic low-grade inflammation and hormone imbalances [1-3].
The hormone insulin is particularly important in PCOS. One of its many roles is to regulate blood sugar levels. Experts recommend dietary change as a first-line intervention for PCOS because insulin levels can be improved by diet . Improving insulin sensitivity reduces the many health risks associated with PCOS.
What Is The Best Diet For PCOS?
A PCOS diet reduces inflammation, improves gut health, and better manages blood sugar levels.
Following the right macros for PCOS is a simple place to start. You want to eat nutrient-dense whole foods that are low in sugar and carbohydrate content, are high in fat, and adequate in protein. The inclusion of high-fiber foods that have a low glycemic index is key. This is because these types of foods improve insulin regulation even in women with insulin resistance.
Non-starchy and prebiotic-rich vegetables are also important. They form a major component in any PCOS-friendly meal plan. These foods provide essential micronutrients that support optimal cellular function. They also nourish the good gut bacteria that create a healthy microbiome.
As well as prioritizing healthy whole foods, a PCOS diet reduces systemic inflammation. This is achieved by avoiding gluten, dairy, industrial seed oils, trans fats, and highly processed foods. You can find a more comprehensive list of foods to avoid for PCOS here. I also have a handy foods to avoid checklist which you can download here.
I’ve created the recipes below in line with these principles.
PCOS Breakfast Recipes
1. Sausage McMuffin
3. Granola Bake
4. Spicy Chicken Breakfast Bake
5. Breakfast Burrito Bowl
6. Pumpkin Pancakes
7. Tex-Mex Breakfast Skillet
8. Chia & Quinoa Parfait
PCOS Grab-n-Go / Lunch Recipes
1. Swiss Chard Quiche
2. Spinach Chicken Poppers
3. Grab ‘n’ Go Egg Muffins
4. Chicken Collard Wraps
5. Guacamole Chicken Salad
6. Asian Chicken Slaw
7. Sweet Potato Noodle Salad
PCOS Dinner Recipes
1. Pulled Pork
2. Creamy Tomato Baked Fish
3. Zambreros Burrito Bowl
4. Harvest Chicken Chili
5. Zuppa Toscana
6. Shrimp Fried Rice
7. Slow Cooked Beef and Broccoli
PCOS Dessert Recipes
1. Chocolate Mud Cake
2. Banana Bread
3. Berry Delight
4. Ginger Cookies
5. Chai Tea Frozen Yogurt
6. Spiced Nut Muffins
7. Chocolate Chia Pudding
8. Slow-Cooked Brownies
1. Trail Mix
3. Zucchini Chips
4. Beef Jerky
1. Supercharged Green Smoothie
2. Nutty Chai Smoothie
3. Spicy Veggie Smoothie
PCOS Success Stories
There’s a lot of data showing the benefits of a PCOS diet. The right diet can help you lose weight with PCOS. It’s also valuable if you’re trying to get pregnant with PCOS. But sometimes real-life examples are better than numbers. Here are a few so you can see what’s possible.
Ready To Take The Next Step?
Now that you have a good collection of PCOS-friendly recipes, if you’re ready to take the next step, you can:
PCOS Recipes FAQ
What if I’m a terrible cook? Despite being a food blogger, I’m still not much of a cook. I get that it’s important, but I still don’t LOVE it. Given my own limitations, the majority of the recipes I share are well-suited to novice chefs.
Which recipes are quick and easy? If you’re in a rush you’re best off with salads, one-sheet, or one-pot meals. Crockpot meals are also perfect for busy mid-week dinners (provided you’re organized in the morning). Making big batches of food for multiple meals is almost an essential trick for saving time in the kitchen.
Do I need to make everything from scratch? No. There are now many great products catering to PCOS nutritional requirements. A PCOS diet shares elements with other popular diets. For example, foods marketed at the Ketogenic diet, and the Primal / Paleo diet are often suitable for PCOS.
Are these recipes suitable for my family? Absolutely. PCOS recipes are perfect for anyone wanting to eat a healthy whole-food-based diet. Children and active men may need more carbohydrates than those included in many PCOS recipes. But these can be added as sides i.e., extra rice, quinoa, or starchy vegetables, etc.
Do I need to change these recipes during pregnancy? No. These recipes are all well-suited for pregnancy. During the later stages of pregnancy, some doctors may recommend you get more carbohydrates though. This will depend on your personal circumstances.
Are PCOS recipes ketogenic? Some of the above PCOS recipes may be suitable for a ketogenic diet. This is because many of them include meat, fish, or eggs, with large servings of non-starchy vegetables. I don’t recommend a keto diet for PCOS though. I explain my recommended macros for PCOS here.
Since 2010, Kym Campbell has used evidence-based diet and lifestyle interventions to manage her PCOS. After getting her symptoms under control and falling pregnant naturally, Kym now advocates for dietary change as part of any PCOS treatment plan. Combining rigorous science and clinical advice with a pragmatic approach to habit change, Kym is on a mission to show other women how to take back control of their health and fertility. Read more about Kym and her team here.
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Quick Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. This means that when you use them to purchase something, it won't cost you more but I may get paid a commission for referring you. In order to avoid any prejudice, I only recommend products that I personally use or would have recommended anyways.
1González, F., Inflammation in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: underpinning of insulin resistance and ovarian dysfunction. Steroids, 2012. 77(4): p. 300-5.
2González, F., et al., Hyperandrogenism sensitizes mononuclear cells to promote glucose-induced inflammation in lean reproductive-age women. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2012. 302(3): p. E297-306.
3Wang, J., et al., Hyperandrogenemia and insulin resistance: The chief culprit of polycystic ovary syndrome. Life Sciences, 2019. 236.
4Legro, R.S., et al., Diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2013. 98(12): p. 4565-92.