PCOS diet tailored to treat PCOS condition in millions around the world has its own rules that execlude some foods, so, what is the relation between dairy and PCOS? Can dairy cause PCOS? Do you have to avoid dairy on a PCOS diet?
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause fertility problems, irregular periods, and other symptoms in women. The condition is often treated with medication, but some women choose to manage it with lifestyle changes.
One popular natural treatment for PCOS is a dairy-free diet, although not all research proves that stopping dairy consumption can ease PCOS symptoms.
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- Is Fasting Effective for PCOS Weight Loss?
Does dairy make PCOS worse?
If you have PCOS, there’s a good chance you’ve heard that dairy is bad for you.
The recommendation to cut out dairy comes from some of the leading experts in the field and is based on a study that found an association between high-fat dairy foods and PCOS.
Does this mean you should forgo milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and all other dairy products? Not necessarily .
Other studies proved that having full-fat dairy products on your PCOS diet can improve fertility for women who have conception issues.
So, why milk is not good for PCOS?
- Dairy can affect insulin and hormone levels in women suffering from PCOS.
- Dairy products may cause inflammation in the body by raising levels of a protein called casein, especially if you already have a dairy or caseine allergy.
- In a small, randomized study of 21 women with PCOS, participants were put on a low-casein diet for six weeks.
After six weeks, participants had a greater improvement in testosterone levels and were more likely to conceive compared to the control group.
The researchers concluded that people with PCOS may benefit from limiting or cutting out dairy.
This study didn’t prove that casein is the only reason for increased testosterone or pregnancies in women with PCOS, but it does show that cutting out some of the major sources of casein—dairy.
Worst foods for PCOS ?
If you are trying to improve your fertility, it’s a good idea to avoid fried food, sugar, and anything that contains chemicals.
Here is the full list of foods with known effect on PCOS:
1. Fried foods
3.Anything that contains chemicals
6. Refined carbs (cakes, cookies, pasta, bread, rice)
7. Canned foods
9. Processed meats
10. Cow’s milk
11. Fish with high PCB levels
12. Processed meats from animals raised in close quarters (e.g., pork, beef)
13. Aged cheeses
14. Alcohol (including red wine).
15. High-fat dairy (butter, cheese, cream).
16. Processed meats (hot dogs, ham, sausages).
PCOS affects millions of women worldwide. While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, genetics play a role. The condition is characterized by cysts on the ovaries and changes in the hormones produced by the ovaries. Lifestyle factors can also contribute to PCOS. For example, many women with PCOS are overweight or obese . A diet high in simple carbs, for example, may make your weight loss seem fast, but it can also be harmful to your overall health.
Eating the wrong foods or eating too much of them can affect your hormones and create even more problems.
Losing weight may improve symptoms of PCOS, but weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight in a healthy way.
Dairy-free diets are becoming more and more popular, even for those who don’t have PCOS. But, does a dairy-free diet help PCOS?
Here are some benefits of a dairy-free PCOS diet:
The dairy-free PCOS diet is typically low in saturated fat
The dairy-free PCOS diet is typically low in saturated fat and high in vegetables and fruits . This may help with blood sugar control and reduce inflammation.
A lower intake of saturated fat is associated with better cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Encourage the intake of high-fiber foods
Ommiting dairy products like cheese and milk pushes you towards replacing them with high-fiber foods like:
- Whole grains.
- Legumes like: barley, chickpeas, edamame, lentils, etc.
- Fruits including berries and pears, etc.
The dairy-free PCOS diet is typically high in vegetables and fruits, which contain fiber.
Fiber can help you feel full longer, which may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Lower the risk of developing diabetes type 2
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a set of hormonal imbalances that may lead to a number of health issues. Unfortunately, PCOS can increase the risk of developing diabetes type 2.
On a dairy-free PCOS diet, you will increase your vegetable and fruit intake, which can help you control your blood sugar levels and keep you away from developing diabetes.
Encourage you to eat foods rich in antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants, which are nutrients that can protect you from cell damage and diseases.
High antioxidants intake offers numerous health benefits, including improvements in the hormone levels of women with PCOS. We’ll review some of the health benefits of a dairy-free diet and discuss whether or not you need to avoid dairy on your PCOS diet
Vitamin D and PCOS
If you decide to follow the PCOS diet, the dairy-free version, you have to pay attention to vitamin d levels, as by execluding milk from your diet, you will lose a rich source of vitamin D in your diet.
Research proved that a high percentage of women suffering from PCOS have vitamin D deficiency.
So, undergo vitamin analysis to know whether you need vitamin D supplements or not.
However, you may acquire vitamin D your body needs from a healthy diet that includes food like:
- Beef or chicken liver.
- Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna
- Or you can take a vitamin D supplement after talking to your healthcare provider.
Milk alternatives good for PCOS
There are various milk alternatives you can use as a dairy-free product on your PCOS diet.
Here are some examples:
- Coconut milk.
- Almond milk.
- Cashew milk.
- Hemp milk.
- Oat milk.
Is coconut milk good for PCOS?
If you have PCOS, you may have heard that coconut milk is good for you.
Due to its low carbohydrate content, which may help with blood sugar regulation, coconut milk is a viable dairy-free milk substitute for PCOS. MCT in coconut milk may provide extra health advantages to PCOS-afflicted women.
While coconut milk does have some beneficial properties, it’s important to note that it’s not a cure-all. In fact, there are some important things you should know before drinking it.
Coconut milk advantages for PCOS
There are many various sorts of coconut milk available now, so you may pick the one that best suits your needs.
Since coconut milk has virtually no carbs (if there is no added sugar), it is a wonderful milk substitute for persons following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. It may also be beneficial for those who have diabetes or insulin resistance, which is frequent in PCOS.
Since it has a fairly similar consistency to conventional cream, the thicker (full fat) version can even be used in place of it.
Coconut milk downsides
There are some coconut milk drawbacks for PCOS women, including
- Coconut milk has a high concentration of saturated fat (which is much higher in comparison to other plant-based alternatives).
- The type of fat found in coconuts, known as MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), is really very different from the saturated fat often thought to be linked to heart disease.
- However, there is evidence to support the idea that MCT may potentially be healthy for you.
Because of this, coconut milk’s fat content might not be a major issue, but if you’re looking for a high-protein milk substitute, its low protein content might be. There are other choices available here that have a lot more protein than coconut milk.
Almond milk PCOS diet
Almond milk can be substituted for cow’s milk in a variety of recipes and also on your PCOS diet. Besides there are some benefits of almond milk that you will enjoy if you decided to replace cow milk with almond milk.
Benefits of almond milk
Easy to prepare at home
You can easily prepare almond milk at home. Using a blender, blend some almonds and water.
Continue blending until the mixture is smooth, then strain the liquid through a fine sieve to remove the almonds.
The liquid will be almond milk. Alternatively, you can use a nut milk bag to strain the mixture.
Almond milk can provide your body with calcium, protein, and vitamins, as it is rich in vitamin E. Also, some types of almond milk available in the market is enriched with vitamin D to mimic regular milk nutritional value.
Almonds are good for your bones because they have calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin K, protein, and zinc.
Low calorie option
Although that seems weird, as homemade almond milk contains more fat, except that types available in the market is prepaared with 50% lower fat content.
Choosing milk with lower fat content can help you avoid gaining weight with PCOS.
Lower sugar content
Almond milk itself has lower sugar content than regular milk that contains lactose, but some brands of almond milk also contain sweeteners.
So, if you are looking for a milk substitute that will help you lose weight, almond milk might not be the best option for you.
In comparison to its carbohydrate level, almond milk is also heavy in fat and protein. This means that it is excellent for both individuals on a low-carb diet and those with diabetes since it prevents an increase in blood sugar levels.
To choose items that are as pure as possible, make sure to study the ingredient lists.
Low in saturated fat content
Although almonds contain fats in large amounts, but the good news is that it is the good type of fats (unsaturated fats).
So, that doesn’t increase the risk of increasing cholesterol levels in your blood.
Unsaturated fats can improve a person’s blood cholesterol status when consumed in moderation.
Almonds don’t have any cholesterol either. According to researches, eating almonds daily may:
- Enhance the plasma and red blood cell levels of vitamin E.
- Lower levels of total cholesterol levels in the blood.
These researchers claim that vitamin E is an antioxidant that can assist in halting the oxidation process that results in cholesterol clogging the arteries.
Additional research has produced similar findings.
According to a dependable source, eating almonds may help increase or maintain levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), sometimes known as “good” cholesterol. To safeguard heart health, they suggested that adults eat around 45 grammes (g) of almonds per day.
If you have high cholesterol, what foods should you eat and stay away from? For some advice, click this.
Lower the risk of developing cancer
Nut eating and cancer risk are the subjects of many researches that is eager to know the link between cancer development and nut intake.
According to the research, people who ate more peanuts, walnuts, and almonds had a two-to-three-times reduced chance of developing breast cancer than those who did not.
“Peanuts, walnuts, and almonds appear to be a preventive factor for the development of breast cancer,” they declared in their conclusion.
Does nutrition have anything to do with cancer risk? Learn more here.
Lower the risk of developing heart diseases
Almonds and other nuts and seeds may help elevate blood lipid, or fat, levels. Heart health may be improved by this.
In a 2014 study, researchers discovered that almonds dramatically raised blood levels of antioxidants, lowered blood pressure, and enhanced blood flow. All of the participants, healthy guys between the ages of 20 and 70, consumed 50 g of almonds each day for four weeks.
This may be as a result of, say the researchers,
Vitamin E, good fats, and fiber that make you feel full, as well as the antioxidant effects of flavonoids
Heart disease risk is increased by high blood pressure. Which meals are beneficial for lowering blood pressure?
Downsides of almond milk
Developing allergic reactions
Some people are allergic to some kinds of nuts including almonds.
If you are allergic to almonds and drank almond milk, then you might get hives, cause your skin inflame and swell.
Also, you might have trouble breathing. In this case, you should get medical help right away.
Anaphylaxis is a condition that can happen quickly and can be very dangerous.
If you know you have a nut allergy, then you should check the labels on pre-made foods and ask servers if any of their dishes contain nuts. There is a chance that nuts are in cakes, candy, savoury rice, and a lot of other foods and dishes.
Benefits of cashew milk
Cashew milk is healthy for PCOS cases because it provides the body with healthy fats, protein, and many vitamins and minerals.
Most of the fat in this very healthy drink comes from unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for the heart and do other good things.
There may be different amounts of nutrients in store-bought and homemade foods.
Most store-bought cashew milk is fortified with vitamins and minerals and has more of some nutrients than homemade cashew milk.
But they usually have less fat and protein, and they don’t have any fibre. Also, the ones you buy at the store might have oils, preservatives, and extra sugars.
Cashew milks that you make at home don’t need to be strained, which makes them higher in fibre.
They also have a lot of magnesium, which is an important mineral for nerve function, heart health, and keeping blood pressure in check.
All cashew milks are lactose-free by nature and can be used as a substitute for cow’s milk by people who have trouble digesting dairy.
Homemade milk has less protein, calcium, and potassium than cow’s milk, but it has more iron and magnesium and more healthy unsaturated fats.
Easy to add to include in your diet
Cashew milk is a healthy addition to your diet that you can use in many ways.
- Cashewt doesn’t have lactose, it’s good for people who don’t eat dairy.
- It can be used in most recipes that call for cow’s milk, like smoothies, baked goods, and cold or hot cereals.
- You can also use it to make ice cream or add it to sauces to make them creamier.
- Because cashew milk is thick and creamy, it tastes great in drinks like coffee, hot chocolate, and tea.
- Cashew milk can be used in place of cow’s milk, but it tastes nuttier and sweeter than cow’s milk.
If you want to add cashew milk to your diet, you can buy it or make it yourself at most stores. Look for ones that aren’t sweetened and don’t have any extra ingredients.
Improves your heart health
Studies have shown that cashew milk lowers the risk of developing heart disease.
This drink made from plants contains a lot of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. If you eat these fats instead of fats that aren’t as good for you, it might make you less likely to get heart disease.
Potassium and magnesium are also found in cashew milk. These are two nutrients that may help keep the heart healthy and prevent heart disease.
But store-bought cashew milk tends to have less potassium and magnesium and less heart-healthy unsaturated fats than homemade cashew milk.
Improves eye health
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are found in a lot of cashews.
Free radicals can damage the cells in your eyes. These compounds may stop that from happening.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that can cause vision loss, may be less likely if you eat foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin.
Another study found that people who ate the most lutein and zeaxanthin and whose blood levels of these antioxidants were predicted to be the highest were 40% less likely to get advanced AMD.
High levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the blood have also been linked to a 40% lower risk of age-related cataracts in adults over 65.
Since cashews are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, drinking cashew milk might help keep your eyes healthy.
Improves blood clotting
Cashew milk has a lot of vitamin K, which is important for making sure the blood clots.
If you don’t get enough vitamin K, you might bleed a lot.
Vitamin K deficiency in healthy adults is very rare, but it is more common in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other problems with absorption.
Getting enough of this protein can be helped by eating foods high in vitamin K, like cashew milk.
But a higher intake of vitamin K from food may make blood-thinning medicines less effective.
If you take medicines that thin your blood, talk to your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Helps control your blood sugar
Cashew milk may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar if they drink it.
Cashews have chemicals in them that may help your body keep your blood sugar in check.
In one study, a compound called anacardic acid found in cashews helped rat muscle cells take up sugar from the blood.
Researchers who looked at a similar nut that also had anacardic acid found that extracts from the nut’s milk made rats with type 2 diabetes have much lower blood sugar levels.
Also, cashew milk doesn’t have lactose, so it has fewer carbs than dairy. People with diabetes may be able to control their blood sugar better if they use it instead of cow’s milk.
Still, more research is needed to learn more about how cashew milk can help people with diabetes.
Healthy for the skin
Copper is in cashews in large amounts.
So, milk made from these nuts, especially milk made at home, is also high in this mineral.
Copper is important for healthy skin because it is a big part of how proteins are made in the skin.
This mineral controls how much collagen and elastin are made. These are two proteins that make skin strong and flexible.
Having the right amount of collagen in your body is important for healthy skin, while not having enough collagen can make your skin look older.
Cashew milk and other foods high in copper may help your body make more collagen, which keeps your skin healthy and young-looking.
Lower the risk of developing cancer
Studies proved that nutrients in cashew milk may stop the growth of some cancer cells.
Cashews have a lot of anacardic acid, which may help fight free radicals, which are thought to play a role in the development of cancer.
Researchers found that anacardic acid stops breast cancer cells from multiplying and spreading.
If you drink cashew milk, it can give your body anacardic acid, which may help stop cancer cells from growing.
But right now, research is only done in test tubes. More research, especially on people, is needed to learn more about how cashews might help fight cancer.
Srengthen the immune system
Cashews and the milk that comes from them are full of zinc and antioxidants. This can help you be healthier.
Studies show that nuts may make your immune system stronger and reduce inflammation in your body. This is likely because nuts are a great source of antioxidants and other compounds that fight inflammation and disease.
Also, zinc is used by your body to make immune cells, which help fight off diseases and infections. This mineral may also stop the damage to cells that leads to inflammation and disease by acting as an antioxidant.
Cashew milk may help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system because it contains zinc.
Help treat anemia
If you don’t get enough iron, your body can’t make enough hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is a protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen. This causes anemia, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, cold hands or feet, and other symptoms.
One study found that women who didn’t get enough iron were about six times more likely to get anaemia than women who got enough iron.
So, getting enough iron from your food is important for preventing iron-deficiency anaemia or making its symptoms better.
Cashew milk has a lot of iron, so it may help you keep your levels up. But your body absorbs this kind of iron better when you eat it with vitamin C.
If you want to get more iron out of cashew milk, blend it with vitamin C-rich fresh strawberries or oranges in a smoothie.
Downsides of cashew milk
Although cashew milk is safe and provides your body with many health benefits that can help you overcome some PCOS symptoms , there are also some downsides to consider.
High in calories
Cashew milk is high in sugar and calories, especially the types available on the market, so you need to be careful not to consume it in large amounts.
High in cholesterol
Unfortunately, cashew milk bought from the store may contain unhealthy fats and cholesterol that can affect your PCOS case negatively.
Keep in mind that cashews that have been roasted or salted can have a lot of extra oils or salt added to them. Because of this, it might be better to choose dry-roasted or “raw” (not roasted) kinds that aren’t salted.
Some research shows that roasted cashews may have more antioxidants that are good for your health than unroasted cashews.
Hinders vitamins absorption
Also, cashews have phytates in them, which can make it harder for your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals they have. If you soak your nuts overnight before adding them to a dish, you can reduce the amount of phytates they have and make them easier to digest.
May cause allergic reaction
Last but not least, cashews are tree nuts. Since this is the case, people who are allergic to tree nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or hazelnuts may also be allergic to cashews.
Hemp milk benefits
Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds, which are high in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. These include omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
Downsides of hemp milk
There aren’t many downsides to hemp milk, but keep in mind that it doesn’t have the same range of nutrients as other types of milk. So, if you’re looking for a complete source of nutrients, you might want to choose another type.
And like other types of milk, it can contain unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
Oat milk benefits
Oat milk is made from oats, which are a type of grain. These are high in fiber, vitamin E, and minerals like zinc, manganese, and selenium.
Downsides of oat milk
There aren’t many downsides to oat milk, but keep in mind that it doesn’t have the same range of nutrients as other types of milk. So, if you’re looking for a complete source of nutrients, you might want to choose another type.
How to build a dairy-free PCOS diet?
To build a PCOS diet that is dairy-free, follow these steps:
- Create your meal plan.
- Go grocery shopping.
- Make a shopping list of all the items you need to buy.
- Look for milk alternatives in the grocery store that are gluten-free, soy-free, and egg-free.
- Avoid foods with trans fats and excess sugar.
- Be prepared to substitute high-fat dairy products with plant-based alternatives.
- Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Always look for the whole-food version of the product you need, even if that means buying the packaged version in glass jars.
- Review your food journal.
Almond milk PCOS diet
- Almond milk can be substituted for cow’s milk in a variety of recipes and also on your PCOS diet.
- Make almond milk at home
- You can easily make almond milk with a blender by blending almonds and water.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth, then strain the liquid through a fine sieve to remove the almonds.
- The liquid will be almond milk. Alternatively, you can use a nut milk bag to strain the mixture.
Benefits of almond milk for PCOS
Are you struggling with your PCOS symptoms? Almond milk might help.
With a mild and pleasant taste, almond milk is a great alternative to regular milk. It’s also a good source of vitamin E and contains heart-healthy fats. You can add it to your cereal in the morning, use it as a base for your smoothie, or even enjoy it plain.
It’s also low in carbohydrates, which makes it a good choice for your weight loss goals.
Another great way to use almond milk is in your smoothies.
Start your day right with almond milk in coffee, tea, oatmeal or smoothies
Almond milk is also a good substitute for dairy milk in coffee or tea. If you love almond milk in your morning cup of coffee, then you can use it to replace dairy milk in other recipes as well.
You can also enjoy almond milk plain in cereal or mixed with fruits for a healthy breakfast.
Other benefits of almond milk
Almond milk can also be a great source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps promote cell growth and differentiation.
It’s also good for your skin because it’s packed with fatty acids like oleic acid, which helps keep your skin hydrated
Greek yogurt for PCOS
Some women with PCOS may not have to give up dairy after all. A new study found that consuming a small amount of yogurt every day can improve many of the symptoms of PCOS. It’s important to talk to your doctor before changing your diet, though
Is milk tea good for PCOS?
Some women still believe that dairy products can trigger or worsen the symptoms of PCOS, but there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. However, some women with PCOS find that avoiding dairy helps them feel better. If you have PCOS and you’re considering going dairy-free, talk to your doctor about whether it’s right for you.
That being said, you should still keep in mind that there’s no research proving that cutting out dairy can ease your PCOS symptoms. And you may find that the opposite is true: dairy might improve your fertilityand ease PCOS symptoms.