Can a dietitian help with PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a multifaceted and often underestimated condition associated with considerable metabolic risks for women over their lifetime. Given that dietary and lifestyle adjustments serve as primary interventions, dietitians are pivotal in assisting women with PCOS in improving their well-being, reducing uncomfortable symptoms, reaching a healthy weight, and even optimizing fertility. 

We can help!


What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. It can have a significant impact on a woman’s health. Its onset is during adolescence and it has no cure. It affects women of reproductive age. So women can struggle with PCOS for decades without getting the care they need.


How common is PCOS?


Polycystic ovary syndrome is common. It is grossly underdiagnosed and overlooked. The World Health Organization estimates approximately 70% of cases go undiagnosed. 


What are common symptoms of PCOS?

  • Irregular periods
  • Weight gain (especially around the stomach area) – It’s noticeable for its apple shape and being firm to the touch because of the visceral fat around the organs.
  • Acne
  • Limp or greasy hair
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Cysts on ovaries (though not always!)
  • Larger ovaries
  • Infertility – It is the leading cause of infertility.
  • Skin tags (small pieces of excess skin on neck or armpits)
  • Dark or thick skin patches around the back of the neck, armpits, or under breasts

Many women become accustomed to feeling unwell. Oftentimes they have been told that there’s nothing they can do. Though PCOS has no cure, significant lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce these uncomfortable symptoms. 


What chronic diseases are associated with PCOS?


PCOS puts a woman at risk of long-term, metabolic risk factors including:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • endometrial cancer (cancer of the inner lining of the uterus)


Can PCOS be managed by diet?

Again, though it can’t be cured, a registered dietitian can help individualize a diet plan to improve your symptoms of PCOS, help you feel better, optimize fertility, and reduce your risk of developing chronic disease. 

It’s not uncommon for women with PCOS to need assisted reproductive technology (ART), and by working with an expert PCOS nutritionist, we can optimize your nutrition status while you and your partner are preparing for pregnancy.

The PCOS diet typically focuses on managing insulin levels and hormone balance. It includes:

  1. Balanced Macronutrients: Consuming a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to help regulate blood sugar levels.
  2. Low Glycemic Index Foods: Choosing foods that have a lower impact on blood sugar levels, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  3. Healthy Fats: Including sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, to support hormone regulation.
  4. High-Fiber Foods: Eating plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains to aid digestion and promote satiety.
  5. Lean Proteins: Emphasizing lean protein sources like poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes to support muscle health and stabilize blood sugar levels.
  6. Limiting Processed Foods: Avoiding processed foods, sugary snacks, and drinks high in added sugars to prevent spikes in insulin levels.
  7. Regular Meals and Snacks: Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain stable blood sugar levels and prevent overeating.
  8. Hydration: Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limiting sugary beverages and excessive caffeine intake.


Make an appointment with your primary care physician if you believe you’re struggling with PCOS. It’s not difficult to diagnose, and from there, we can work with you to improve your wellness and hormone health through targeted dietary interventions. 

This is not an easy condition, but it can be managed. You are not alone!


Delicious Lunch Ideas to Implement in Your PCOS Diet Plan

Quinoa Salad with Grilled Chicken:



  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 cup mixed greens (spinach, arugula, kale)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and grilled chicken slices.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make the dressing.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined.
  4. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on top of the salad.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.


Salmon and Avocado Wrap:



  • 1 whole grain or gluten-free wrap
  • 4 oz grilled or baked salmon fillet
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Lay the wrap flat on a clean surface.
  2. Spread the hummus evenly over the wrap.
  3. Place the grilled or baked salmon fillet in the center of the wrap.
  4. Top the salmon with sliced avocado, shredded carrots, and baby spinach leaves.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt and lemon juice to make the sauce.
  6. Drizzle the sauce over the ingredients in the wrap.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Roll up the wrap tightly, folding in the sides as you go.
  9. Cut the wrap in half diagonally and serve immediately.

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