Watching your sugar intake is a good idea in PCOS, but does the same apply to fruits? Do you need to pick from the list of fruits good for PCOS? Find out here.
This is something we can all agree on – fruits are one of nature’s best creations. Delicious, juicy, and sweet, fruits are packed with flavours and nutrients. But what happens in chronic conditions like diabetes and PCOS, where you must watch your sugar intake? Are some fruits to be avoided? Is there a list of fruits good for PCOS? Come find out.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of childbearing age. It results in problems with ovulation, irregular menstrual cycles, and fertility issues. Though its exact cause is not known, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are considered to be contributory factors.
In PCOS, insulin is not utilised by your body effectively, which leads to high blood sugar levels and increased production of androgen hormones, causing symptoms of PCOS.
PCOS can be managed with a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet rich in fibre content and low in carbohydrates, which can stabilise your blood glucose levels.
Does Eating Fruits Impact PCOS?
Fruits are considered the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Though they contain carbohydrates mainly in the form of sugar, they are also high in nutrients.
Table sugar (sucrose) differs from the sugar present in fruits, which is fructose. Fructose is not as readily digested as sucrose and thus affects your body differently. The other carbohydrate present in fruits is fibre, which is also beneficial for the body.
Fruits are safe to consume even if you have PCOS, as they are rich in fibre and delay the digestion of fructose in your body. This, in turn, delays the rise in your blood sugar levels.
Apart from fibre and fructose, fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help improve PCOS, decrease insulin resistance, and lower your risk of developing chronic diseases like obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer.
That being said, do not go for an all-or-nothing approach because fruits do contain sugar, which can affect your health in PCOS.
How can there be a disadvantage to eating fruits for PCOS right? Well, it’s important to choose the right kind of fruits, which are low in sugar and always consider the portion size. A higher intake of fruits may result in elevated insulin and blood sugar levels in your body, which in turn may aggravate the symptoms of PCOS.
Fruits for PCOS
Are fruits good for PCOS? Yes, they are. However, not all fruits behave the same way in your body. It is advisable to consume fruits with fewer carbohydrates to manage PCOS effectively.
There is a list of fruits good for PCOS with a lower glycaemic index (GI, the rate at which the food increases the blood sugar level after consuming it) and higher fibre content, which slows down the digestion of food and absorption of sugar into your blood and help manage PCOS.
The GI scale of food is as follows:
- Low GI foods score between 20 to 49
- Moderate GI foods are scored between 50 to 69
- High GI foods are scored from 70 to 100.
Low and moderate-GI foods are PCOS-friendly fruits. Now, let’s have a look at the 8 best fruits for PCOS. To manage PCOS, fruits can help!
Kiwis contain fibre, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, vitamin K, and magnesium. They are rich in fibre, help stabilise blood sugar levels, and prevent inflammation flare-ups. They have a glycemic index ranging from 50 to 55.
It’s true – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are rich in fibre, vitamin C, antioxidants, and flavonoids and have a low GI of 39. They reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, and stroke. They also promote weight loss and help manage the symptoms of PCOS.
Grapefruits are high in Vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. They have a low GI score of 25. If you are taking medications, consult your doctor before having grapefruit as it may interfere with the metabolism of the drug and cause adverse effects.
Berries and Cherries
Berries such as strawberries and blueberries along with cherries are rich in antioxidants, fibre & potassium. They have a low to moderate glycaemic index. Studies show that berries and cherries are capable of reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.
Avocados have a low sugar content and a GI score of around 40. They are naturally low in sugar, and one whole avocado contains about 1 g of sugar. They are rich in healthy fats, keep you satiated, and do not cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels.
Pears are rich in vitamin C and fibre with less than 13 grams of sugar in 1 medium-sized fruit. They have a GI score of 38. They can be a perfect mid-meal snack for those with PCOS. Keep the peel on and get 20% of your daily recommended fibre intake.
Peaches can be a sweet treat, but they are not just that. With less than 13 grams of sugar in a medium-sized fruit, and high doses of vitamin C, A, iron and potassium, they can be considered a good fruit choice for PCOS. They have a GI score of 42.
Fruits to Eat Less Often
Among the fruits listed above, all are rich in nutrients and are good for your health. You should consider the portion size of the fruit and should prefer eating fruits with their skin on, to increase your fibre and nutrient intake. The fruits with edible skin have more fibre content and will reduce the glycaemic index of the fruit making them more appropriate for PCOS.
Bananas, pineapple, melon, and oranges are a few examples of fruits without edible skin. They have lower amounts of fibre and higher GI. You can have these fruits less often in a small proportion.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of childbearing age. Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are considered to be contributory factors.
- Fruits are an important part of a balanced diet and provide you with a variety of nutrients and fibre. But, the right choice of fruits with a low glycemic index is important, and they can improve the symptoms of PCOS by stabilising your blood sugar levels.
- Fruits like kiwi, apple, grapefruits, berries and cherries, avocado, pears, and peaches are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They have a low to moderate glycemic index and are more suitable for weight loss, stabilising blood sugar levels, and improving the symptoms of PCOS.
- Bananas, pineapple, melon, and oranges are fruits that need to be consumed without their skin. They have lower amounts of fibre and higher GI, and thus need to be eaten in moderation in PCOS.
- Start your PCOS management journey with Phable. Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading gynaecologists, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and dieticians; order medicines; book lab tests; and get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a PCOS Management program that provides 360º care.
Friendly Asked Questions
Fruits like kiwis, apples, berries, pears, and peaches, which are rich in fibre content and low to moderate on the glycemic index are best for PCOS.
You may not need to avoid any fruit completely in PCOS, as long as you watch your portion size. Fruits such as bananas, pineapples, melon, and oranges need to be consumed without their skin. Thus, they have lower amounts of fibre and higher GI and need to be eaten in moderation.
Fruits are an important part of a balanced diet. They are rich in fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. There is a list of fruits good for PCOS such as apples, avocados, pears, berries, etc. However, adopting a diet based solely on fruits may be harmful to your health as you need all macro and micronutrients, which only fruits cannot provide. Having fruits in moderate quantities along with other food items is the key to PCOS management.