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PCOS - Dietary Tips To Avoid Weight Gain In This Disorder!

Dr. Bhavna Gandhi 87% (52 ratings)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science - MS, Food and Nutrition, A
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Meerut
PCOS - Dietary Tips To Avoid Weight Gain In This Disorder!

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Polycystic means “many cysts,” and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. PCOS affects one in 4 women.

What are the causes behind it?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, doctors believe that hormonal imbalances and genetics play a role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if their mother or sister also has the condition.
Overproduction of the hormone androgen may be another contributing factor. Androgen is a male sex hormone that women’s bodies also produce. 

PCOS Symptoms
PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment:

  • Irregular or missing menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist
  • Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne

Does PCOS increase weight?
The answer is a ‘YES’. Most PCOS patients are overweight and are asked to exercise which helps control the symptoms but a lot many people have a completely normal body type.

What are the risks associated with PCOS-related weight gain?
No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including:

Many of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than women of the same age without the condition.

Benefit of Weight Loss with PCOS

Modest weight loss will not cure PCOS, but it will help. Weight loss can restore the normal function of the ovaries and result in normal hormone production. This may, in turn, lead to improvements in symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair growth, acne or scalp hair loss.

Protect Yourself From Weight Gain

  • Eat Right: A healthy diet low in complex carbohydrates, moderate protein and low fat is important, as this can help regulate blood sugar levels. 
  • Exercise: Start doing low-to-moderate activities like walking or swimming for 30-to-90 minutes per day because exercise (even without weight loss) has been shown to lower or get rid of insulin resistance.
  • Lose Weight: The more overweight you are the more likely you are to be insulin resistant whether you have PCOS or not. Losing just 5% of your bodyweight will help lower your insulin resistance.
  • Avoid Stress: Don’t over stress yourself as it increases the blood pressure level in your body and can’t help to resist with PCOS. So, try to stay as calm as possible.
  • Get more sleep (at least 7-to-9 hours in a day): Not getting enough sleep can also make your insulin resistance worse, which in turn acquires you the weight.


Foods you should avoid while suffering from PCOS:

  • Sweetened juice, canned fruit in heavy syrup, or sweetened applesauce
  • Starchy vegetables including potatoes, corn, and peas
  • Refined grains made with white flour such as white bread and pasta, bagels, or white rice
  • Sweetened grains and donuts
  • Sugary drinks such as soda or juice
  • Sugary foods such as cookies, cakes, and candy
  • Snacks such as potato chips and tortilla chips
1832 people found this helpful

10 Foods That Can Help Lower Cholesterol Levels!

Dt. Rakhi Khurana 88% (10 ratings)
Bsc - Home Science
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
10 Foods That Can Help Lower Cholesterol Levels!

Food plays a vital role in lowering cholesterol apart from timely medication. Here is a list of 10 foods that contribute to a great extent in lowering the cholesterol level:

  1. Oats: Changing the morning meal is the first action you should take. Oatmeal can bring down the LDL level to a staggering 5.3 percent in a matter of 6 weeks. It contains beta-glucan, which is capable of absorbing the LDL present in the blood.
  2. Red wine: You can cheer to reduce cholesterol with a glass of red wine in hand. A study conducted by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that red wine can reduce the cholesterol level up to 9 percent owing to a vital component known as Rioja present in it.
  3. Salmon Fish: Fatty and salmon fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids. They are known to be extremely effective for diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular diseases and much more. A study conducted by the Loma Linda University found that Omega-3 can increase the HDL by up to 4 percent. 
  4. Nuts: Nuts can reduce the cholesterol by up to 9.3 percent, a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed. 1.5 oz of regular consumption of nuts greatly helps in bringing down cholesterol. Since nuts are very rich in protein, portion control is necessary to refrain from putting on weight.
  5. Beans: A research conducted by the Arizona State Polytechnic University revealed that adding beans to soup can bring down the LDL up to 8 percent. Owing to their rich fibre content, they effectively absorb cholesterol. Some of the beans that can be tried include kidney, black and pinto beans.
  6. Cocoa: A study conducted by the AJCN reported that the daily intake of cocoa increases the HDL by over 20 percent in 3 months. Due to its high antioxidant content, it streamlines the blood flow and doesn’t let platelets stick together.
  7. Garlic: 2-3 cloves of garlic per day can dramatically reduce cholesterol-limiting LDL into the artery. It can prevent other conditions such as blood pressure, infections and blood clotting. Garlic can be consumed with any regular dish. 
  8. Olive oil: Olive oil has multiple health benefits. It contains a compound known as MUFAs that lowers cholesterol and helps to get rid of abdomen fats. You can use it with salads, roast vegetables and marinate chicken.
  9. Avocado: Avocado contains monounsaturated fat that helps to raise the level of HDL and lower the LDL in the body. It contains Beta-sitosterol that absorbs cholesterol and brings down the count of it in the body. Owing to its high-calorie content, portion size should be looked into.
  10. Margarine: Two margarine can lower the LDL level-up to 14 %. They are capable of absorbing cholesterol from the bile. It can be consumed with toast in the morning or as a snack in the evening.
4626 people found this helpful

Can Green Tea Really Burn Belly Fat?

Dt. Rd Bilkish Raje 91% (151 ratings)
M.Sc Dietetics -Outstanding Grade-82%, RD, Special Registered Dietitian
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Pune
Can Green Tea Really Burn Belly Fat?

Green tea has come up as a boon for people around the world as it has a solution for various health issues, with weight loss being the most prominent among them. But the question is, if people are actually able to take benefit from it or not? To ensure maximum benefits, people must know how much is recommended, and how does it actually help in weight loss? Read on to know more about the magic wand called green tea.

When you are brewing a cup of green tea, the tea leaves that are used get converted into their active form after coming in touch with the hot water, which is when it gets beneficial.

  1. Improves metabolism: Green tea has caffeine which is believed to aid in burning fat and improving metabolism. A cup of green tea contains about 20 to 40 mg of caffeine and so helps in controlling fat. The more significant advantage in green tea comes from antioxidants called catechins. This boosts metabolism and is the main reason green tea is believed to help in weight loss. The main catechin is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is the wonder product in green tea. It boosts production of hormone norepinephrine which in turn signals the cells to release the accumulated fat from the cells. This is a cumulative effect and more and more fat gets burned. It is also believed that both caffeine and EGCG work in tandem synergistically, and so help in weight loss initiated by the other.
  2. Burns more, even at rest: This fat burning rate is further increased by exercise. It has been shown that consuming green tea and exercising improves weight loss by almost 15%. Once this process is initiated, it continues to burn calories even at rest at a rate faster than when not consuming green tea.
  3. Eat less: Another theory that is proposed is that green tea makes one consume fewer calories and so helps in weight loss. This is yet to be proven, but there are pieces of evidence that show that green tea also reduces appetite, further adding to its weight loss properties.
  4. Loses that belly fat: The belly fat which is what leads to diabetes and chronic inflammation can be lost using green tea on a regular basis. This is the more harmful fat and so losing is helps overall health. Though the exact mechanism is not fully proven, green tea is definitely considered to have a role in losing weight due to its 3 properties:
    • Improving metabolism
    • Releasing accumulated fat
    • Reducing appetite
  5. Eco Valley Dandelion: Two-three cups of Eco Valley Dandelion mint/Sunny Lemony/Pure green (without sugar) help in reducing weight along with calorie-restricted Diet.

Given that it is a new entrant to the food table, more research is still being done, but the fact remains that it definitely aids in weight loss. In addition to weight loss, there are various other benefits and so reach out for that cup of green tea!

3875 people found this helpful

How Does Alcohol Affect Body Weight?

MBBS, DFM, Diploma in Diet and Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
How Does Alcohol Affect Body Weight?

When you want to lose weight, any dietician will tell you to exercise and monitor the food that you consume. You gain weight when you are consuming more calories than you are burning. Alcohol contains calories and so they need to be considered in your calculation of daily calorie intake.

Calorie content of some popular drinks

Here is a list of how many calories are present in some of your favourite drinks-

• 12 ounces of beer contain 150 calories
• 5 ounces of red wine contain 125 calories
• 5 ounces of white wine contain 121 calories
• 1.5 ounces of gin, vodka or rum contain 100 calories
• 4 ounces of champagne contain 85 calories

Influence of alcohol on your body

Moderate drinking refers to just one drink for women and two for men. More than four or five drinks a day qualifies as binge drinking. Your bloodstream picks up the alcohol and sends it to all parts of the body. That is why the ill effects of binging on alcohol manifest as problems spread out all over the body. However, the most noticeable effect is an increase in body weight.

Why does alcohol lead to an increase in body weight?

Alcohol in itself contains a lot of calories. But what makes a drink even more harmful for your body is the amount of sugar and additives that are present in it. Alcohol’s calories are empty i.e. they have no nutritional values but they lead to weight gain. Multiple pieces of research have shown that if you are a heavy drinker, you have 41% higher chances of being overweight than people who abstain from drinking.

• Alcohol also stimulates hunger, which means you feel hungrier when you consume alcohol. Therefore, you eat more and that affects the body’s inhibitors. You will crave for food you will not pause to wonder if the food you are consuming is healthy or not. Moreover, people always consume snacks with alcohol. None of these snacks is healthy for you and can make you gain weight.

• When you drink too much, it impairs the function of your liver. Your liver is responsible for processing alcohol. Therefore, your body cannot metabolize the alcohol and fats begin to accumulate.

• Yet another reason why alcohol can lead to weight gain is that it affects the function of the central nervous system. So all the mechanisms of your body slow down, including your metabolism. When metabolism is slow, you tend to pile on the kilos.

Alcohol in moderation has benefits but when you consume too much of it, your body is affected and the first sign is a rapid increase in weight. Rapid weight gain can again lead to a number of health conditions like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, etc. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and only stick to a glass or two twice a week.

5990 people found this helpful

What Are The Harmful Effects Of The Excess Intake Of Protein

Dt. Ashu Gupta 93% (1659 ratings)
M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Gurgaon
What Are The Harmful Effects Of The Excess Intake Of Protein

Protein is a major component in daily diet. So it should be taken in appropriate quantity.
Every cell in your body contains protein, so meeting your protein requirement is essential for your health.

-building tissues and muscles. Protein is necessary for building and repairing body tissues. 
-hormone production
-immune function

Ideally, a person should consume 1gm of protein per kg of ideal body weight. That means everyone has an ideal body weight according to his/ her height. For example, a man is of 5'4" height so according to this height his ideal weight should be 59kg. So that person should eat 59 gm of protein.
But the requirement of protein increases in some cases like athletes, sportsman or body builders. 
Because their body uses protein primarily to repair and rebuild muscle that is broken down during exercise 
So they should eat 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight which again will depend on the type of sports.

Now let's talk about the sources of protein for both vegetarians and non vegetarians.
So the veg sources of protein are -tofu, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and most varieties of beans, green peas, milk and milk products.

And the non-veg sources of protein are- chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish plus all the vegetarian sources mentioned above.

Now, what happens to our body if we take protein in excess amount? well, it causes a number of problems in our body. Some of them are discussed below:

Weight gain

High-protein diets may promote weight loss, but it may only be short term. Excess protein is usually stored as fat while the surplus of amino acids is excreted. This can lead to weight gain over time, especially if you consume too many calories while trying to increase your protein intake.

Kidney damage

Following a high-protein diet for an extended period can increase your risk of kidney damage. Eating too much protein can also affect people who already have kidney disease. This is because of the excess nitrogen found in the amino acids that make up proteins.

Your kidneys have to work harder to get rid of the extra nitrogen and waste products of protein metabolism.

Heart disease

Eating lots of red meat and full-fat dairy foods as part of a high-protein diet may lead to heart disease. This could be related to higher intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Increased cancer risk

High-protein diets have been linked to an increase in cancer, possibly due to higher levels of meat-based protein consumption. Eating more meat is associated with colon, breast, and prostate cancer.


Many people who take high protein diet reported constipation. This is because high-protein diets that restrict carbohydrates are typically low in fiber.

Bad breath

Eating large amounts of protein can lead to bad breath, especially if you restrict your carbohydrate. This could be in part because your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis, which produces chemicals that give off an unpleasant fruity smell.

When to see your doctor?

It's important that you take the risks into consideration before starting a high-protein diet. High-protein diets may be suitable for certain people. Always speak to your doctor before beginning any new diet, especially if you have any health conditions.

Your doctor and dietitian can guide you to weigh the pros and cons of a high-protein diet based on your individual needs.

Overall, it's important that you eat a healthy, balanced diet and engage in an active lifestyle.

6 people found this helpful

Weight Loss & Weight Gain - Foods You Should Include In Your Diet!

Dr. Suneet Khanna 87% (84 ratings)
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Weight Loss & Weight Gain - Foods You Should Include In Your Diet!

Being overweight or obese leads to many health problems and thus, controlling your diet to reduce fat and weight can help you get your life back. However, one the other side of the spectrum, being too skinny can also be unhealthy. You could also be clinically of a proper weight, but might want to put on some muscle. Diets for both the sides will thus vary greatly.

Diet for weight loss:

  1. Include more of dark leafy vegetables in your diet: These vegetables are store houses of many important nutrients, such as vitamins, proteins, fibers and antioxidants and also contain no fats.
  2. Cereals and grains: It is important that we replace refined flour and fried foods, such as parathas or poori and replace them with whole healthy grains. Some examples of these grains are whole wheat bread, brown rice, rotis and oats.
  3. Lean meats: Certain forms of meat, which have been prepared without too much oil and spice are good as weight loss diet ingredients. Chicken, turkey, sweet-water fish among others are good choices.
  4. Fruits: Fruits are also a good option as they have natural sugar within them and can provide a boost of energy without requiring processed sugars. Melons, Oranges, berries, guavas are all good examples as they also help in regulating body functions.

Diets for weight gain:

  1. Peanuts: This ingredient is a good source of protein and unsaturated fats, which will help you build muscle and put on some extra weight. If you are working out at the gym to gain muscles peanuts can provide you with the required calories and protein to put on weight.
  2. Bananas: This fruit is not only a source of potassium, but also a source of good sugar which can easily be converted into energy within the body and can help build muscles and thus enable you to put on weight the healthy way.
  3. Eggs: Eggs, especially egg yolk is known to be rich in protein and fats and can help you gain weight quickly. However, it is advised not to eat multiple eggs and limit its consumption to three or four eggs weekly as it can contribute to bad cholesterol within the body.
  4. Chocolate: Some amount of chocolate in your food also helps you to put on weight although excessive consumption may lead to elevated blood sugar levels. However, chocolates in moderation and regularity will help you put on weight healthily.
5714 people found this helpful

Are You Also Committing These Awful Dietary Mistakes?

Dt. Monica Kapur 87% (64 ratings)
Certification In Nutrition & Weight Management, B.Com, Certificate In Food & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Are You Also Committing These Awful Dietary Mistakes?


1. Low Fat Diet - Fats are not to be feared, rather your body needs dietary fats and cholesterol to produce all vital hormones.

2. Only Fruit Joice For B/F - Most fruit juices raises blood sugar , so your body produces more insulin consequently you'll get hungry and overeat later.

3. Eating Fake Foods - Eating diet foods , protein bars or expensive low fat foods can never help as you never feel satisfied.

4. Increase Gymming Or Workout - If you don't workout definitely you will gain fat and lose muscle tissue every year. But workout for several hours or join too many fitness classes will not give you the desired result so workout little less as more can increase free radicals and these free radicals can destroy your body's essential nutrients and tissues .

5. Don't Blame Your Age - You are fat because you eat more or you sleep less or you don't move at all otherwise a research shows that men and women in their 90's were also able to lose weight and gain muscle . 

6. Take Dinner Too Early - Most people when on diet eat dinner too early which is wrong because by the time you sleep you get  hungry again which can interfere with your sleep .

A study shows that most of the people consider workout as a license to binge and eat more when they workout!

Conclusion - Diet plans are great when it comes to losing weight, but only when it is done right. So, it is important to consult a dietician before starting a diet plan.

3153 people found this helpful

White Vs Brown Bread - Which One Is Better?

Dr. Suneet Khanna 87% (84 ratings)
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
White Vs Brown Bread - Which One Is Better?

With the growing market for organic products, there is a widespread confusion on which product to choose. The same dilemma holds good in selecting the type of bread. White bread or brown bread? People are not sure which one to eat to stay healthy. A few quick facts about the two types of bread and which one should be consumed to stay healthy, are given below

White Bread
White bread is made out of refined wheat flour that has nothing to offer for the body. During the process of making white bread, the bran and wheat germ is removed from the wheat flour and Potassium Bromate, Benzoyl Peroxide or Chlorine Dioxide gas are used for bleaching to generate the whiteness. Potassium Bromate is highly dangerous if consumed in large doses. Chlorine dioxide is also used as a pesticide and is considered hazardous to the environment. When a large amount of white bread is consumed, the refined carbohydrates generate high levels of insulin thus, resulting in higher chances of weight gain. In spite of being globally popular, white bread is highly unhealthy for your body. It is completely devoid of nutrients and it is as harmful as table sugar for the digestive system.

Brown Bread
The American Academy of Pediatrics has revealed that whole wheat brown bread is rich in nutrients compared to the white bread. One major factor contributing to the above-mentioned fact is the amount of fiber present in whole wheat brown bread. The increased fiber content slows down the digestion process and thereby, reduces the effect on blood sugar and production of insulin. Other nutrients that are present in brown bread include vitamin B6, E, Folic acid, Zing, Copper and Manganese. Brown bread has lesser amount of calcium as compared with brown bread. Many manufacturers claim that they produce brown bread with the same amount of calcium as in white bread. Whole wheat bread contains Phytonutrient also called as plant lignans that have been observed to protect against heart diseases and breast cancer.

Things to consider while buying Brown Bread
The declining demand for white bread has forced a lot of manufacturers to use caramel as a coloring agent to darken white to brown bread. So buyers need to carefully look for the ingredients mentioned in the packing to ensure that they are buying the right product. It is important to check the first ingredient to see whether it is whole wheat or whole meal flour. If the word "enriched" is used, it means that the same flour used for white bread is used. Look for the bread with the minimum ingredients to ensure that you get maximum nutrients and very little additives. Also, make sure the amount of the following ingredients are as given below; sodium should be lesser than 401mg, saturated fat should be 1gm and fiber needs to be 4gm per 2 slices of serving.

To conclude, when it comes to organic and fitness oriented scenarios, brown is always better than white.

5340 people found this helpful

Sara Ali Khan Diagnosed With PCOD - Are You Safe?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Faridabad
Sara Ali Khan Diagnosed With PCOD - Are You Safe?

A few days ago, Sara Ali Khan confessed on a popular talk show that she suffers from Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOD) which was the reason behind her sudden weight gain. She went on to explain that she has had to struggle a lot to battle PCOD and keep her weight under control. A starlet speaking up about PCOD has brought everyone’s attention to a disorder that affects 1 out of every 10 women in India. About a million women in India are diagnosed with PCOD every year.

What exactly is PCOD?

A hormonal imbalance or a system disorder triggers Polycystic Ovarian Disorder. Any woman under the age of 40 who has diabetes or a family history of diabetes has a high risk of getting PCOD. The ovaries become enlarged and cysts develop in the ovaries because of the presence of excess amounts of the male hormone androgen. PCOD is dangerous because it also impacts insulin levels and fertility.

What are the symptoms of PCOD?

The most common symptoms of PCOD are-

• Irregular menstrual cycle followed by lack of ovulation which might make it difficult for women to conceive
• Excess hair growth in a male pattern because of the secretion of androgen
• Weight gain and obesity
• Uterine bleeding
• Break-out of acne

Further complications linked to PCOD:

PCOD can lead to a number of other ailments-

• PCOD makes you insulin resistant so women with PCOD have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes
• Blood diagnosis of women with PCOD reveals abnormal levels of C-Reactive proteins blood lipids. These are predictors of coronary artery disorders.
• Because of PCOD cholesterol tends to deposit in the arteries of the heart and increase the risk of cardiac problems

How is PCOS diagnosed?

If you show the symptoms of PCOD, your doctor will order you to undergo blood tests to determine if male hormones like DHEA or testosterone are causing an imbalance. Your thyroid and adrenal gland’s secretions are also evaluated with a blood test. An ultrasound test can reveal if there are cysts in your ovaries.

Treatment of PCOD:

Since PCOD is caused by hormonal imbalance, the most popular course of treatment is hormone therapy to restore the balance of hormones and inhibit the secretion of male hormones. The type of treatment takes into account the age of the patient.

Doctors can prescribe birth control pills to help regulate menstruation. Or, you might simply be given progesterone pills to normalise your periods. Medication also aims to treat the other complications caused by PCOD. Therefore, you will be given medicines that will-

• Control type 2 diabetes
• Lower your insulin resistance
• Lower your blood pressure and blood cholesterol to keep your heart healthy.

How can you prevent the onset of PCOD?

The best way to prevent PCOD is to adopt a healthy lifestyle characterized by a proper diet and exercise. Here are some tips that will help-

• Maintain a normal body weight. Work out regularly to lose weight. Weight loss can lower androgen levels and reduce insulin resistance.
• Live an active life, which can help keep your blood pressure in check.
• Avoid smoking or consuming alcohol
• Your diet should consist of whole grains, high fibre fruits and vegetables.
• A vegetable that has anti-inflammatory properties like turmeric, spinach, walnut or tomatoes.
• Lean proteins like chicken

PCOD can take a toll on your body and psyche but with medication, a careful diet and exercise you can live a normal healthy life.

2 people found this helpful

Protein Facts!

Dt. Rukhsana Azhar 89% (27 ratings)
M.Sc - Dietetics & Food Service Management, B.Sc.Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, POST GRADUATE CLINICAL COURSE IN DIABETES MANAGEMENT
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Purnia
Protein Facts!

Protein is the key for muscle building; this will help you gain weight. Help yourself to nuts and dairy products.

1 person found this helpful

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