Fruits to avoid during PCOS

They say, "consume a variety of fruits", "they are low in calories", "they contain a high amount of fiber, antioxidants, other vitamins and minerals" and so on...! Undoubtedly true! But not for every fruit, I mean all fruits contain vitamins and minerals but differ in calories and glycemic index. Glycemic index (GI) is the ranking given to carbohydrate foods depending upon their effect on the blood sugar on consumption. Glucose is used as a reference food with GI 100. Usually foods below GI=55 are considered as low GI foods.

PCOS, one of the major hormonal imbalance, is noted to be mounting rapidly amongst females. It exhibits symptoms such as insulin resistance (IR), irregular menses, anovulation, hair loss, hirsutism, acne etc. Researches prove that if IR in such women is improved with the help of a low GI diet, the overall symptoms of PCOS may be reduced. Low GI foods prevent a sudden rise in the blood glucose and also slows down the release of insulin from the pancreas. Low GI foods reduce both blood sugar and insulin levels and hence including them in diet can be one of the best natural remedies for polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Women with PCOS are recommended to consume a low GI diet for PCOS, including low GI fruits. Below listed are fruits to avoid due to their high GI ranking if the symptoms of PCOS prevails:



Dates, dried GI = 103

Dates are one of the highest GI fruits. Women with PCOS, having insulin resistance and high blood sugar may avoid this fruit. The one's with controlled levels may prefer 2-3 pieces once in a while (once in a week).

Raisins, GI = 64

Raisins are ranked as medium to high GI fruits. Women with PCOS should avoid/restrict this fruit to avoid glycemic load.

Mango, ripe GI = 60

Mangoes are also ranked as medium GI fruit. When consumed in a higher quantity, they may produce a high glycemic load. Being a seasonal fruit, you may include few pieces (3-4 small) of this fruit in your mix fruit dessert once or twice a week.

Pineapple GI = 59

Usually this fruit is included as a salad or a juice in your diet. Both of these recipes make you consume a large quantity of this fruit, which may increase the glycemic load. Instead you may add just 2-3 pieces of this fruit to your salad or mix fruit dish. Women with PCOS and uncontrolled blood sugar and serum insulin may avoid this fruit.

Kiwi  GI = 58

Kiwi fruit is ranked medium in GI. But due to it's excellent antioxidant properties, this fruit may be consumed in small quantities occasionally. Women presenting PCOS with severe insulin resistance may avoid this fruit.

Apricots, fresh GI = 57

Fresh apricots may raise blood sugars rapidly. You may prefer dry apricots as they are ranked comparatively low in glycemic index.

Banana, ripe GI = 51

Bananas are known to have many beneficial properties but when it comes to GI, they are ranked as 51, that is low to medium. An average banana weighs 120 g. Hence, consuming one whole fruit may raise the sugars rapidly. Women with PCOS may prefer 1/3 - 1/2 of this fruit and that too only once or twice a week. Women showing uncontrolled pathology may avoid bananas.

Watermelon GI = 72

Watermelons are ranked high in glycemic index. The fruit contains about 90% of moisture in it even if consumed in higher quantities does not produce a heavy glycemic load. Hence, this fruit may be consumed by all women with PCOS. Prefer eating the whole fruit over juice.

The best way to enjoy every fruit for women with poly cystic ovaries is to consult a dietitian/nutritionist and plan a diet including all fruits with the help of an exchange system. Exchange system allows you to eat every food but in a restricted quantity only by replacing it with another food in your diet. For example, your nutritionist may replace one whole apple in your diet with 1/3 banana or 1/4 mango (whatever you like). Any of the three fruits will provide you same number of calories.

Got it! So, wish you a good luck to make your diet actually a fruitful one!

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