I am doing weight loss of a patient with PCOS. After 3 Kg reduction also (around 5%) she is not getting her periods (menstrual cycle) naturally and so loosing weight very slowly. I got the information that reduce the intake of dairy products.Actually milk (skim milk) is low glycemic, the protein that enhances the insulin production.

And in PCOS we have to give low glycemic foods and also not to increase insulin production. I am also giving a supplement containing soluble fibre to take care of increased insulin production due to PCOS.

So shall I reduce or stop giving milk & milk products? And which are other foods which I should stop giving or decrease the quantity?

  • Please edit your answer to include why you're asking this, what you already know or don't know about insulin production and how you hope your diet can aid you in this.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 11:09
  • If you are interested in nutrition, please visit this site: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/44550/nutrition
    – Kenshin
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


Someone I know has seen a doctor about this, so my answer is based on what the doctor has told them and what they're doing.

Apparently sugars in general are even worse for people with PCOS than others. Even fruit sugars should be avoided. Avocados are an exception. Fruits traditionally thought of as vegetables are OK, such as peppers and tomatoes, due to their lower sugar content. But the diet should be very vegetable-centric. Most root vegetables are out, however, due to their starch. Regular potatoes are obviously out, but so are sweet potatoes despite their lower glycemic index.

I believe that cheese is largely OK. Hard cheeses, such as parmesan, are better than soft cheeses. This is because most of the sugars / carbs are consumed by the bacteria that create these cheeses. Milk itself should be avoided as far as I know, and you probably want to go easy on the yogurt.

Most grains are bad, especially wheat and white rice. Even grains with low glycemic indexes should largely be avoided, due to the way their carbohydrates affect hormone production in those with PCOS. Something like quinoa is great, since it's actually a seed not a grain and is high in protein.

I understand that weight loss with PCOS is difficult due to the effect of hormones and severe cravings, and the need to restrict virtually all sweet foods and staples like bread is difficult. Exercise is thus even more important. Based on the above, focus on leaf/stem vegetables and proteins -- nuts, eggs, meats (esp. fish) -- for good foods.


Matthew Read provided a solid summary of what to avoid regarding increased insulin production, so I am going to merely add some additional information to consider.

Your goals sound very similar to the goals of the Slow Carb diet, proposed by Tim Ferriss. He spends several chapters in his recent book, The Four Hour Body, describing this diet, and fills the book with a plethora of other information for various goals.

Prior to the book, he wrote up a great blog article about this diet. I would highly recommend reading the blog post and then picking up the book. Both are excellent reads.

Below are some of my takeaways that I believe are relevant to your question.

  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast within 30 minutes of waking (30% or more protein)
  • Avoid all dairy (due to the insulin response that Milk has despite its low GI)
  • Each meal should consist of a protein, veggies, and legumes (legumes seem to have the lowest insulin response of carbs that provide a good amount of calories)
  • Avoid all fruit due to their sugar (with exceptions for avocados and tomatoes)
  • Have one day a week where you break the rules and enjoy whatever you've been missing, with the exception of breakfast. Breakfast should be the same, but by lunch time you can have anything.

The final point is there to help ensure your body doesn't go in to "starvation" mode and slow your metabolism. While I don't know how all of this would influence a person with PCOS, I would still suggest taking this information as a starting point for additional research. Tim Ferriss does outline a lot of the scientific thought behind why he has adopted the various goals, so that may be helpful in developing an ideal diet for your particular case.


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