What Foods Should I Avoid With PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder amongst women today. PCOS is related to the foods that we eat because our gut health has a major impact on our hormone balance. While this list of foods to be avoided with PCOS may not be right for everyone, it is worth considering how your body reacts to these foods.

Refined Carbohydrates

Women with PCOS tend to have blood sugar imbalances. Estimates show that about 70% of women with PCOS have some form of insulin resistance. Limiting foods that are high in refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and other grains as well as processed sugars can help balance blood sugar.

Gluten and Inflammatory Foods

Many clients ask me, are PCOS and gluten related? The answer is complicated because different women react differently to gluten. However since women with PCOS already have ongoing underlying inflammation, it is best to keep inflammation as low as possible. One way to do this is by limiting gluten and instead consuming unprocessed, gluten-free, whole foods. Gluten can also act as a hormone disruptor. PCOS already causes hormonal imbalances on its own, so I don’t recommend clients consume a food that could easily contribute to these imbalances further.


Women experiencing PCOS should also consider avoiding dairy. Dairy can often have hidden sugars added to it which contribute to higher levels of sugar consumed. Women can experience more inflammation because their bodies have difficulty regulating blood glucose levels. Beyond blood sugar levels, dairy products are known to be inflammatory on their own. Cutting out any foods that increase inflammation in the body will be a great first step for eating consciously if you have PCOS.

About the Author

My name is Sarah Lawley Chernick and it is my passion to help you reclaim your health! I spent years struggling with my own physical and mental health issues. Hormonal imbalances, digestive troubles, PCOS, PMS, headaches, chronic pain, brain fog, mood swings… you name it, I’ve had it! After years of going to doctor after doctor and nobody really being able to help me heal these issues, I decided to look for a different approach. I began working with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and was able to finally get to the root cause of these issues. After healing through this process, I decided to become a Nutritional Therapist myself. I hope to help others heal through functional nutrition and use my own healing journey as a way to relate to clients suffering with similar digestive issues and hormone imbalances.