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Hi, I’m Alyssa! AKA, The PCOS Nutritionist Alyssa!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you eliminate your PCOS symptoms with sustainable and realistic nutrition changes.

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30 Easy PCOS Breakfast Ideas (Dietitian Approved)

You’ve probably heard the expression: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” but is this still true if you have PCOS? 

As a PCOS dietitian, I get asked about whether breakfast is necessary and what are some good PCOS breakfast ideas. If you have PCOS, a nutritious breakfast is definitely an important meal. All meals are important actually, but this article is going to focus on breakfast specifically. 

In this blog post, we’ll dive into why breakfast is important, what makes a PCOS friendly breakfast, and I’ll give you some tips and PCOS breakfast ideas too. 

bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit on top and a spoon laying beside it.

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Why You Should Eat Breakfast 

The term “breakfast” was literally intended to mean the meal that breaks your overnight fast…aka break fast – get it?! (side note: you can read my thoughts on intermittent fasting here)

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) should not be skipping breakfast either. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects 6-12% of women of reproductive age in the United States (1). While researchers don’t know the exact cause of PCOS yet, it’s associated with insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and other hormonal imbalances such as high androgen levels (aka male hormones like testosterone levels). 

Our hormones are finicky and like to be nurtured. Skipping breakfast on a regular basis has been shown to negatively impact overall health. For one, skipping breakfast can increase cortisol levels (aka our stress hormone) – which can increase insulin resistance. This is particularly important because up to 80% of women with PCOS are insulin resistant and approximately half will go on to develop type 2 diabetes before age 40 (1, 2). 

Insulin resistance can contribute to several of the crappy symptoms of PCOS that you may be experiencing such as weight gain, cravings, irregular periods, hirsutism (aka excess hair growth), hair loss, and acne. 

By eating breakfast on a daily basis, you can maintain more balanced blood sugar and insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity over time. Breakfast also gives you an opportunity to get more essential nutrients that can benefit your PCOS, such as protein, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, or zinc.  

Benefits of eating breakfast with PCOS:

  • More balanced blood sugar levels for the rest of the day
  • Less cravings (especially carb cravings) throughout the day
  • Lower risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes (3)
  • Less binge eating episodes
  • Eating less overall calories throughout the day, which may be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain
  • More energy during the day
  • May boost fertility 

Ok, now that we’ve established the benefits of eating breakfast, let’s talk about what a healthy PCOS breakfast actually looks like.

What Makes a PCOS-Friendly Breakfast?

When it comes to the best breakfast for PCOS, you’ll want to combine the right kinds of food that will keep you feeling full, balances your blood sugar levels, and that you actually enjoy. 

To balance your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full, you’ll want to include all three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

  • Protein. Protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass. It’s also essential for keeping you feeling full and balancing blood sugar levels. Some protein-rich options include:
    • Meat & poultry
    • Seafood (fish, shellfish, etc)
    • Eggs
    • Dairy (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir)
    • Soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame)
    • Beans and legumes
    • Protein powder (read more about the best protein powder for PCOS here) 

  • High Fiber Carbs. These types of carbs are also called complex carbs. They’re high in fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate that gets digested very slowly. This results in feeling full for a longer period of time and a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Some examples include:

  • Healthy Fats. Fat is necessary for blood sugar balance, the absorption of certain vitamins, and hormone health. Certain fats, such as unsaturated fats, can help to lower inflammation which is a core driving factor of many PCOS symptoms. Some examples of healthy fats include:
    • Olive oil 
    • Butter
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Avocado

The specific amounts of each nutrient that will make you feel your best may vary depending on several factors. I’d recommend experimenting with how certain combinations make you feel. Ideally, you’ll want a breakfast that has the ability to keep you feeling full for a few hours.

Now let’s dive into some ideas and breakfast recipes you can try out!

30 Breakfast Ideas for PCOS

Sweet PCOS Breakfast Ideas

  1. Greek Yogurt Bowls: Greek yogurt, fruit, chia seeds (you don’t need to use plain greek yogurt if you don’t enjoy it, but be sure to look at the nutrition label to see how much sugar is added to your flavored yogurt)
  2. Loaded Protein Waffles: frozen protein waffles, cottage cheese, peaches, cinnamon
  3. Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: this one tastes like pumpkin pie filling!
  4. PCOS Oatmeal: quick oats, berries, protein powder, pepitas, & a drizzle of maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  5. Apple Pie Greek Yogurt: plain Greek yogurt, baked apple slices, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and pecans
  6. Cottage cheese smoothie: blend almond milk, cottage cheese, frozen strawberries, vanilla extract, monk fruit sweetener, and chia seeds
  7. PB English muffin: English muffin with peanut butter, plus cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with pineapple on the side
  8. Mango Kefir Smoothie: drink it with a straw or pour it in a bowl with granola and shredded coconut to eat with a spoon
  9. Strawberry Quinoa Bowl: a great gluten free option that’s a spinoff of a classic oatmeal breakfast
  10. Protein pancakes with cinnamon butter and fresh whole fruit

For more smoothie recipes, check out 10 PCOS Breakfast Smoothie Ideas.

Pink strawberry cottage cheese smoothie in a tall glass with strawberries decoratively around the glass base.

Savory PCOS Breakfast Ideas

  1. Eggs & Avocado Toast: whole grain toast, avocado, sriracha, plus scrambled eggs or tofu scramble
  1. Savory Cottage Cheese Bowls: cottage cheese, chives, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pistachios
  2. Fried Egg Breakfast: fried eggs, hash brown potatoes, avocado, clementines
  3. Western Omelet: western omelet, buttered whole grain toast
  4. Fried Egg Sandwich: fried egg, cheese, turkey sausage or ham, avocado, English muffin
  5. Sweet Potato Hash: roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts with chicken sausage
  6. PCOS Green Smoothie – just add some protein into this one!
  7. Shakshuka: shakshuka, high fiber pita bread
  8. Breakfast Taco Bowls: taco meat, black beans, brown rice, peppers, onions, cheese, fried egg, and avocado
  9. Peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread with carrots & high protein ranch dip on the side (you don’t have to eat the typical breakfast foods!)
  10. English muffin breakfast pizzas: scrambled eggs with veggies, cheese, and chicken sausage topped on top of an English muffin with marinara sauce
  11. Smoked salmon and eggs on whole grain toast with sliced pear
  12. Tofu scramble with cherry tomatoes and baby spinach on pesto whole grain toast 
Photo of one PB banana chocolate oat muffin closeup with a plate of additional muffins in the background. Oats and chocolate chips are spread on the countertop.

Meal Prep or Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas

  1. Overnight Oats: check out my overnight oats recipe with 4 different variations here
  2. Egg Muffin Bites: egg muffin bites paired with fruit
  3. Peanut butter banana baked oatmeal cups with a protein drink to go
  4. Chia Pudding: chia pudding, fruit
  5. Egg burritos: scrambled eggs, black beans, cheddar cheese, salsa, sauteed peppers and onions in a whole wheat tortilla (these can be frozen in advance too!)
  6. Sweet potato and black bean burritos (great for the freezer too!)
  7. Turn these muffins into high protein muffins by adding some protein powder into the batter before baking – I’d use unflavored collagen peptides like this one

To get a PDF download of all 30 of these breakfast ideas and recipes right to your inbox, click here!

Breakfast Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Breakfast does not need to be complicated or fancy to be delicious and filling!
  • Plan for breakfast in advance. Planning your breakfasts in advance will ensure you have groceries in the house to make breakfast come together more easily. Grab my PCOS Grocery List to make sure you’re prepared!
  • Consider meal prepping. If mornings are especially chaotic, perhaps prepping all or parts of your breakfast in advance will make mornings easier.

Key Takeaways

A healthy breakfast is a vital piece of the puzzle if you have PCOS. It can keep your energy and blood sugar levels more regulated throughout the day, while also decreasing carb cravings and binge eating occurrences. 

To make a filling and balanced breakfast, pair high fiber carbs with protein and fat for maximum benefits and satisfaction. 

For more ideas on how to put together meals for PCOS (and a free meal plan!), check out: A Dietitian’s 7 Day PCOS Diet Plan (PDF Included).

You’ll Also Love

20 Delicious & Healthy PCOS Snacks 

20 Easy PCOS Lunch Ideas

75 PCOS Recipes For Any Meal

PCOS Friendly Desserts: Store Bought & Easy Recipes

PCOS Belly: Why Weight Loss Is So Hard With PCOS 

Disclaimer: this is for educational purposes only. This is not intended to substitute for or replace professional medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider for individualized recommendations.

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