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

If you have PCOS and are trying to follow a PCOS diet, planning meals can seem particularly daunting and overwhelming. Sometimes it may seem easier to just skip breakfast altogether rather than trying to decipher the conflicting info and figure out what the heck you should actually eat. 

If you have PCOS, breakfast is definitely an important meal. All meals are important actually, but this article is going to focus on breakfast specifically. 

If you want to know exactly what you need to know about breakfast and PCOS, keep reading on!

Photo of a breakfast bowl with oatmeal, banana, kiwi, blueberries, chia seeds, and pecans.

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?!

Women with PCOS should not be skipping breakfast either. Our hormones are finicky and like to be nurtured. Skipping breakfast can increase cortisol levels (aka our stress hormone) – which can increase insulin resistance, which many women with PCOS have. 

Research has shown us that there are so many benefits to actually eating breakfast, such as: 

  • More balanced blood sugar levels throughout the entire day
  • Less cravings (especially carb cravings) throughout the day
  • 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 

What Makes a PCOS Friendly Breakfast?

Now that we’ve established that breakfast is beneficial for PCOS and your hormones, what breakfast foods should you eat if you have PCOS? 

When it comes to the best breakfast for PCOS, you’ll want a breakfast that will keep you feeling full and balance your blood sugar levels. In order to do that, here’s what you’ll want to be sure to include:

  • Protein. Protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass. It’s also essential for keeping you feeling full and balancing blood sugar levels. Some examples include meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, soy, beans, and legumes. 
  • 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 fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, and legumes. 
  • Fat. 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 oils, butter, nuts, seeds, olives, and avocado. 

12 Breakfast Ideas for PCOS

Sweet PCOS Breakfasts

  1. Greek Yogurt Bowls – Greek yogurt + fruit + chia seeds
  2. Loaded Protein Waffles – frozen protein waffles + cottage cheese + peaches + cinnamon
  3. PCOS Oatmeal – quick oats + berries + protein powder + pepitas
  4. PCOS Breakfast Smoothie – kefir + protein powder + frozen strawberries + banana + peanut butter
  5. Chia Pudding – chia pudding + fruit
  6. English muffin – English muffin + peanut butter + cottage cheese or Greek yogurt + pineapple

Savory PCOS Breakfasts

  1. Avocado Toast – whole grain toast + avocado + sriracha + scrambled eggs or tofu scramble
  2. Cottage Cheese Bowls – cottage cheese + chives + cucumber + cherry tomatoes + pistachios
  3. Western Omelet – western omelet + buttered whole grain toast
  4. Egg Sandwich – fried egg + cheese + avocado + English muffin
  5. Sweet Potato Hash – roasted sweet potatoes + brussel sprouts + chicken sausage
  6. Shakshuka – shakshuka + high fiber pita bread

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. 
  • Consider meal prepping. If mornings are especially chaotic, perhaps prepping all or parts of your breakfast in advance will make mornings easier. 

Key Takeaways

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 breakfast ideas and recipes, check out the PCOS Meal Plan.

You’ll Also Love:

20 Delicious & Healthy PCOS Snacks (from a dietitian)

12 Easy PCOS Breakfast Ideas (Dietitian Approved)

Alyssa Pacheco, RD


June 19, 2023

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