If you’ve recently been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you’ve probably gone down a rabbit hole trying to figure out what to eat.
Take the guesswork out of it: this PCOS diet grocery list is your cheat sheet and will save you so much time and frustration!
If you’re new here, hi! I’m Alyssa, a registered dietitian who specializes in PCOS. My goal here is to make eating for PCOS simple and realistic for you!
PCOS is a common hormonal condition that affects approximately 6-12% of women of reproductive age (1).
Insulin resistance and chronic inflammation are at the core of PCOS for most people. Think of these two as the root cause of what’s causing all of the crummy PCOS symptoms you’re experiencing.
Symptoms of PCOS may include:
The good news: what you eat can have a direct impact on targeting and reducing high blood sugar levels, insulin levels and inflammation…which will translate into less PCOS symptoms.
There has been a lot of discussion about which diet is the best for PCOS. The reality is that there is no one specific PCOS diet that has been researched to be superior.
Since PCOS is a complex condition that is lifelong, you want a realistic and sustainable diet approach that you can keep up with for the rest of your life. That’s why I recommend a balanced diet that includes high-fiber foods, heart-healthy fat sources, and lean sources of protein.
Incorporating high quality, nutrient-dense foods can really have a profound impact on improving your blood sugar levels, inflammation levels, weight loss efforts, and quality of life.
Contrary to popular belief, there really aren’t any foods that you automatically should avoid if you have PCOS. It’s more about learning how to balance your meals and snacks to ensure blood sugar balance, and choosing anti-inflammatory foods frequently to help lower inflammation.
Although this PCOS grocery list has a wide variety of foods included, this is not an all-inclusive list. If a certain food is missing, it does not mean that it needs to be avoided. It’s simply impossible to cover every food in a single blog post.
If you want a copy of this PCOS grocery list PDF straight to your inbox, grab it here.
Planning meals in advance is a great way to ensure you’ll actually have the ingredients on hand for that meal.
If meal planning isn’t your jam, take it slow. You don’t need to have a rigid meal plan, or have every single meal you’re going to eat planned out to a T…but having a rough idea of what you’re going to have for most of your meals will help your week run more smoothly.
Establish a mental recipe bank: your go-to recipes that you know by heart. Rotate those through your week. Check out these PCOS friendly recipes for new healthy recipes to try. I’d recommend only trying 1-2 new recipes each week to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed.
Be realistic about how much time you’ll have to actually prepare meals on any given day. It won’t make sense to plan to cook a new recipe for a night that you’re getting home at 8pm – that may be a better day for a crockpot recipe!
Click here for a full 7 day PCOS diet plan with downloadable PDF.
Plan your list based upon the meals you’re going to have that week. Determine which fridge and pantry staples you already have on hand, and what you’ll need to purchase.
Stock up on pantry and freezer staples when they are on sale. Value packs of chicken and ground meats can be frozen into smaller portions (Tip: freezer your proteins in a marinade to prevent freezer burn).
A healthy diet and lifestyle changes are the first approach to managing PCOS symptoms. A healthy diet that consists of mostly whole foods can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, and improve your overall health.
This PCOS food list can serve as a rough guide for healthful foods to incorporate into your PCOS diet plan. Get your downloadable PDF copy of this PCOS Grocery List straight to your inbox.
If you need some more guidance on how to incorporate these types of foods, check out The PCOS Playbook: a comprehensive starter guide to eating well with PCOS.
Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or evaluate polycystic ovarian syndrome or to be substituted for medical advice. Always consult with your health care provider for individualized medical advice.
Learn the most common nutrition mistakes I see women with PCOS making and what to do instead!