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List of Foods PCOS Sufferers Can't Eat

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a metabolic disorder linked to insulin resistance that is a leading cause of infertility among women. Symptoms of PCOS include weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, excess facial and body hair, irregular menstruation and skin problems. Avoiding foods that increase the body's resistance to insulin can minimize symptoms.


Refined sugar causes elevated insulin levels, according to the the weight loss resource 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet, as do starches, according to the Mayo Clinic 1. This means that sugary desserts and candies, along with ice cream, cookies and sweet baked goods should be avoided.


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Sports drinks and sodas are high in sugar and, like sweets, should be avoided. In addition, fruit juices that contain added sugar should be minimized. Substitute diet sodas or water next time you are thirsty to avoid increasing your insulin levels.

Processed Grains

White bread is the poster child for processed grains. As such, it is another food that can increase insulin resistance, according 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet 1. Women with PCOS should substitute wheat bread and products made from unprocessed and/or whole grains for white bread and other foods made with processed grains.

Refined Carbs

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White rice and pastas are the epitome of refined carbohydrates, which can elevate insulin levels. PCOS sufferers should replace foods such as these with those made from complex, unrefined carbs, such as brown rice or whole-grain pasta.