Dark Mode On / Off
pcos-friendly ingredients people sharing seafood

PCOS-friendly ingredients you’re going to love.

There are some PCOS-friendly ingredients you may not currently have in your pantry. And some you may not realize should be at the center of your diet. We are always on the lookout for ingredients that deliver on the tastes and functions of foods we need to cut down on, namely carbs and sugar. It’s important to keep our sugar and insulin in check so calories don’t get stored as fat.

You may need to change what you’re eating from the stuff that makes you gain weight and hold it, to the stuff that helps you lose weight. If you don’t like an ingredient or have a sensitivity to it, of course you should leave it off. In addition to lean meats and veggies, below are some of the foods we lean on to differentiate our recipes and keep us satisfied. They may become some of your new favorites. Just as important than eating PCOS-friendly foods is not over-eating. So keep your calorie allowance in mind, no matter what you eat. If these foods aren’t readily available in your grocery store, Amazon always comes through.

PCOS-friendly ingredients: Part of a balanced PCOS breakfast. And lunch. And dinner.

Oat BranOat bran is superior to rolled oats nutritionally, but both are good options. Oat bran  is higher in fiber, protein and lower in calories. It absorbs a lot of water due to its exceptionally high fiber content. This keeps you quite full for a lot longer. Oats are a low-GI, gluten-free food. They don’t spike your sugar so are a particularly good breakfast choice as well as a flour substitute in cooking.
Olive Oil Cooking SprayBetter to spray the pan than drizzle oil or use butter. These small sources of calories add up.
Erythritol, ‘plain’ and ‘brown sugar’Erythritol is a low-calorie sugar substitute. It’s natural, doesn’t cause side effects and tastes almost exactly like sugar — without the calories. Erythritol is a must-have if you like sweets. Most of the sweet recipes on the We the PCOS program, not sweetened with fruit, feature erythritol. Brown sugar erythritol is fantastic on oats and as a baking ingredient. A brand available in most US grocery stores is, ‘Swerve.’ Other compliant  sweeteners are Monk fruit and Stevia.
Whey protein powderProtein powder gives us a great means to getting all the muscle-building, fat burning nutrients into our belly without eating a whole side of beef. Choose a protein powder that’s sugar-free with as few ingredients as possible, and protein as the first listed ingredient. If you can tolerate dairy, opt for whey protein or whey protein isolate. A ratio of about 150 calories per 25 grams of protein is good for muscle building and fat loss. Many protein powders are now sweetened with Stevia. This is approved and delicious. Watch out for grocery store brands. Always read the label and look for hidden sugars. Some of the most often used flavors in our recipes are vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, and strawberry. You can switch out the flavors to your liking.

*Some people claim that those with PCOS should not ingest whey or casein protein powders because they are derived from milk. There are studies that suggest this can lead to sugar spikes. There are just as many studies claiming this is a falsehood. As with all “research,” take it with a grain of salt. If you are sensitive to dairy, you may be sensitive to whey and casein, but we would strongly recommend trying them out for yourself as many women find they have no problem and it makes eating on plan worlds easier. 
Plain, Unsweetened Almond MilkWhile everyone isn’t sensitive to dairy, you’ll find we still use plain, unsweetened almond milk for a lot of the recipes. It’s lower calorie than oat milk and other choices, so a good option to keep within your calorie budget. If you see a recipe that simply says, almond milk, assume it is plain and unsweetened. If you’d like to substitute skim or low-fat milk, go ahead. Just mind your calorie count. And while we mentioned oat milk is slightly higher in calories, it is still a great option. Especially Oatly Barista-style oat milk for cappuccinos.
Lilys Dark Chocolate Chips made with steviaIf you choose the Lilys brand, be absolutely sure you buy the dark chocolate stevia baking chips and not the other Lilys products that are high calorie. Stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, in general, allow us to have melty chocolate on our oats and desserts without tons of calories. This is such a valuable ingredient in your weight loss arsenal. It will keep you on the horse! The Lilys brand is not a requirement. Just look for stevia-sweetened dark chocolate and as always, mind your portions and calories.
Egg whitesWe use a lot of egg whites in our cooking to boost the protein quantity of foods. You are welcome to purchase the Liquid Egg Whites that take away the toil of separating eggs. Just note the ingredients list to be sure there’s nothing unhealthy sneaking in there. If you want to substitute a recipe with eggs for a higher protein, lower calorie option, swap 2 egg whites for every whole egg.
Shirataki noodles / konjac / Miracle NoodlesShirataki noodles are our go-to substitution for noodles and rice. They’re made from glucomannan, a type of fiber that comes from the root of the konjac plant. Shirataki noodles contain a lot of water. In fact, they are about 97% water and 3% glucomannan fiber. They’re also very low in calories and contain no digestible carbs. So, you will be a little bloated the morning after you eat them, but it will pass. Literally. The best way to prepare shirataki noodles is to rinse them in a strainer and let them sit all day long to dry out. Then heat them on a dry pan to remove all the moisture. Many claim this makes them fluffier. We find that just rinsing them and mixing them in with hot foods or sauces works fine.

Note: Some brands of shirataki smell a little fishy. This isn’t the case for all kinds, so shop around. We’ve had good luck with the brand, Miyata. But still we get a fishy one every now and then. They come in rice form, spaghetti, wok noodles, udon, and more. Complete life saver!
Yogurt & Cottage CheeseIf you have a sensitivity to dairy, you may have some discomfort if you eat the yogurt and cottage cheese foods in the recipe list. That said, if you aren’t sensitive, these foods are fantastic to bump up your protein and add variety to your day, especially at night before bed when you can create puddings and other sweet treats with them. Yogurt also goes into many of the recipes as a butter substitute in breads and muffins to keep them moist without all the calories. If you’re sensitive to dairy, you can just cut it out.

More PCOS support:

Have a look at how we use these ingredients our YouTube Channel. We have lots of cooking videos that demonstrate these staples. You’ll also get videos on PCOS Inspiration, PCOS Training, PCOS Mental Health, and PCOS Accountability.

We’ve got lots of free recipes on our site. Peruse our Recipes. Want to eat on the We the PCOS plan for a whole day? Take a look at a sample daily meal plan and recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.