Are you exhausted by all the different PCOS health trends and detox methods? We've all been there and if you are new to PCOS, you'll find out soon enough. Though there are tons of amazing suggestions, it can be hard to figure out the best and easiest method for regulating your hormones. Which is why, in this blog, you'll find the 5 foods to avoid with PCOS which will help you regulate your hormones!

Always remember that food is a medicine for restoring hormone imbalance. However, you have to keep in mind that every healthy food may not be fit for your body if you have hormone imbalance. Women with hormone disturbances often have high levels of insulin production in their body, making it difficult to stay in shape.

If you think cutting down on carbs and sugary foods is enough to help you manage your weight, you might be wrong. Certain foods that might be healthy for others can make your PCOS worse. Let's dive into what not to eat with PCOS.

How Changes In Diet And Lifestyle Can Help With PCOS?

One of the best ways to manage your PCOS Symptoms is through diet and lifestyle changes. PCOS symptoms are commonly caused by inflammation and/or poor insulin regulation which can be commonly tied back to lifestyle, and diet. Eating nutritious foods and living a healthy lifestyle can help with both lowering inflammation and insulin resistance, allowing your symptoms to lessen over time.

5 Foods to Avoid with PCOS

This PCOS Foods list are the foods that are best to avoid if you have PCOS. However, that doesn't mean to panic if you eat these from time to time! It's just best to avoid them whenever possible and leave them out of your meal planning.

Coffee And Caffeinated Drinks

Caffeine affects everyone differently but did you know that caffeine disrupts your hormones for a full 24 hours!? And if you’re trying to get pregnant (especially if you already have PCOS), you'll want to stay away from the caffeine.  Studies show that women who consume three cups of coffee a day increased their chances of miscarriage by 74%. Coffee also disrupts ovulation and for women with Ovarian Cysts, PCOS, Endometriosis... caffeine has the potential to create more cysts. For women who are less sensitive hormonally, it might not cause cysts, but it will disrupt your system.

Sugar and Sugary Beverages

One of the most common symptoms of PCOS is Insulin Resistance so adding in excess sugar can exacerbate your PCOS symptoms tenfold. This is because sugar disrupts insulin regulation and causes inflammation.

Avoid sugary beverages such as fruit juice, soda, coffee drinks etc. as much as possible for an easy way to cut back on your sugar intake. However if you are going to have something sugary, fresh squeezed fruit juice would be your best option! 

Dairy Products

We'll start by saying that there is a lack of scientific evidence linking the consumption of dairy to PCOS, however if you're struggling with PCOS, eliminating Dairy alongside Gluten from your diet is worth a shot to try to manage your symptoms naturally.

The process of elimination helps people better understand how they respond to these foods and how they may be effecting your PCOS. Sometimes you'll notice you no longer agree with these foods and feel better even if you didn't realize symptoms before hand.

With that said, butter and ghee are dairy ingredients you can continue to use. Yes, it's said that ghee in particular can be good for PCOS as it may help improve insulin sensitivity in your cells, and may help reduce chronic inflammation in your body. So no need to cut it out! 


Soy milk and soy based foods are a great alternative if you want to go dairy-free. But if you have PCOS, going dairy-free with soy is not a good option for you. Soy has plant estrogen that can act like estrogen in your body and confuse your endocrine system. Your body will slow down the estrogen production, which is important for the luteinizing phase, ultimately ceasing the ovulation.

Fried Foods & Vegetable Oil

Plant-based oils do have health benefits and are important for maintaining HDL or good cholesterol. But sadly, most of the vegetable oils, especially canola oil, are rich in 6-Omega fats but low in 3-Omega fats. Although we need to consume both, our foods typically have more 6-omega fats than 3-omega fats. The high amount of 6-omega fats can cause inflammation which worsens the PCOS symptoms.

Avoiding fried foods will help cut out vegetable oil, and avoid the inflammation associated.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are a big no-no for you. They do more harm than good to your body, especially if you have PCOS. These sweeteners are all synthetic, causing inflammation and producing high testosterone and estrogen. It is better to look for other substitutes for avoiding sugar than taking artificial sweeteners. Try using natural sugars as sweeteners like maple syrup or honey! 

What To Eat with PCOS?

Managing PCOS naturally is all about choosing foods that help to balance your hormones and reduce PCOS symptoms. 

Getting insulin resistance under control helps manage inflammation, reduces the risk of diabetes, and gets your hormones balanced. To help manage insulin resistance, create a PCOS food list with:

  • A low glycemic index (whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, beans)
  • High fiber (beans and veggies)
  • Lean protein (chicken or fish)

Eating a heart-healthy diet with low sodium and healthy fats may also prevent heart disease. 

Did you know hormone balance supplements can help reduce the symptoms of PCOS? Add S’moo Ovary Good to your next smoothie or recipe. The hormone-balancing blend helps women with PCOS get insulin resistance and hormones under control. 

When combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine, S’moo customers have tackled PCOS hormone imbalances. They’ve successfully overcome weight challenges, hyperandrogenism (“male” hormones), and irregular periods thanks to Ovary Good.*

Check out our Best Diets for PCOS blog for more info on what foods may be best for you and your PCOS symptoms.

Bottom Line

While these foods are best to be avoided with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), it is okay if you happen to eat them from time to time. Making good food choices starts with awareness first, and knowing these foods will help you eliminate them as much as possible in your meal planning.

Good Luck and remember you are not alone. Connect with other women working through PCOS by joining S'moo Free Community of Women!