Thanks to brave women like Lena Dunham and Padma Lakshmi, women's health issues like endometriosis have finally been given some much-deserved media attention. Now, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is also making it into the headlines, after Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley opened up about her struggles with both endometriosis and PCOS.
As someone who once suffered from the devastating effects of PCOS, I'm thrilled to see influential women speaking out. Their stories hit home for many reasons. As I explain in my book WomanCode, I experienced the same agonizing acne as Ridley—not to mention weight gain, sleeplessness, depression, and more. I also was able to successfully reverse my hormonal imbalance the same way she's finding relief: through food.
Ridley proudly displayed her gorgeous, mud-masked face with a caption alluding to the dietary changes that have made a significant dent in her symptoms—namely cutting out dairy and sugar. For some women, nixing these two notorious endocrine disruptors can help tremendously. But what if you've already completely cut milk products and sweets from your diet and you're still experiencing the pimples, messed-up periods, extra pounds, and hair loss associated with PCOS?
Before I made it my mission to fix my hormones and help other women get back on track, I had no idea that some of the "healthy" foods I was consuming were actually making my problems worse. And I see the disbelief on my clients' faces every day when I break the news that some of the hyped-up health foods they've been dutifully consuming are actually sabotaging their best efforts to overcome PCOS symptoms.
Here are the "healthy" foods that I recommend women with PCOS avoid: