Snacking is an excellent idea if you have PCOS because it helps prevent your blood sugar from spiking, keeps down food cravings, and maintains your energy levels. But what are the best snack foods for PCOS?
The good thing about regulating your diet for PCOS is that you don’t need any special foods that you couldn’t find in a typical grocery store. There are targeted foods that can help fight PCOS (and they’re included in this list), but the most important thing is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, watch your portion sizes, and to avoid processed foods whenever possible.
There’s no scientific data backing the idea that restricting soy, gluten, or dairy will affect PCOS, so as long as you don’t have any allergy or food-sensitivity, you don’t need to search for gluten-free labels in the store.
Here are some snack foods for PCOS that will leave you satisfied until your next meal:
Fruit salad is fun and versatile because you can add whatever fruits you like to the mix or buy it pre-made. You can prep your fruit salad on the weekend to last you throughout the week. Add some nuts or yogurt to make a parfait.
Although you can’t go wrong with any fruits you select, there are some fruits that are more PCOS friendly such as apples, pears, oranges, berries, and bananas. Any or all of those would make for some tasty snack foods!
Guacamole seems to be everywhere now, even at some well-known fast food joints. That doesn’t mean guacamole, or avocado in general, is unhealthy. Avocados are a low carb, nutrient rich food low in saturated fat. Apart from the general benefits, avocado also happens to be a great food to eat if you have PCOS.
Avocado has such a mild flavour you can combine it with many dishes, even putting a couple slices into your wrap. You can even eat it raw with a spoon if you’d like!
For those looking for a bit more flavor though, guacamole has cilantro, onions, or anything extra seasoning you feel like if you’re going to make it yourself. If you’re looking to keep this snack food for PCOS low carb then I recommend eating the guacamole by itself. If you like dipping though, I would pair with some whole wheat tortillas or a handful of nachos.
Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon
Apples are great alone, but if you’d like to make your snack a little more interesting, try cutting the apple into slices and sprinkling some cinnamon on top. It’ll give the apple more of a flavor kick without upping the calorie count.
Celery or apple with peanut butter
A classic daycare snack, but why can’t adults eat it too? Celery has next to no calories, but the peanut butter has essential fats and protein that will fill you up when you’re feeling peckish. Add some raisins too for a nice contrast to the peanut butter flavor.
You can buy trail mix, or you can make your own if you want to customize. You could make an easy mix of almonds, dried apricots, walnuts, and a small bit of dark chocolate as an example, although it is really a matter of preference. Just make sure that the amount of fruit and nuts outstrip the bits of chocolate and you’ll be fine!
Baked avocado and egg
This snack is quite filling, so I would save it for when you’re really hungry! Remove the pit and hollow out the inside of an avocado until there’s room for an egg and then bake the avocado and egg in the oven for around 15 minutes. You can season lightly with salt and pepper or add a bit of cheese or paprika. This snack contains lots of healthy fats and protein, so it can give you a perfect energy boost.
You can also make these baked avocados part of a meal if you pair it with some sauteed vegetables and a grain like quinoa. It also fits in with a paleo diet, which can be helpful for PCOS.
Yogurt with a sprinkling of cereal or granola
Yogurt is fine for PCOS, but you have to be careful which yogurt you’re buying. Some yogurts are more like dessert foods, and contain high amounts of sugar. Try to find a yogurt under 15 grams of sugar total per serving and you should be fine. Greek yogurt is an option if you’d like some yogurt with added protein, but it has a stronger flavor than regular yogurt, so pick add fruit or honey accordingly.
Put a handful of cereal or granola on top of your yogurt to mix up the flavor and add some much needed fiber.
Fruit and Veggie Smoothies
Smoothies are the ultimate multi-task snack food as you can sip it while you’re going about almost any other task. There’s so much you can do with smoothies since you can experiment with what base or what fruits or vegetables you want to add. It’s not necessary to add protein powder unless you really want to. The most important thing is getting in some fruits or leafy greens.
Many people like to add fruits, such as strawberries and bananas to their smoothie, but you could always make a green smoothie with some PCOS friendly veggies like spinach or kale. If the strong taste of something like kale is a little off putting, you could do a fruit and veggie mix, such as a mango, kale, and banana smoothie. The sweetness of the mango and banana will balance out the kale.
Hummus with veggies or whole wheat crackers
Hummus is fantastic because in addition to being high in protein, fiber, and iron, it’s dynamic. There’s many different flavors and you have even more choice if you make your own. All you need is a blender or food processor. You can add red peppers, olives, beets, or onions, all depending on your mood.
When having hummus as a snack, you can use it as dip for veggies, such as carrots, cucumber, or broccoli, or you can spread it on whole wheat crackers or pita.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs are protein dense and a fast snack if you’re in a hurry. Make up a batch on the weekend and you’ll have snacks ready in your lunch for the week. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and your snack is ready to go. You can also snack on pickled eggs if you prefer the vinegar taste.
Whole Wheat English Muffin
An english muffin, or half of a whole wheat english muffin can give you a moderate helping of carbohydrates without spiking your blood sugar. Top english muffin with some nut butter like peanut or almond butter for some protein and fats or if you have a sweet tooth, you could drizzle some raw honey on top. If you’re going for raw honey, I would toast the english muffin so the honey melts a bit when you spread it.
Fruit and cheese
A serving of low-fat cheese with some fruit such as grapes or pears provides a tasty balance between salty and sweet. The cheese also keeps you fuller longer as it’s easy for your body to digest fruit (thus making you hungry sooner).
Be careful with serving sizes though. Remember that a serving of cheese is only as big as a cube of dice, so you’ll only need a few slices to go with a generous helping of fruit.
Oatmeal with walnuts and fruit
Oatmeal is a stick-to-your-ribs snack ideal for the wintertime or when it’s going to be awhile until your next meal. It doesn’t take that much oatmeal to fill you up. The only drawback is some people get turned off at oatmeal’s bland flavor, but you can easily add in something else to make it more interesting.
You can put a drizzle of honey or brown sugar to sweeten up the oatmeal, or add some nuts like walnuts and fruit like strawberries and apples so you get in a fruit serving as well.
Single-serve can of tuna
If you know anyone who is really into fitness or bodybuilding, you may have seen them eating a can of tuna as a snack. That’s because tuna is an excellent source of lean protein as each 6 ounce portion contains 33 grams of protein with only 2 grams of fat. You can eat tuna by itself or with some light seasoning, or you can put the tuna on whole wheat or rice crackers.
Just be sure not to have tuna every day as it does contain mercury, which can have negative effects on nerves and brain function. Light tuna has lower mercury than white tuna, so consider snacking on light tuna if you love having a fishy snack.
Wasabi dried peas
Dried chickpeas are an easy, no-prep snack if you’re on the go. They have a little crunch, and have important carbohydrates and proteins, just like hummus. Wasabi is spicy, so it’ll keep you from eating the peas too quickly and thus keep your portion size down.
If wasabi is too spicy for you, there are other flavors of dried peas out there, or you can make your own and add whatever seasoning you prefer.
These are just a sampling of the snack foods for PCOS you can try. Remember, if you’re cutting out unnecessary sugars and eating lots of fruits and vegetables, you can feel free to be creative with your snack time. Have any other delicious snack foods you can’t live without? Share in the comments below!
“PCOS Friendly Foods, Snacks, and Grocery Shopping Lists.” Center for Young Women’s Health. Retrieved from http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/12/12/pcos-friendly-foods/.
“PCOS: Nutrition Basics.” Center for Young Women’s Health. Retrieved from http://youngwomenshealth.org/2013/12/12/pcos-nutrition/.
Gamonski, William. (April 18 2015) “Is Canned Tuna Good for You?” http://www.livestrong.com/article/547417-healthy-tuna-fish-snack-ideas/.
Gunnars, Kris. “12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado.” (June 2 1017) Authority Nutrition. Retrieved from https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/.