Women managing PCOS are met with an overwhelming amount of information on the internet about what to eat and what to avoid. Many times, women believe they need to cut out all the grains and other carbs from their diet. However, this is not the case! Carbohydrates are a necessary part of the diet, and can be incorporated in a way that is healthy for women with PCOS.

So which carbohydrates are the best? For women managing PCOS, it is best to choose complex carbohydrates. When it comes to grains, that means choosing whole grains with lots of fiber. This doesn’t mean you’re left with eating brown rice with every meal! There are so many grains that can add variety to your dishes.

Whole Wheat Orzo

Whole wheat pasta is a common one on the shelves. Orzo’s small, rice-like appearance makes it perfect for soups and salads. With 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving, it’s a a great pasta option. Orzo makes a great addition to a Greek salad. Check out this recipe with lamb meatballs and tzatziki!

If you want to be a little more adventurous, try some of the ancient grains: quinoa, farro, kamut, or freekeh!


Quinoa is a small “grain” and is one of the few plant foods that contains all of the essential amino acids. A serving of quinoa contains 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Check out this kale and quinoa salad with a sweet vinaigrette, dried cranberries, and pecans from our Mayhem to Mealtime program! So tasty!


One of my favorite ancient grains is farro. I love using it instead of rice, adding it to Margarita Chicken Mason Jar salads, or even for breakfast! I created this breakfast bowl with farro, roasted sweet potato, sautéed spinach, caramelized onion, and a fried egg. A great way to start the day!


Kamut is similar to farro, and is a great substitution for rice. A serving of kamut provides 4 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. I love adding it to sautéed onions, bell pepper, jalapeño, black beans, and all those wonderful tex-mex spices (cumin, paprika, cayenne, and chili powder). Spicy and delicious!


Last but not least, what in the world is freekeh? This is not as common, but it is highly versatile. It contains 4 grams of fiber and a whopping 8 grams of protein! One of my favorite ways to utilize freekeh is in a breakfast porridge. I cooked the freekeh according to package directions, with a little butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Once cooked through, I added milk, diced apple, dried cranberries, and sweetener and cooked until thickened and the apples were soft. Serve with chopped pecans, and you have a delicious replacement for your typical oatmeal.

If you are struggling with managing PCOS and are interested in meeting with a Registered Dietitian, please call (301) 474-2499 to make an appointment


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