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Is Dairy bad for PCOS?

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman's ovaries work.

Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles that are up to 8mm (approximately 0.3in) in size. The follicles are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.It's difficult to know exactly how many women have PCOS, but it's thought to be very common, affecting about 1 in every 5 women in the UK.

More than half of these women do not have any symptoms.

Myth: You Must Avoid All Dairy

Milk is a rich source of calcium and protein and is also considered a carbohydrate due to its high lactose content. An article in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed a positive link between dairy consumption and acne. This report showed evidence that milk, nonfat in particular, can contribute to increased androgen and insulin levels.4

For these reasons, it may be advisable for women with PCOS to limit their dairy intake of yogurt or milk to two or fewer servings per day. You may not need to completely eliminate dairy, though, unless you have a milk allergy or are highly sensitive to it.

Milk, paneer, cheese and butter may be a regular part of most people’s lives but are not recommended for women with PCOS. This is because women with PCOS have the propensity to develop insulin resistance and the ingestion of dairy can lead to higher levels of insulin.

I recommend to use milk and yoghurt alternative: almond milk, oat milk, dairy free milk, dairy free yoghurt (almond milk based), etc. Use olive oil for cooking and baking.

What else you need to avoid:

- Processed food: Any and all processed foods must be avoided by women diagnosed with PCOS. Generally high in sodium and unhealthy fats, these can cause unwanted weight gain which worsens the symptoms and effects of PCOS.

- Soy: Soy milk and all other soy products—chunks, tofu and chaap—should be avoided in a PCOS diet. Several studies have indicated that soy is not good for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome because ‘phyto oestrogen’ which can trick bodies into further reducing the production of oestrogen by detecting adequate levels already present.

- Refined flour: High in carbohydrates and low in fibre, refined flour should be cut out of PCOS diets. This means that white bread, pasta, kulchas, cakes, etc should be avoided as far as possible. White flour is a high glycemic index (something which increases a person’s blood sugar level) food which triggers the release of more insulin when consumed. Since women with PCOS can develop insulin intolerance, flour should generally be avoided.


About the author




I am Noemi and I am passionate about nutrition, health and fitness.  I was born in Hungary and have spent time the UK developing my experience and professional credentials. I am a practising pharmacist as well as a nutrition consultant and personal fitness trainer.  I am resident in Guernsey and one half of G & N PT Studios.

Several years ago, I went through a whole body transformation after developing a joint disease. As a result, I became even more determined to develop a balanced programme of health, fitness and well being for myself and I live by this conviction.

I am privileged to be able to pass this knowledge and experience on to others in order that they might improve their own health and fitness, particularly after injury or significant physical change such as pregnancy.

Facebook:  @keepbalanceinyourlife

Certificates of Noemi:

  • Practicing Pharmacist (Master Degree)
  • Nutrition consultant Level 3
  • Personal fitness trainer  Level 3
  • Rehabilitation trainer Level 3


  • PCA, Channel Island Bikini fitness model (category over 35), I. Place (2016)

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Both of us have had life changing transformations which we have adapted to through living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  In our blog you will find our insights - always real and personal.  We hope you discover something wonderful that will help you in your own journey to well being. 

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