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What Foods To Avoid With Menopause

Studying Diet And Menopause Onset

Top Foods to Avoid in Menopause!

Dunneram and colleagues examined the data available from the UK Womens Cohort Study a survey of over 35,000 British-based women aged between 35 and 69.

In addition to information about the age at which these women got their menopause, the study included information on potential confounding factors such as weight and reproductive history, physical activity levels, and hormone replacement therapy use.

Using the data drawn from food frequency questionnaires, the researchers were able to estimate the daily intake of 217 food items that the participants consumed.

Of all the women, 914 experienced menopause naturally between the ages of 40 and 65.

The 7 Foods You Should Avoid During Menopause

Once women reach menopause there are plenty of reasons that the diet that worked in the past doesnt work any more. The following foods should be limited as much as possible during menopause because they either cause menopause symptoms, health issues or contribute to weight gain.

Whether you are perimenopausal or post menopausal you probably need to eat differently than you could in your 20s and 30s. To discover what stage of menopause you are in and what you can do about it, take this quick quiz.

Spicy Food And Hot Flashes

Have you ever eaten something spicy that set your mouth on fire but cleared your sinuses? The heat in these foods that makes your mouth feel like its on fire, also opens up your blood vessels. While thats a good thing if youre congested and want your nose to run, its not the best choice if youre menopausal.

Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. Theyre related to the expansion of blood vessels. When this happens, more blood flows through your body. Thats why you feel flushed, hot, sweaty, and red throughout your face, neck, head, and chest.

Spicy food can trigger hot flashes or at least make you feel more flushed. One of the top tips to manage hot flashes is to avoid spicy food.

Spicy food can also trigger acid reflux or other digestion issues, which may keep you awake at night. With sleeplessness already a problem for many during menopause, you dont need one more reason to keep you awake at night.

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Menopause is a natural transition in a womans life. Menopause is linked to many uncomfortable symptoms and can increase your risk of certain diseases. But your diet can have a huge diminishing impact on some of these health symptoms and can help to ease the transition.

Foods With Added Sugar

The Perimenopause Diet: 15 Foods to Eat and Avoid ...

Sugar is one of the most important foods to avoid during menopause. Sugar has no nutritional value aside from simple carbohydrates and energy. Sugar contributes to hot flashes, weight gain and anxiety and it is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and ???.

Foods with added sugar raise blood sugar and the resulting drop in blood sugar can lead to cravings,

Replace foods with added sugar with whole fruit or vegetables. Fruits contain sugar, but they also contain vitamins, minerals, and fibre and are digested more slowly causing less of a blood sugar spike than foods with added sugar.

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How Frequently Should You Eat

Should you eat every 4 hours?

Should you have 1-2 large meals per day?

Which is best for weight loss during menopause?

The answer is not clear and it probably depends more on your body than anything else.

Some studies have shown that consuming smaller but more frequent meals can help reduce the symptoms of menopause .

But this comes at a cost of potentially worsening insulin resistance in some individuals.

If you suffer from significant menopausal symptoms which are affecting your quality of life, then it’s probably a good idea to trial out smaller but more frequent meals.

Doing a trial run can help you determine if this method of eating is better for you.

On the other hand, you might find that larger but less frequent meals work best for your body and your metabolism.

Foods To Eat In Menopause

Healthy fats

Healthy fats that contain omega-3 fatty acids are an excellent choice for women going through the various stages of menopause. Healthy fats are crucial for heart and brain health and controlling inflammation. Research shows that omega-3s may also help reduce hot flashes and night sweats. The best sources of healthy fats in a menopause diet are healthy oils like olive and avocado, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.

High-quality proteins

As estrogen levels decline, your muscle mass and bone strength also decline. Including plenty of high-quality protein in your perimenopause and menopause diet can help counteract this effect. Healthy protein sources include legumes, dairy products, fish, poultry, lean meat, nuts, and eggs. Protein powders are also a great choice, and theyre super convenient. Simply mix a scoop right into your morning smoothie.

Veggies and fruits

Fruits and veggies are necessary for good health at any stage of life, and theyre important foods to eat in menopause as well. Colorful fruits and vegetables should make up a large portion of your perimenopause diet and you should continue to focus on them after menopause.

They contain important antioxidants, fiber, and of course, essential vitamins and minerals that can help alleviate symptoms and keep your body healthy. Theres even some evidence that eating more veggies and fruit could reduce hot flashes.

Beans and lentils

Limited grains


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Natural Ways To Reduce Symptoms Of Menopause

Menopause begins in the late 40s or early 50s for most women. It usually lasts for a few years.

During this time, at least two-thirds of women experience symptoms of menopause (

1 ).

In addition, menopausal women are at a higher risk of several diseases including osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes (

Here is a list of 11 natural ways to reduce the symptoms of menopause.

Fruits And Vegetables Are Rich In Prebiotic Fiber

Estrogen Rich Foods: What To Avoid & How To Use Them Safely During Menopause

It’s no surprise that whole fruits and vegetables are not only good for your health but more so during menopause. Adding a complete probiotic for women and increasing your fiber intake to over 20 grams a day can aid in maintaining a healthy weight in midlife.

Cruciferous vegetables are helpful in preventing the onset of a multitude of diseases like cancer. Broccoli, for example, is helpful in boosting a type of estrogen that helps protect the body against breast cancer while also aiding in weight loss and overall health.

Green, leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach, and kale are packed full of calcium as well for better bone health. So no need to worry if you follow a vegetarian diet or even a vegan diet. You can still get your calcium from your veggies.

Vegetables, including legumes and beans, are packed with nutrient-dense benefits. They are a good source of essential nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, and folate. They also contain dietary fibre and a broad range of phytochemicals. Legumes offer some of the same nutritional benefits as lean meats, fish, eggs, and poultry, so those following a vegetarian diet, as well as a vegan plan, are still able to combat menopause with confidence.

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Is Weight Loss After Menopause Possible

Many women gain weight during the transition to menopause, particularly around their abdomen, hips, and thighs. Falling estrogen levels can cause insulin sensitivity, which can make your blood sugar levels more prone to spiking and crashing, making you crave high carb, sugary snacks. Our metabolism also slows down as we age, and some research suggests that peri- and post-menopausal women burn up to 300 fewer calories per day compared to when they were in their early 20s. Our muscle mass also diminishes as we age, which slows our metabolism and makes it harder to lose weight.

The good news is that weight gain doesnt need to be an inevitable part of a womans peri- and post-menopausal life. We talk more about weight management tips during menopause HERE.

Sugar: Menopause Fatigue And Weight Gain

Fight fatigue and weight gain symptoms of menopause by controlling blood sugar, says Harpaz. Sugar will be my No. 1 food to avoid, says Harpaz. However, he doesnt put his clients on a total avoidance menopause diet. Instead, he advocates limiting sugar intake to less than 10 grams at a time. You can still have a small cookie, but better menopause diet choices for snacking are fruits especially berries and veggies.

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Skip The Tipple Ban The Booze

Drinking alcohol can be disastrous for a menopausal woman, and without even realizing it. Thats because alcohol is actually a common trigger for those unwelcome hot flashes.4It can also cause osteoporosis and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease if consumed in excess. And that means under seven drinks a week, with a maximum of three on any single day.

What you also need to be careful about is interactions between alcohol and medication for problems like indigestion, arthritis, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.5 According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, women as well as older people are more at risk because of the slower pace at which the body breaks down alcohol. By extension, you expose yourself to the risk of harmful side effects for longer when youre an older woman at the menopausal phase and might be taking one or more of these medications already.6

What Happens During The Menopause

The 12 Best Foods to Eat During Menopause

During the perimenopause your body can change in different ways. As oestrogen levels fall, your periods may become irregular and/or heavy and you may lose your fertility. You may notice other physical changes including higher blood pressure, changes in cholesterol levels , and losing calcium from your bones . Other symptoms of the perimenopause can include weight gain, hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, poor concentration, more frequent headaches, and joint pains. These symptoms are mainly due to falling oestrogen levels, and can last for just a few months or for several years. The range of symptoms and how severe they are, is different for each woman.

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Eat Lots Of Fruit And Vegetables

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent a number of menopause symptoms.

Fruits and veggies are low in calories and can help you feel full, so theyre great for weight loss and weight maintenance.

They may also help prevent a number of diseases, including heart disease .

This is important, since heart disease risk tends to increase after menopause. This could be due to factors such as age, weight gain or possibly reduced estrogen levels.

Finally, fruits and vegetables may also help prevent bone loss.

One observational study of 3,236 women aged 5059 found that diets high in fruit and vegetables may lead to less bone breakdown .

Bottom Line:

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables may help keep bones healthy, and can help prevent weight gain and certain diseases.

Foods To Help With Weight Loss After Menopause

1. VEGETABLES, ESPECIALLY LEAFY GREENSWe all know that increasing our vegetable intake is important for weight loss after menopause, but did you know leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, arugula, and bok choy can also improve your bone health, boost your energy, and improve your mood? These superfoods are high in fibre, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins, and should be a staple in your daily eating plan.

2. HIGH FIBER FOODSConsuming adequate fiber is a great way to speed up weight loss after menopause. You should be eating at least 25 grams of fiber per day to reap the benefits. Fiber helps with your digestive health, disease prevention, weight control, and foods high in fiber help you feel full for longer. To increase your fiber, eat foods such as lentils, black beans, peas, broccoli, raspberries, pears and oatmeal.

3. BERRIESBerries are full of fibre and packed with antioxidants, which improve blood flow. Improved blood flow delivers oxygen to the muscles, making it easier for your body to burn fat. Berries also contain less sugar than most fruits, making them a great snack to help curb sugar cravings and aid in weight loss after menopause!

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Fiber Water And Protein Make A Winning Combo

After menopause, women find it easier to put on weight and harder to take it off. In addition, postmenopausal women’s figures begin to change as they gain more weight above the belt. “The good news is that a few extra pounds in the hips and thighs might dent a woman’s vanity, but they won’t hurt her health,” says Somer. “On the other hand, gaining weight in the tummy and chest could signal post-menopausal health problems, from heart disease and breast cancer to diabetes and hypertension.” Health-wise, she says, apple-shaped women derive the greatest benefits from weight loss even a 10 percent reduction in weight significantly improves a woman’s health status.

How should menopausal women do this? Focus on real, unprocessed foods that are rich in the three magic ingredients for weight loss: fiber, water, and protein. “These fill you up on fewer calories, so you push away from the table before over-consuming. Cooked dried beans and peas, such as black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, and garbanzos, contain all three. Old fashioned oatmeal cooked in milk also is the perfect breakfast food for weight management.” Speaking of, make the most of these ways to lose weight with oatmeal.

Vegetables Prevent Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

Avoiding Menopause Weight Gain (NATURALLY!)

For hot-flashing women, its pretty hard to beat the benefits you get from eating lots of vegetables. Vegetables contain the ideal fiber for healthy digestion, weight and hormonal balance. Fiber is the favorite food of GI flora.

When you feed good gut bacteria, they help you absorb nutrients and metabolize sex hormones. Getting plenty of fiber also prevents the sharp insulin spikes that can contribute to hot flashes. Insulin is one of the bodys major hormones so when its balanced, balancing your other hormones is much easier, especially during menopause.

Creamy garlic tofu dip

½ tsp. iodized sea salt1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce2 cloves of garlic

Whip all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Chill and use as a dip for raw or steamed veggies, chips, or whole-grain pita.

Many fruits and vegetables are also supercharged with phytoestrogens that are particularly beneficial to women with perimenopause and menopause symptoms like hot flashes. Phytoestrogens include isoflavones and lignans. All phytoestrogens work gently with your body to recalibrate hormonal balance at the cellular level.

Soybeans are one of the classic phytoestrogen-rich foods because they contain isoflavones. Flax seeds are another great choice because theyre high in lignans. Grind up 13 tablespoons of flax seeds every day and add them to soups, salads and smoothies. You also get phytoestrogens in parsley, fennel, celery, garlic, onions, and all sorts of seeds, nuts and legumes.

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Sunlight And Daily Exercise Are Essential During Menopause

Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin for women during menopause. It supports the immune system and helps to combat depression, mood swings, and sleep issues. It also supports cognitive function, so it can help with that foggy feeling some women experience during this transition. Spending time in the sunshine is a great way to boost your vitamin D intake.

Exercise is also important during menopause. It elevates the mood and helps manage stress and depression. Staying active may also reduce hot flashes and help prevent midlife weight gain. Weight training, walking, and running are all great choices during menopause because they also help to keep the bones strong throughout all stages of menopause.

Alcohol: Fatigue And Moodiness

A glass of wine with friends once in a while wont worsen symptoms of menopause. However, a regular habit of two or more drinks a day can add calories to your menopause diet and make symptoms such as fatigue or moodiness much worse. Try to avoid it or make it a diluted drink, like wine spritzers. You can extend that into two drinks over a couple of hours, says Harpaz.

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What Are The Signs Of Menopause

When a woman has gone through 12 consecutive months without a period, she has officially entered menopause. Signs and symptoms that a woman is beginning the transition to menopause can start up to 10 years before she experiences her last menstrual cycle. This period is known as perimenopause and can cause one or many of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods*
  • Forgetfulness
  • Urine urgency and incontinence

*Its important to note that even though your body is producing less estrogen and your periods are irregular, you can still get pregnant if you are strill menstruating, so be sure to continue using birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy during this time.

The Perimenopause Diet: 15 Foods To Eat And Avoid

The Best Foods to Control Menopause

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If youre suffering from bothersome symptoms of perimenopause, such as hot flashes, irritability and mood swings, insomnia, fatigue, and weight gain, you may benefit from following a perimenopause diet. By focusing on the right foods and eliminating the wrong ones you can help balance your blood sugar and hormones, reduce cravings and feel satiated for longer periods of time, build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism, all of which are key to weight loss and maintenance. Keep reading for more information on perimenopause and how specific dietary changes can help make your symptoms more manageable.

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