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The best diet for the menopause

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What’s the best diet to get through the menopause?  Eat more protein and fewer carbs, a new research study maintains.

The key is to lose a little weight, and this makes typical menopausal symptoms more bearable.  Losing five kilograms can reduce the severity of hot flashes by as much as 30 percent, say researchers from the Semmelweis University in Budapest.

Women typically put on weight during menopause as their metabolism slows—the average weight gain is 6.8 kilograms—and estrogen is a key hormone for controlling body fat.  “With age, metabolism naturally slows down, and the decline in estrogen during menopause can further contribute to a decrease in the metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight,” said Erzebet Palfi, one of the researchers.

She and her team trawled through 134 studies into diet and menopause to discover the best diet to help women lose weight.  

The diet comprises:

–consume less than 5g of salt a day

–eat at least 300g of vegetables and 200g of fruit every day

–consume 1 to 1.2g of protein/per kg of body weight a day, half of which should come from plant sources such as lentils, nuts

–no more than 350g of boiled/steamed/fried red meat per week

–eat at least two servings (100-120 g) a week of fatty fish

–avoid processed food as much as possible

–eat 30g unsalted nuts a day

–have one meat-free day a week

–eat up to 45g of dietary fibre a day, mainly from whole grains

–eat moderate amounts of fats, including oils on salads 

–drink 33mL per kg of body weight of water every day

–avoid simple, fast-acting sugars found in cakes and sweets

–take calcium, vitamins D, C and B, n-3 LCPUFA and omega-3 supplements

–consume dairy to the calcium content of half-a-litre of milk every day

–don’t smoke, and drink less alcohol

–exercise frequently

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Nutrients, 2024; 16: 27. Doi: 10.3390/nu16010027
Article Topics: diet, Menopause, Women's health
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