Foods to avoid when going through menopause

Menopause is a really tough phase of a woman’s life. It marks the end of her menstrual cycle and fertility. However it is not a disorder, neither it means the end of her sexuality. Menopause is actually a transition period in a woman’s life, when her ovaries stop producing eggs and she undergoes several changes both physically and emotionally. Her body produces less estrogen and progesterone; her periods become less frequent and stop eventually.

Foods to avoid when going through menopause

Image Source: diabetesmine.com

Hormonal changes associated with menopause can lead to a variety of symptoms including depressive moods, hot flashes, sleep problems and unintentional weight gain. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may suggest a medical treatment, such as antidepressants or hormone therapy. Lifestyle changes, such as improved sleep habits, regular exercise and a healthy diet limited to certain foods may also help. However a healthy diet, limited to particular foods and beverages, may ensure your physical and emotional wellness during and after menopause. Try to avoid the following foods while going through menopause.

Alcohol

Generally Menopause is a stressful phase of a woman’s life. To overcome the stress many woman start drinking alcohol, this may be really harmful. One must always remember that alcohol is never a solution. Actually, alcohol intensifies the mood swings and causes fatigue. A glass of wine will not worsen menopause symptoms. However, a regular habit of 2 or more drinks a day can add lots of calories to the menopause diet and make symptoms like fatigue or moodiness much worse than earlier. Just try to avoid the alcoholic drinks.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a bitter-tasting stimulant found in a variety of foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, soft drinks, chocolate and other diet products designed to promote energy or weight loss. It can dampen the hormonal balance and energy levels of the body. Especially the Caffeine consumed in the afternoon and evening, can aggravate sleep problems as well. For maximum benefits, limit or avoid all caffeinated foods and beverages. You should also avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine-like substances like ginseng, guarana and green tea extract, as they affect the body in a similar way to caffeine.

Sugar and salt

Weight gain and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms of menopause. By controlling blood sugar levels, you can fight these major problems. Apart from depleting your body of nutrients gained from healthy foods, sugar also makes you lazy and tired. However, a total avoidance is not required instead you may limit sugar intake to less than 10 grams a time. Along with sugar, you will have to moderate the amount of salt in your food to maintain a healthy menopause diet. Sodium is a perpetrator for high blood pressure while salts from processed food may cause cancer.

Carbs

Refined carbohydrates, such as enriched breads, cereals, pasta and snack foods, provide fewer nutrients and less fiber as compared to complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains. Since they get quickly digested, refined carbohydrates can disrupt the blood sugar balance, hormone levels and moods, and lead to unwanted food cravings. Additional refined carbohydrate foods that should be avoided include potato chips, crackers, pastries, pretzels, sugar-containing soft drinks, candies, cookies and ice cream. While purchasing whole grain foods, check food packaging to ensure that the word “enriched” is not listed in the ingredients. On the other hand, good carbs like coarse and whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help you to promote good health and weight control.

Hot and spicy foods

In India, most of us love a hot and spicy bowl of curry. But menopause and spices together is a really bad combination. Spicy foods could make hot flashes worse or just make you uncomfortable in general. Do not confuse spicy food with hot or chili-heavy food. Food cooked with red or green chilies or their powder is ‘hot.’ Whereas the food cooked with excessive spices like turmeric, garam masala, sambhar masala, etc is ‘spicy’. Therefore, reduce the spices and oil in your favorite Indian curries when going through menopause. When dining at Asian or Mexican restaurants, request mild spiciness or for chili paste and peppers served on the side of the plate. Allow hot soups and beverages to cool for a few minutes before eating.

Saturated Fat

A diet rich in saturated fat enhances your risk for a variety of menopause problems. Limiting your intake of saturated fats can help improve your cholesterol levels, reduce your risk for heart disease and support healthy weight management during menopause. Foods rich in saturated fat include whole milk, heavy cream, butter, high-fat red meat, poultry fat and fried foods. Examples of dishes high in saturated fat include fried chicken, fettuccine Alfredo, milkshakes, cheeseburgers, bacon, pepperoni pizza, sausage and cheese omelets.


Leave a comment