Nutrition Rules During Menopause

Care should be taken to consume foods with low energy content but high nutritional value. Instead of simple sugars, foods rich in complex carbohydrates (cereals, legumes, potatoes, etc.) should be consumed.

Prof. Dr. Ulun ULUĞ
Written by Prof. Dr. Ulun ULUĞ. 0 comments 1659 views

What to eat during menopause?

  • Care should be taken to consume foods with low energy content but high nutritional value.
  • Instead of simple sugars, foods rich in complex carbohydrates (cereals, legumes, potatoes, etc.) should be consumed.
  • Simple sugars only provide energy. However, with foods containing complex carbohydrates, besides energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber necessary for the body's functioning are provided.
  • Emphasis should be placed on foods rich in fiber. Foods rich in fiber are legumes, grains, vegetables and fruits.
  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. In addition to its protective and therapeutic properties, it helps to reduce cholesterol. In addition, it regulates blood glucose. Pulp should be consumed as a precaution for diabetes, cancer and coronary heart disease.
  • In women who have entered the menopause period, it is important that the fiber intake is at the required level. This means that they consume legumes at least 2 or 3 times a week.
  • During the menopause period, more importance should be given to the consumption of vegetables and fruits. These food groups are rich in vitamins, minerals and photochemicals. It is important to consume fruits and vegetables, as their fat content is also very low and protects against some diseases. In addition to these, vegetables and fruits also have a protective feature for osteoporosis. Vegetables and fruits act as buffers and minimize bone loss. Vegetable consumption or consumption of plant-derived protein is closely related to the mineral density of the bone.
  • It is necessary to pay attention to the selection of wholemeal, unrefined bread and cereal group foods.
  • If a diet that does not focus on vegetables is determined, and a diet rich in animal products is given instead, it will cause a negative effect on the calcium balance. As a result of loss of minerals in the urine and increased calcium excretion, a decrease in bone mineral density occurs.
  • Likewise, vegetables and fruits are a good source of potassium and magnesium. After entering the menopause period, it is considered very important for women to consume more than 400 grams of vegetables and fruits during the day.
  • In women who have entered the menopause period, the diet should be made in such a way that 25% to 30% of the total protein is of animal origin and 70% to 75% is of vegetable origin. In case of low protein intake, urinary calcium excretion increases.
  • If possible, different fruits and vegetables should be eaten at each meal, and all necessary vitamins and minerals should be provided.
  • In particular, it is important to consume low-fat and low-cholesterol foods.
  • In women who are in the menopause period, maximum 30% of the daily energy taken together with their diet should be from fat.
  • Less than 7% of the energy of the diet should be obtained from saturated fats, less than 1% of trans fatty acids, and the cholesterol content of the diet should be below 300 mg per day. For people with high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus or suffering from cardiovascular problems, it is ideal that the cholesterol taken in the diet is below 200 mg.
  • It is very important to consume fish twice a week. It has been scientifically proven that Omega-3 fatty acids in fish are very beneficial for vision, cognitive function, bone and joint diseases, and blood lipids.
  • Care should be taken to consume foods rich in calcium. Estrogen deficiency due to menopause, increased urinary calcium excretion, decreased effective absorption of calcium from the intestines, insufficient calcium intake with food are among the causes of osteoporosis.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that the body receives vitamin D. Since vitamin D cannot be supplied completely from food, it is necessary to be exposed to sunlight for at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes during the day.

Considerations for fluid consumption during menopause

  • During the menopause period, water consumption should not be neglected, on the contrary, fluid consumption should be increased more. It is very important to drink at least 2 liters of water during the day during the menopause period.
  • Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola should be avoided. It may be preferable to take herbal teas instead of these drinks.
  • Tea should not be drunk with meals. Drinking tea with meals reduces iron absorption. For this reason, if it is necessary to drink tea, it should be drunk before or after meals and with lemon.

Foods to avoid during menopause

  • Alcohol and smoking should be avoided.
  • Along with the prepared nutrition program, the increase in consumption of saturated animal fats and solid margarines causes an increase in blood cholesterol levels. High blood cholesterol leads to cardiovascular diseases. A diet rich in fat also increases the risk of possible breast cancer. For this reason, it is necessary to use vegetable oils (olive oil and sunflower, corn oil, etc.) in meals and salads, especially when entering the menopause period.
  • Consumption of saturated and trans fats should be minimized for a healthy diet during menopause.
  • Simple sugar consumption should be reduced.
  • It has been stated that salt consumption for women who have entered the menopause period will be less than 5 grams. For this reason, salt consumption should be reduced as much as possible.

What should be done to reduce fat in diet?

  • Skinless chicken or turkey meat should be consumed instead of red meat.
  • Meat must be free from fatty parts.
  • Fat should not be added to meat dishes.
  • Avoid junk food with high fat content.
  • Meals should be prepared by grilling, baking and boiling.
  • Fast-food type foods should be avoided.

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