How Does Menopause Affect Your Diet?
Canned sardines and salmon, with the bones, are a great source for
Hi, I am Dr. Amy Rosenman, a urogynecologist and menopause expert with Rosenmanmd.com, and today I am here on behalf of About.com to share with you information about diet and menopause.Many women ask me "Will I gain weight because I am menopausal? Will I gain weight if I take hormones?" The answers are "no" and "no." Menopause and hormone changes are not associated with weight gain. Before you get too complacent with this, remember that aging is associated with weight gain. When we age, we lose some muscle mass. It is our muscles that metabolize calories, they burn the energy - less muscle, less burning of calories. We either need to eat less or exercise just to maintain our weight. This is a cosmic bad joke! When estrogen diminishes, the distribution of fat changes, not our weight. We tend to collect fat around our middle. If we take estrogen, the fat will be deposited around the hips and thighs. There are other issues of menopause besides weight gain.Consider our bones. To maintain healthy, strong bones, we need vitamin D and calcium. It turns out that dietary calcium is the best source. Supplements are poorly absorbed and may find themselves in our kidneys forming stones or in our coronary vessels forming calcifications. But the calcium we eat is most likely to protect our bones. For those who can eat dairy, 2-3 servings per day of nonfat cottage cheese or yogurt will suffice. If you eat yogurt with a live culture, you will be getting probiotic benefits as well. Milk and cheese are also great sources of calcium. For those who are lactose intolerant, try sardines (the ones with the bones in), or canned salmon with bones cooked into croquets. These are very high in calcium. There are also leafy green vegetables that also have calcium. Vitamin D supplements of 1000 IU are recommended.To avoid weight gain, a high protein, low carbohydrate, low sugar diet is recommended. To help manage hot flashes, keep the alcohol intake minimal as well as the spice content of your food. This will result in fewer hot flashes and night sweats. Foods that contain antioxidants such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, artichokes, apples, beans, potatoes, pecans, cherries, plums and prunes will reduce the incidence of cancer and keep you heart healthy as well. Choose wisely at this time of life and you will live many more healthy, comfortable years to come.Thanks for watching and for more information, visit us online at About.com.