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Diet for Menopause

written by Vidya Sury September 14, 2010

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Adding certain foods to your diet can help protect your bones, heart, and the rest of your body. Learn about the best foods to eat after menopause.

If you’ve gone through menopause or will shortly go through this change of life (on average, it occurs around age 51), it’s a good idea to start thinking about making some changes to your diet, too. Certain health issues are of particular concern for women around the time they go through menopause, including osteoporosis and heart disease. One way you can help keep yourself strong during the next phase of your life is to eat a healthy diet. Here are some great foods you should include in your daily diet.

Make It Non-Fat Milk

Maintaining your bone health becomes especially important once you reach menopause. In addition to helping you maintain strong bones, research has shown that dairy foods may also help you lose body fat or prevent weight gain. Drinking skim milk, or low- and non-fat yogurt and other dairy products, is a good way to get the calcium and vitamin D you need for healthy bones without the saturated fat of whole milk that you don’t want.

Add Whole Grains to Your Diet

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, and your level of risk for developing it goes up with age. As a result, if you haven’t yet made it a priority to eat foods that will help reduce your heart health risks, the time to do so is at hand. One specific diet recommendation that the American Heart Association makes is to eat high-fiber, whole grain foods. At least half (if not more) of the foods you eat that contain grains should be whole grain, such as whole wheat breads, whole grain cereals, and brown rice.

Serve Up and Savor Fatty Fish

For additional heart protection,  women must eat oily fish at least twice a week. The omega-3 fatty acids they contain may help reduce your risk of death from heart disease. Types of fish that are particularly high in omega-3s include mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna, and herring. Some evidence also shows that eating more omega-3s may help protect against bone loss after menopause.

Boost Your Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can also help protect your heart after menopause. These foods are low in calories and fat, which means they’re a valuable part of an overall healthy diet and can help you stay at a healthy weight. In addition, the potassium found in some fruits and vegetables can help you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Depending on how many calories you need each day, your diet should consist of about four half-cup servings of both fruits and vegetables daily.

Go Moderately Nuts for Nuts

The percentage of women who have diabetes increases along with age, so diabetes may be a growing concern for you at menopause. The Nurses Health Study, an eight-year long study of nearly 49,000 postmenopausal women, found that women who eat more nuts may reduce their risk of diabetes and heart disease. Eating nuts along with a meal may also help limit the subsequent rise in blood sugar that nuts can cause. In addition, walnuts in particular contain a substance that your body can convert to omega-3 fatty acid, an important nutrient for women during menopause.

Baby Your Heart With Beans

While you’re filling your diet with fiber-rich foods to protect your heart, don’t forget about the benefits of beans. You need at least 25 grams of fiber each day, and a half-cup of kidney beans contains nearly seven grams. As a bonus, research has also shown that a bean-rich diet may also help improve blood sugar control. 

Thank you Everydayhealth

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Vidya Sury

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