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Menopause can be a difficult time for many women, with symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. But did you know that there are foods that worsen menopause symptoms? From foods to avoid when menopausal to watching portion sizes, making small dietary changes can make a big difference to your experience of menopause. So, if interested in knowing the foods that make menopause worse read on to find out!
To reduce menopausal symptoms you can adjust your diet to include good quality whole foods that feed your gut and body to keep it operating optimally.
Just as adding healthy foods into your diet can help, it follows that eliminating unhealthy foods can go some way towards reducing your symptoms.
These are my top 6 foods for making menopause symptoms worse.
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Sugar and artificial sweetners
Step away from that sugar ladened chocolate brownie..
Thanks to lower levels of estrogen and progesterone during menopause we can experience increased sugar cravings.
Read more about hormone imbalance in this post: What Is Hormone Imbalance And Do I Have It ?
Resist the urge to grab calorie rich, processed and high carbohydrate foods like cakes, sweets and cookies. When we eat these sugary foods we set up a chain reaction of imbalanced hormones which can lead to weight gain and mood swings.
The increase in sugar also stimulates our hunger hormone making us crave more of what is bad for us.
It becomes a never ending circle of eating sugar or high carb foods and craving more.
Too much of these foods in your menoapause diet will cause weight gain, possible headaches, and anxiety.
Many women notice hot flashes reduce when they reduce sugar in their diet.
I cut added sugar from my diet in perimenopause due to exhausting hot flashes and they disappeared completly within a couple of weeks. If you want to cut added sugar from your diet (and you should), this post tells you what you need to know:
Remember that sugar can be hidden in many foods so take care to read the ingredients list before buying.
Also avoid artificial sweetners they are a minefield and can also mess with your blood sugar levels. If you need something to use in baking try one of the natural sweetners.
One source of sugar that may not hit the radar is fruit. For example mangoes. One medium mango contains 45 gms of sugar, and one cup of grapes 23 gms.
Instead of these high calorie foods look for nutrient dense foods. Foods high in fiber or protein will make you feel fuller for longer and will help with controlling blood sugar levels.
For a list of yummy and healthy breakfasts see Healthy Breakfast Alternatives To Cereal
That habit of having a drink at the end of a bad day…
I am sorry to say it is not doing you any good especially if you are in perimenopause or menopause.
Women going through menopause often suffer from poor sleep which can be caused by the lower levels of estrogen, lower melatonin production and possibly night sweats.
Unfortunately alcohol is also known to reduce melatonin production.
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycles.
I am not suggesting that you give up alcohol altogether. Just be aware that it may contribute to disrupting your sleep. A glass of wine on the weekend or with friends once in a while will not cause too much damage.
If you decide to have something other
That very yummy layer of fat on your pork chop..
Cut it off.
And no more chicken skin for you.
Due to lower levels of estrogen menopausal women and post menopausal women are more at risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Thanks to the lower estrogen and shrink muscle mass it is much easier for you to put on weight at this time. And much more difficult to take it off again.
Saturated fats that are often found in processed foods, dairy products and meats should be avoided. Try to choose the unsaturated fats found in olive oil, avocados, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, seeds and oily fish.
Eat only small amounts of high-quality saturated fats such as butter and cheese.
The one fat to definitely avoid at all costs is trans fats. It has no nutritional value and has not been approved as safe to eat.
This one personally hurts. Unfortunately hot flushes are more likely to occur if you have caffeine as it can spike your blood sugar stimulate your nervous system.
Try to avoid coffee after midday. Sleep for women in menopause can be difficult enough with out your body being hyped up from your last cup of jitter juice.
Caffeine is also in other drinks, so it’s not just coffee. It’s your fizzy drinks, it’s your energy drinks. It’s in tea, and there’s a little bit in chocolate as well.
If you enjoy a warm drink there are many gorgeous teas available to choose from.
You know those foods that send you running for a drink andtissue to wipe your eyes from watering. They open your blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow.
That’s pretty much what happens during a hot flush.
Hot and spicy foods can trigger hot flushes and night sweats so it may be best to avoid them. If you like a bit of spicy foods try sticking to the warm spices with less heat such as cumin, corriander and cinammon.
These convenience foods are often high in sodium and staturated fats.
Consider sometimes making extra for dinner and freezing it in portion lots for a quick grab-and-go lunch or easy dinner. Save a few up and add some fresh veggies for an on-the-fly dinner option for the whole family.
Natural solutions to reduce menopause symptoms can be acheived by making changes in your menopause diet and following a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet based on wholefoods with a majority of plant foods, protein and some healthy fats will help reduce menopause symptoms, reduce abdominal fat, and improve your overall health and wellbeing. If you are not feeling good when you start to go through menopause your the foods you eat is the easiest place to make changes for the better.
Supplements are also a consideration to provide you with the right additions to counter the effects of menopause.
Just as we eat healthy foods to reduce menopausal symptoms there are foods to stop eating in menopause to do the same.