In this blog series we discuss diet and lifestyle changes specifically to assist with menopause symptoms. We answer some of the most common questions asked.
Please also refer to our first blog in the series to gain a holistic understanding of the protocols.
Is a Keto diet right for menopausal women?
It appears that Keto is likely to cause more problems than not for menopausal women with symptoms.
There isn’t much research on Keto and Menopause at this time. However, whilst women may lose a bit of weight, menopausal weight is more to do with hormone imbalances and gut issues than anything else.
Therefore, balance your hormones, reduce your body’s stress response, and solve your gut issues, you will be able to lose weight with a fairly normal diet.
As mentioned above, keeping your body out of stress response is the key to reducing or eliminating your menopause symptoms. Keto’s premise is that it puts the body into deep stress response (by forcing the body to change the way it works from carbs to fat).
This is great if you are NOT menopausal, but if you are the chances are your symptoms will increase. You may not lose any weight either.
I suggest, from the research, that instead of going into full Keto mode, that menopausal women follow the following. Again in my clinic and for myself, my clients lose weight and gradually resolve their symptoms once we deal with their functional gut issues.
Without doing a bunch of specific labs to pinpoint your specific issues, it is important to ensure you balance a broad range of your hormones through food and nutrition.
Our dietary recommendations:
If you already have digestive issues, doing the Candida Diet Reset first may be helpful.
I recommend to my clients to do a reset. To follow the below for 14 days. In this time the body has an opportunity to reset itself. You are supporting it nutritionally, creating low toxic effect and supporting your adrenals. Many women notice their symptoms start to reduce after a few days. I recommend staying as close to the this lifestyle ongoing. If you are not gaining relief, you may need to go completely grain free! It is estimated that over 80% of us cannot properly tolerate grains. This creates stress in your body. We also suggest making sure you apply Magnesium every day.
- No red or processed meat (organic salmon, non-farmed seafood and organic chicken)
- Plant based diet – high levels of vegetables, nutrient rich (ideally organic)
- Low sugar <20g a day (means low GI fruit and clean eating)
- High fibre (40-50g per day)
- Gluten free (gut intolerance and stress)
- Dairy free (gut intolerance and stress)
- Alcohol free (affects cortisol and stress response)
- Caffeine free (affects cortisol and stress response)
- Moderate carbs (25-40g of NET Carbs per day (which is just above Keto). Net carbs = the amount of grams of carbohydrates LESS the amount of grams of Fibre
- Add lots of OMEGA 3, add seeds and nuts and good fats to your diet!
- Stop probiotic food for the period.
This type of protocol will help your body use the fat stores but should avoid the stress response.
Us women are designed to keep fat on 🙁 If you are still struggling with symptoms and you are following this protocol, with our other recommendations, I would highly recommend getting functional labs done.
I know most women will read the above and go WTF! I know! I thought so too! However, when I thought about it, I spent 45 years eating most of that stuff and pretty badly, so getting into a healthy protocol now makes me feel great! I’ll offer more tips in later blogs about how to make this easy to do!
It is important to note that most menopausal women get nowhere near the Fibre, Calcium and Magnesium they need!
Before you get started:
I suggest my clients baseline their food intake for a week so they can see where they are at. Make sure you record everything you put in your mouth for the week. Don’t change what you are doing. This is to determine where you are at. Using a free app like EasyDietDiary is an easy way to keep track.
After a week, you will probably notice that your fibre is low around 15-20 grams a day and your carbs and sugar are high! This is common.
To start the protocol, ease your way in over a few days, then go for the 14 days. You should not dramatically increase fibre in one fell swoop! It is comfortable to increase increase by 5 grams every until you get to at least 40g.
I found the easiest way to increase my fibre was to use tasteless PREBIOTIC fibre powder such as Benefibre that you can add to water, smoothies, soups etc. Prebiotic fibre helps your gut to correct itself. Also increase your intake of high fibre foods (just make sure it’s lowish carbs)!
See my delicious High Fibre Berry Breakfast Pudding (Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free) here. I have it as a breakfast food and a dessert!
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