By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: April 10, 2023
“Let the day be lost to us which we did not dance once.”
Dear Red Hot Mamas,
Many women going through menopause experience unpleasant symptoms. However, simple changes in your diet may make the menopause transition a little easier. Foods heal the body and may even be the key to living a longer and healthier life. Evidence has been proven that good food is vital to good health. So, what’s in your refrigerator may be the antidote to chronic illness. By choosing to eat the right foods that contain healthy ingredients may not only help your menopausal symptoms but also put you at less risk of developing many diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. To live well, it is important to eat well.
According to the CDC, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In fact, six in ten adults in the US have a chronic disease and four in ten adults have two or more. Many chronic diseases are caused by the following risk behaviors: tobacco use; poor nutrition; physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use.
Today, I’d like to focus on good nutrition and the need for us all to have a healthy diet. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-25, called the “CDC healthy eating plan”, emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat- free or low-fat milk and milk products. It also includes a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, nuts and seeds. The diet recommended is also low in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol. And it also should stay within each individual’s daily calorie needs.
So, let’s discuss your Menopause Grocery List. For women in menopause, the Mediterranean diet holds a special appeal. This particular diet may also help protect against symptoms like hot flashes, depression, and cognitive issues while improving long-term bone and heart health.
Researchers have been studying the Mediterranean diet for over a half a century and they continue to find tremendous benefits in it. This diet is packed with high-quality, delicious foods that make healthy eating enjoyable. It is no wonder that an island in Greece and one in Sardinia, Italy have both been designated as two of the five Blue Zones of the world where people live the longest.
Here is a blueprint of what you may eat on the Mediterranean diet:
- Vegetables: tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips
- Fruits: apples, bananas, cherries, clementines, grapefruit, melons, oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, nectarines, peaches
- Nuts, seeds, and nut butters: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, peanut butter
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas
- Whole grains: oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat bread and pasta
- Fish and seafood: salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, oysters, clams, crab, mussels
- Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey
- Eggs: chicken, quail, and duck eggs
- Dairy: cheese, yogurt, milk
- Herbs and spices: garlic, basil, mint, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper
- Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, olives, avocados, and avocado oil.
Foods to Limit:
You should limit these processed foods and ingredients when following the Mediterranean diet:
- Added sugar, which is found in soda, candies, ice cream, syrup, and baked goods
- Refined grains: white bread, pasta, tortillas, chips, crackers
- Refined oils: soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, grapeseed oil
- Processed meat: processed sausages, hot dogs and deli meats
- Highly processed foods: fast food, convenience meals, microwave popcorn, granola bars
You should stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking lots of water.
This diet also includes moderate amounts of red wine— around one glass per day.
Bottom-line, a good diet at menopause is really no different than a good diet at any other point in your life. Varieties of foods are important to maintain good nutrient levels. Evaluating your diet and nutrition is part of maintaining and enhancing your physical and mental wellbeing as you age.
Good Health to You All,