The main reason for weight gain is the decrease in the levels of many hormones, especially estrogen. Metabolic changes in this process also cause problems such as stress and insomnia, which facilitates weight gain. Unfortunately, it would be wrong to consider the weight gain in this period as just an increase in weight. With hormonal changes, the body fat rate increases. The weight gained appears as an increase in fat, especially in the abdomen. This causes an increase in the risk of many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis.
Yet despite these metabolic changes, it’s possible to get your health under control. The results of the studies have shown that the energy and nutrient needs of women change after menopause. During this period, the body’s metabolic rate decreases, so energy needs decrease. Therefore, simple changes in your diet are important in order to adapt easily to this process.
Calcium Intake is Important!
Following menopause, bone loss increases in women due to decreased estrogen levels, increased urinary calcium excretion, and decreased calcium absorption in the intestines. According to the results of the research, while the loss of bone density in premenopausal women is 3-5% every 10 years, this rate is 1-3% per year with menopause. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D should be provided to maintain bone health and prevent their loss.
Beware of Oils!
During this period, when the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases, fatty foods should be avoided. The type of fatty acids is as important as dietary fat. Consumption of saturated fat (fats that are solid at room temperature) and trans fats (especially in margarines) should be reduced. As a source of fat, liquid oils such as olive oil and foods with high omega-3 content such as walnuts and fish should be preferred. In addition to the fat consumed, the fats in the meat and dairy products should also be considered, and fat-free or low-fat ones should be preferred.
Increase Pulp Consumption!
Fiber, which has an effect on the protection and treatment of many diseases, is also of great importance in menopause. Fiber consumption, which has many benefits such as regulation of blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, treatment of cardiovascular diseases, prevention of constipation, should be increased and 25-30g of fiber should be provided daily with a diet. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains are foods with high fiber content.
Don’t Forget the Water!
As the feeling of thirst decreases with increasing age, water consumption decreases. Since water has very important functions such as removing wastes from our body and providing mineral balance, insufficient consumption causes many diseases. For this reason, thirst should not be expected to drink water and at least 2-2 liters of water should be consumed per day. In addition, excessive consumption of tea and coffee causes fluid loss as it causes frequent urination. Excessive consumption of tea and coffee should be avoided, both for this reason and because of the effect of caffeine increasing bone resorption.
As age progresses, the muscle ratio in the body decreases and the fat ratio increases. In addition to maintaining ideal body weight, regular physical activity also provides benefits such as lowering cholesterol, protecting cardiovascular health, preventing osteoporosis, and facilitating digestion. For the protection of health, moderate physical activity of 30 minutes daily or 150 minutes weekly is recommended.