For women over 50, a plant-based diet may make a difference in managing symptoms and weight-gain related to menopause.
Dealing with the internal furnace.
In a study comparing perimenopausal and postmenopausal women following a vegan (no animal products) to omnivores, those who consumed the plant-based foods reported fewer night sweats, hot flashes, and fewer flushes (known as vasomotor symptoms).
The difference between the plant-based women and the omnivores was most pronounced in perimenopause when symptoms tend to peak.
Managing your weight.
Weight gain in menopause is not only distressing for many women, but it may also be a contributor to increased menopausal symptoms.
Some researchers think that excess weight may have a two-fold effect;
Extra weight increases our body’s need to get rid of excess heat and increases the risk of system-wide inflammation.
Increased inflammation may contribute to increased vasomotor symptoms.
Maintaining a healthy weight throughout menopause can help prevent symptoms.
Women in one study who lost at least 10 pounds or 10% of their body weight were more likely to get rid of their vasomotor symptoms completely.
As many of us know, maintaining a healthy weight during peri and post-menopause can be a challenge.
Those participating in studies that use plants-based diets consistently lost and sustained weight loss when compared to non-plant-based diets;
In a recent review (called a meta-analyses) of randomized controlled trial studies (considered the gold standard in research)…
Those who followed a plant-based diet with no calories restriction or direction to exercise lost on average 7.4 more lbs than their omnivore counterparts.
Even more impressive, when post-menopausal women were randomized into plant-based diets that had no other restrictions.
They lost more weight overall than those who were following a low-fat, restricted diet.
How to make plant-based eating a long-term love affair?
Remember, I believe, this is not a diet rather a lifestyle.
Never take on any eating pattern that you couldn’t maintain long-term!
Here’s the good news.
In a study of postmenopausal women who had been randomized into three different diet categories…
Those following a plant-based whole food (less processed food) diet, were able to maintain their diet for a year successfully.
The researchers observed that the women who had made a change to a plant-based diet seemed to be more engaged in trying recipes and exploring the different possibilities of a more plant-based lifestyle.
Ways to make the move…
Stop or cutback on animal proteins they are high in saturated fats, antibiotics, salts, and hormones.
Replace dairy with plantbased milks.
Stop purchasing processed foods. Those foods in a bag or box with a barcode.
Eat more fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes.
Schedule a call to speak to an expert like myself to help set you up with a clear understanding on how to transition in a healthy nutritional whole food plant- based diet.
You will feel so much better once you do.