Menopause brings about many changes. With the decline of the hormone’s including insulin, testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone women may experience centralised weight gain. During this time, Accredited Practising Dietitian’s can support and guide women to maintain a healthy body weight and prevent chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

The Mediterranean diet has been a dietary pattern that has been positively linked to the health and weight outcomes of menopausal women. Here are 4 key principles of the Mediterranean diet that can be implemented to better support your body if you are going through menopause:

1. Plenty of colour per day

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals for normal body functioning as well as protective anti-oxidants. To get the most out of your fruits and vegetables, ensure that you eat as many colours as you can as each colour has different properties. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in fibre and micronutrients, therefore are beneficial in filling you up when you are trying to lose weight.

2. Consume complex wholegrain carbohydrates

Carbohydrates still remain an important nutrient during menopause as they are essential for energy and blood sugar stabilisation. However, refined carbohydrates are not recommended as they break down rapidly into sugar and require a greater release of insulin to process the sugar in the body. Complex wholegrain carbohydrates can help to normalise your blood sugar levels and insulin levels helping to prevent excess weight gain.

3. Increase plant-based protein

Although animal-based protein sources should remain present in your diet, legumes make a part of the Mediterranean diet. Legumes such as soybean, chickpeas etc. contain phytoestrogen which can minimise symptoms such as hot flashes in menopausal women if consumed regularly. Consider adding them to substitute excess animal-based proteins.

4. Reduce processed and packaged products

The Mediterranean diet avoids anything processed and packaged. These foods are energy dense and nutrient-poor. They are high in sugar, fat and salt which can impact weight, energy levels and chronic diseases that menopausal women are at risk of such as high cholesterol and blood sugars.

Reach out to an Accredited Practising Dietitian today who can support and guide you through this stage of life with practical tips. You are not alone!