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Healthy Eating and Menopause


Topic Overview

As your body experiences the stress of transitioning from perimenopause to postmenopause, make it a priority to eat a balanced diet. Healthy eating habits help reduce the impact of perimenopausal symptoms and reduce your risks of long-term conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

  • Limit the number of calories in your diet that come from fat.
  • Choose calcium-rich foods to make sure you get enough calcium. The recommended daily calcium intake for adults ages 19 to 50 is 1,000 mg a day, increasing to 1,200 mg a day for adults older than 50. Take a calcium supplement if your daily diet does not contain enough calcium.
  • Help your body use calcium by adding vitamin D to your daily diet. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 400 to 800 IU for adults ages 19 to 50, and 800 to 1,000 IU a day for adults age 50 and older. Take vitamin D supplements if necessary to meet that need. This is especially important in northern climates during the winter months.
  • Include good sources of fiber, such as whole grains, beans, and fruits and vegetables, in your diet each day.
  • Avoid simple sugars, particularly when you are challenged by mood swings, anxiety, or depression.
  • Avoid caffeine, or cut back on it. Caffeine is a common culprit in sleep problems and feelings of agitation. If you are suffering from these hormone-related symptoms, pay attention to how much caffeine you are getting in beverages and chocolate.

For more information, see the topic Healthy Eating.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Last RevisedMay 4, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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