As one approaches menopause, weight gain becomes a primary concern. Women, who have had a weight problem before, find it harder to lose the additional weight accompanied by menopause.
Conversely, women who have maintained their weight over the years find they have to work much harder to keep the pounds off. Therefore, menopause and nutrition go hand in hand, and it is just another adjustment a woman has to make when confronting menopause.
While there some experts who claim that the fluctuation in a woman’s hormone level is the cause for weight gain, others believe it is due to an increase in age and the decrease in muscle mass and metabolism. Who can really say? The key to keeping the weight off, in any stage of a woman’s life, is through a combination of diet and exercise; and should commence during the perimenopausal stage.
It has been concluded that after the age of 50, a woman needs more calcium than her younger counterparts. Doctors recommend 1200 to 1500 milligrams a day of vitamin C. Because bone mass begins to decrease, and bones become more brittle, vitamin C is a preventative measure to decrease the risk of osteoporosis, which may occur after menopause. Taking vitamins D and B12 are also essential components which should be incorporated into one’s diet.
Consuming foods low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, it is recommended that the fat intake should be less than 30 percent of your daily calorie intake. Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereal products, especially those high in vitamin C and beta carotene. Persons of all ages should consume 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily.
Avoid foods and drinks with processed sugar, as many of these products contain empty calories and promote weight gain. Avoid salt-cured and smoked foods such as sausages, smoked fish, ham, bacon, bologna, and hot dogs. These foods are high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure, which is a serious risk for aging women.
Regular exercise not only benefits the heart and bones and helps regulate weight, but can elevate one’s mood and create a sense of balance within. Conversely, women who are physically inactive are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
While dieting and good nutrition habits are important when we are young, it has become a vital component of good health when we reach menopause. Although it may seem the cycle never ends, maintaining a proper diet is necessary to enjoy this particular time in your life. If you have never had to desire to exercise before, now is the time to begin. It is now that you are most vulnerable to the affects menopause has on your body. Think of it as just another adjustment you have to make to fully enjoy your life.
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