Learning About Healthy Eating During Menopause

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Why is healthy eating important during menopause?

Healthy eating is an important part of caring for yourself during menopause. It gives your body nutrients you need, like calcium and vitamin D. It helps you stay at a healthy weight. And it can reduce your risk for health problems that are more common after menopause, such as heart disease and osteoporosis.

Eating healthy during menopause

Here are some things you can do to eat healthy during menopause.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.

    Choose foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, fish, and whole grains. Limit foods that have a lot of salt, fat, and sugar.

  • Choose foods that have a lot of calcium.

    These include milk, cheese, yogurt, and calcium-fortified orange juice, soy milk, and tofu. Other sources of calcium include canned sardines, canned salmon with bones, and leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage. Between the ages of 19 and 50, you need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. At 51 and older, you need 1,200 mg a day.

  • Eat foods that are good sources of vitamin D.

    Vitamin D helps your body use calcium. Foods that have vitamin D include salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Vitamin D-fortified foods like milk, soy milk, orange juice, and cereal are also good sources. Between the ages of 19 and 70, you need 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. At age 71 and older, you need 800 IU a day.

  • Talk to your doctor about taking a calcium and vitamin D supplement.

    It may be a good idea for you if you don't get enough of these nutrients from the foods you eat.

  • Limit caffeine.

    Caffeine can cause sleep problems. It can also make you feel anxious. If you are bothered by symptoms like these, pay attention to how much caffeine you are getting. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and foods and drinks that contain chocolate.

  • Limit your intake of alcohol.

    Drinking may make menopause symptoms worse.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.