Diet

A healthy diet can help offset the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, and help prevent cancer. Some 30 to 40 percent of cancers can be prevented over time by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise.

Menopause is a time of many changes for women, both biologically and environmentally. As you approach and enter menopause, your hormones change. The way your body processes certain nutrients changes. You’ll need more of some nutrients and less of others. The way you consume foods should be altered to optimize the way your body processes these nutrients. Find tips and guidance for nutrition in menopause and beyond on the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada's website HerNutrition.ca.

Canada’s Food Guide is an excellent reference for determining what foods to eat, and in what quantities. For example, the Guide recommends: seven to eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day; foods low in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids and high in dietary fiber; and drinking at least six to eight glasses of water per day (relying on your thirst to guide your fluid intake isn’t enough). Studies suggest that changing the type of fat in your diet can be more effective than simply reducing the overall amount of fat you consume. Replacing saturated fat and trans-fatty acids with non-hydrogenated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can have positive heart health benefits. Dietary supplements such as calcium and Vitamin D are also good options.

Canada's Food Guide: dietary recommendations

Read a NAMS article about nutritional guidelines.

Read this article on What you should eat (and avoid) to beat breast cancer.

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During menopause, the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body declines. As estrogen helps control unhealthy cholesterol, this change can increase the risk of heart disease. Eighty-eight percent of women aged 55-64 have high cholesterol.

Source: CityA.M., Cholesterol, another silent killer, Oct. 7, 2008