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Climacteric symptoms can be relieved by following a special diet

Climacteric symptoms can be relieved by following a special diet
The diet not only helps prevent obesity, but also relieves other symptoms associated with menopause about her Nutrients Hungarian nutrition experts published in a specialized journal. According to estimates, by 2030, 1.2 billion women worldwide may be affected by menopause, the only primary symptoms of which are weight gain or hot flashes. When climax is reached, women are also more susceptible to other health problems, the diet recommended by researchers at Semmelweis University, gynecologists and nutritionists, the National Association of Hungarian Dietitians (MDOSZ), Hungarian Menopause, and the Hungarian Society of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Endocrinology. It can also help prevent this from happening, and also recommends it to those involved.

Specialists from the university and MDOSZ studied 1,639 international publications, of which 134 scientific articles were used as a basis, in order to determine which healthy diet best helps menopausal women.

In parallel with the increase in life expectancy at birth, more than a billion women may face menopausal challenges by 2030, the study says. Women usually enter menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, which is 12 months after their last menstrual period. However, hormonal changes, such as decreased estrogen production, begin years earlier (perimenopause).

Recommended diet:

– Less than 5 grams of salt per day

– At least 300 grams of vegetables and 200 grams of fruit daily (divided into 5 portions)

– 1-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, half of which comes from plant sources such as soy, lentils, beans, chickpeas, quinoa, or nuts. Otherwise, use low-fat protein sources (such as poultry and low-fat dairy products).

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– Consume no more than 350-500 grams of boiled/steamed/grilled red meat (e.g. beef, pork) per week

– Eat at least two servings per week (100-120g per occasion) of deep-sea fish with fatty meats (such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines) or freshwater fish such as trout and bass.

– Consume processed meat products only occasionally and in small quantities

– Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas or soy) at least once a week.

– 30 grams of unsalted nuts or other oilseeds daily; When it comes to frequency, it is important to take body weight into consideration

– One meat-free day a week

– 30-45 grams of fiber per day, mostly from whole grains

– Moderate consumption of fats is necessary – Preferably consumption of vegetable fats: sunflower oil for frying; Olive, rapeseed, linseed, soybean oil, etc. For salad dressings

– Daily fluid intake of 33 ml/kg of body weight (mainly water), evenly distributed throughout the day.

– Fast-acting simple sugars (such as cakes, sweets, or sugary soft drinks) should be avoided.

– Eat adequate amounts of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B3, LCPUFA, and omega-3 fatty acids.

– Consume dairy products with a calcium content equivalent to half a liter of milk daily

– Avoid smoking and alcohol

– Regular exercise is essential

According to the study, women between the ages of 50 and 60 gain an average of 6.8 kilograms per year, regardless of body type. According to data from the World Health Organization in 2016, 55% of women are overweight or obese. Weight gain is usually one of the first symptoms of menopause, affecting 60 to 70 percent of women. Estrogen plays an important role in regulating metabolism and the distribution of fat in the body. As hormone production decreases, this can change and more fat can accumulate in the lower abdomen (visceral fat). Low estrogen levels also affect neurotransmitters that regulate appetite and mood in the brain, so menopausal women may crave certain foods, especially foods high in sugar and fat, which are temporary mood boosters and can also increase energy expenditure.

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“Metabolism slows down with age and the body burns fewer and fewer calories. The decrease in estrogen increases this, which is why it is easier for women to gain excess weight during menopause.” Erzsébet Pálfi, Associate Professor at the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at Semmelweis University. One of the study participants adds: Therefore, negative energy balance plays an essential role in treating excess weight.

The recommended weight loss is about one and a half kilograms per week, mainly from fat, while maintaining muscle. This roughly corresponds to a 15-30 percent reduction in energy expenditure compared to usual, which also means that we should ideally consume 25 calories of energy per kilogram of body weight per day.

Other common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, and joint pain. Women can be more nervous and sensitive during this period, and it may be difficult for them to concentrate. 75-80% of them suffer from one of the above symptoms, and 20-30% suffer from a severe case. Therefore, the severity and frequency of symptoms vary, but can be affected by lifestyle changes.

“We found that by losing just 5 kilograms, heatwaves become 30 percent more tolerable. Regular exercise also helps your metabolism and can reduce the severity of hot flashes.” During the hormonal transition years, a lot of changes occur in the body Females, which although obesity and hot flashes are the most obvious, carry additional risks if not taken care of,” explains Alize Erdely, first author of the study, Secretary General of MDOSZ, and Master Lecturer at the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Semmelweis University.

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The body also adapts to increased visceral fat by forming new capillaries and producing more oxidative free radicals, which then trigger an intense defense reaction. Immune cells can proliferate in adipose tissue, which may initially lead to minor local inflammation and long-term damage to the vascular system.

Therefore, postmenopausal women are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. They are also more susceptible to cancer (especially hormone-sensitive breast cancer), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Although it does not completely eliminate the symptoms and the risk of associated diseases, lifestyle changes initiated at the right time can delay their onset, improving the quality of life of postmenopausal women.

Author: Angelika Erdely
Photo: Balint Barta – Semmelweis University; Envato Elements

Prevention and lifestyleTopic recommended

The article was published by the Communications Directorate of Semmelweis University.

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