Menopause is the stage in which a woman’s menstrual cycle (period) stops for 12 consecutive months. It marks the end of their fertile and reproductive years.
Common side effects caused by changes in hormone levels during menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Many women also experience an average weight gain of about five pounds after menopause.
The keto diet is a very low carb, high fat diet that some people recommend to relieve menopausal symptoms and balance hormones. However, it may not be the best approach for all women because it can cause nasty side effects.
This article is about how to be there ketosis it can alter certain hormones. It also explores the potential benefits of this diet for postmenopausal women.
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Keto and hormones
Menopause can cause a hormonal imbalance, especially estrogen and progesterone. This can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity and lower metabolism. It can also cause an increase in food cravings.
There is no solid evidence linking the keto diet to being able to directly influence the balance of reproductive hormones. However, the keto diet may play a role in regulating the balance of certain hormones that influence the regulation of appetite and insulin production.
Below is how the keto diet can benefit postmenopausal women.
Effect on insulin sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone responsible for helping to transport sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream to the cells for use as energy.
Night sweats and hot flashes, two symptoms of menopause, have also been strongly associated with insulin resistance in women who are experiencing menopause. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells do not respond well to insulin. This leads to an increase in blood glucose and can put you at risk for chronic illness.
Some studies show that the keto diet can lead to better insulin resistance, lower insulin levels, and a reduction in the number of medications used by people with diabetes to achieve their blood sugar goal.
In addition, a study tested the keto diet in women with ovaries or endometrial cancer. The researchers found improvements in insulin sensitivity and more abdominal fat loss after 12 weeks of following the keto diet.
Effect on weight gain
The ketogenic diet has been shown to positively affect weight loss, lipid profiles, and glycemic control in overweight or obese people.
One study compared four different dietary patterns among postmenopausal women to see which was best for maintaining weight. The researchers compared the Mediterranean diet, a low-fat diet, a low-carb diet, and a diet consistent with current U.S. dietary guidelines for Americans.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that those on a low-carbohydrate diet with a moderate intake of fat and protein had a reduced risk of weight gain. In contrast, those on a low-fat diet had a higher risk of postmenopausal weight gain.
It is important to note that the low-carb diet in this study averaged about 163 grams of carbohydrates, which is much higher than recommended in the standard keto diet. However, studies that directly associate the keto diet with menopause-related weight gain are limited.
Effect on food cravings
During the menopausal transition and postmenopausal years, many women experience an increase in hunger and cravings.
The keto diet has been shown to promote a greater feeling of satiety. For example, a study group suggests that being in ketosis can lead to decreased appetite. This may be due to the fact that foods rich in protein and fat have a positive effect on satiety through several different processes. This includes decreased gastric emptying, decreased intestinal transit, and the release of hunger hormones.
In addition, one study looked at 20 obese patients to assess food cravings, sleep quality, sexual activity, and overall quality of life among those on a very low-calorie ketogenic diet. The researchers found that patients saw an improvement in their quality of life, good food control, strong weight loss, fewer sleep problems and improvements in sexual function.
While it seems that the keto diet may have some benefits for menopause, it is not for everyone.
A common group of side effects that you may experience when you start a ketogenic diet is known as a “ketogenic flu.” This is because your body needs time to adjust when it comes to a very low carb diet.
Symptoms associated with keto flu include:
Symptoms usually peak during the first week and gradually subside over the next three weeks when the diet is consistently followed.
There is also concern about the negative impact that the keto diet may have on overall heart health. Some studies have shown that high levels of saturated fats found in a keto diet can increase low density levels. lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol circulating in our body. High-fat diets have also been associated with bowel disruption microbiota (bacteria in the digestive system) and inflammation.
In addition, the strict restriction of carbohydrates, which is often less than 50 grams, generates red flags for some. This is because many of the carbohydrate-rich foods eliminated from the keto diet are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. Without proper supplementation, this can put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies.
A keto diet is a very low carb, high fat diet. Properly covered, it will withstand a great deal of adverse conditions. As researchers learn more about the keto diet, it appears to be an effective solution for weight loss. During menopause, women often experience weight gain, food cravings, and insulin resistance.
Although there is no solid evidence that directly associates the ketogenic diet with hormonal balance during menopause, studies show that it can improve the symptoms that menopausal women suffer from. However, as with most diets, there are risks. For some, starting a keto diet can be difficult because they may experience moderate to severe “ketogenic flu” symptoms.
Frequently asked questions
What can you eat with the Keto diet?
On a keto diet, a person eats foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, healthy fats, and starchy green vegetables. Foods such as legumes, starchy vegetables, whole grains and some fruits are minimized or eliminated.
When does menopause begin?
The transition to menopause often begins between the ages of 45 and 55.
How long does menopause last?
The transition to menopause usually takes about seven years, but can last up to 14 years. The duration often varies between individuals. Age and lifestyle can also play a role in the duration of menopause.