The keto diet has changed many lives by helping people find direction in how they eat.

As you may well know, embracing a ketogenic lifestyle has more benefits than just losing weight. After all, dieting isn’t just about shedding pounds, it’s also about improving your dietary habits, having higher self-esteem, and feeling more comfortable.

The end game of dieting is to be more healthy overall, but this doesn’t just extend to body fat percentage.

It’s important to be mindful of all health factors, especially as you age. Poor eating habits can lead to a variety of ailments, such as cancer, heart disease, and other unpleasant diseases with time and age.

Among some of its many health benefits, going keto can even help with the symptoms of menopause.

Menopause is an uncomfortable stage for women during which they can experience weight gain, hot flashes, lack of sleep, low libido, mood swings, and irritation.

Luckily, these symptoms are manageable with a healthy, ketogenic diet. Let’s take a look!

So What’s Menopause, Exactly?

Menopause occurs in women usually over the age of 50 when they haven’t had a period in more than 12 months, and it’s a clear indicator that all of the available eggs are now gone.

During menopause, the reproductive hormone levels decrease (estrogen and testosterone) and it causes a myriad of symptoms [1] that are not-so unpleasant.

These symptoms can include:

  • Skin changes
  • Loss of libido
  • Night sweats
  • Insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure
  • Slower metabolism
  • Glucose intolerance
  • High cholesterol
  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings

Doesn’t sound so fun, does it?

The reason for all of these occurring at once is that your body is a finely tuned system of hormones and chemicals and when one system decreases in functionality, there is a very noticeable ripple effect that occurs in reaction.

Maintaining a healthy diet has been known to at least stifle some of these symptoms.

Fortunately, our favorite diet fits this description. The low-carb, high-fat strategy of keto is perfectly suited to mitigate some of the symptoms of menopause.

Keto helps to balance changing hormone levels, which is the primary cause for menopause.

Outlined below are some of the ways that a Ketogenic diet can help you get through menopause.

Weight Loss

Weight gain during menopause is one of the most common and frustrating symptoms of the change.

During this time, it can feel like you are dieting correctly but still not experiencing positive results.

This can be really frustrating and demoralizing. What makes things worse is that a traditional, low-calorie diet can actually amplify the weight gain experienced during menopause instead of helping to control it.

Maintaining a keto lifestyle is a perfect countermeasure to the weight gain that is common in menopause.

This diet will speed up your metabolism, increase satiety through protein consumption, and balance the hormones that drive hunger [2].

Sex Hormones

Loss of libido can be another common symptom of menopause that the ketogenic diet is well-suited to assist in combating.

Eating a low-fat diet, as directed in other weight loss plans, actually decreases the amount of testosterone and estrogen in your system.

Since those hormones are made of fats, you’re not giving your body the materials it needs to promote the creation of these hormones.

Eating a ketogenic diet includes a high intake of fats, which makes it much easier for your body to produce sex hormones, and therefore increase your libido.

Energy Levels

During menopause, women can and often do experience a drop in energy. This is mostly caused by low blood sugar and is the result of low-fat intake.

On a keto diet, you are encouraged to consume high amounts of fats, and your body will be supplied with plenty of energy [3] to get you through the day.

Carbohydrates, on the other hand, can be bad for your energy because they are considered inconsistent and fleeting, and your body may find itself low on energy quickly.

On the keto diet, you consume low amounts of carbs and high fats, making it the perfect rebuttal to low energy brought on by menopause.

Hot Flashes

Perhaps the most famous of the symptoms of menopause is hot flashes. They’re annoying, frequent, and uncomfortable.

Hot flashes are at least in part caused by the estrogen imbalance and how those levels contribute to regulating body temperature.

This has a lot to do with the hypothalamus and how it helps regulate body temperature from within the brain.

During ketosis, your body creates ketone bodies, which help protect the brain and may help balance your body temperature.

Insulin Control

As with many of the other symptoms experienced during menopause, insulin is highly intertwined with hormone levels.

If those are affected, chances are insulin is as well. Through a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, you can improve your insulin levels.

By improving your insulin levels, you will also affect your sex hormone levels and in turn, decrease weight gain and other symptoms caused by an imbalance in hormones.

This is a classic example of so many things in your body having effects on other functions and symptoms. For that reason, it’s very important to not just monitor one part of your health, but the bigger picture: your overall health.

The improvement in overall health while on keto is one of the reasons that it’s such a wildly popular diet and why it’s been proven to improve so many areas of your health. This can take form directly or indirectly.

Summary

For most women, menopause is an uncomfortable time of change and can quickly make your life unpredictable and unpleasant. It affects dozens of parts of your body, health, and hormone system.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to help lessen the effects of menopause. One of those steps is to adopt the ketogenic diet.

Embracing a ketogenic diet can help alleviate several of the annoying symptoms on menopause, so stay if you’re thinking about changing up your diet, keto is a perfect choice!

References:

[1] Santoro N., Epperson C.N., Mathews S.B. Menopausal Symptoms and Their Management. Endocrinol. Metab. Clin. N. Am. 2015;44:497–515. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2015.05.001.

[2] Paoli A. Ketogenic diet for obesity: friend or foe? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014;11(2):2092–2107. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110202092.

[3] Maalouf M, Sullivan PG, Davis L, Kim DY, Rho JM. Ketones inhibit mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species production following glutamate excitotoxicity by increasing NADH oxidation. Neuroscience. 2007 Mar 2;145(1):256-64. Epub 2007 Jan 18.

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