Can the Keto Diet Help with Menopause?

Menopause is a biological process marked by the cessation of menses and a natural decline in reproductive hormones in women. It can be accompanied by symptoms like hot flashes, sleep problems, and mood changes.

Modifying your diet under the guidance of a healthcare professional is a simple strategy that may help balance your hormone levels and alleviate certain symptoms of menopause.

In particular, the ketogenic diet is a high fat, very low carb diet that’s often recommended to provide relief from menopause symptoms.

However, it may also be associated with several side effects and not a great fit for everyone.

This article reviews how the ketogenic diet may affect menopausal women.

[siteorigin_widget class=”thinkup_builder_headingtheme”][/siteorigin_widget]

The ketogenic diet may be associated with several benefits, specifically during menopause.

[siteorigin_widget class=”thinkup_builder_headingtheme”][/siteorigin_widget]

Menopause can cause several changes in hormone levels.

In addition to altering levels of sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone, menopause can decrease insulin sensitivity, which can impair your body’s ability to use insulin effectively.

Insulin is a hormone that’s responsible for transporting sugar from your bloodstream into your cells, where it can be used as fuel.

Some research suggests that the ketogenic diet may improve insulin sensitivity to promote better blood sugar control.

One study found that following a ketogenic diet for 12 weeks improved insulin levels and insulin sensitivity in women with endometrial or ovarian cancer.

However, it’s unclear whether the diet would offer similar health benefits for menopausal women without these types of cancer.

Another review reported that reducing carb consumption may decrease insulin levels and improve hormonal imbalances, which could be especially beneficial during menopause.

What’s more, studies suggest that insulin resistance may be linked to a higher risk of hot flashes, which are a common side effect of menopause.

[siteorigin_widget class=”thinkup_builder_headingtheme”][/siteorigin_widget]

Weight gain is a symptom of menopause that’s often attributed to alterations in hormone levels and a slower metabolism.

In addition to experiencing a decrease in calorie needs during menopause, some women undergo height loss, which could contribute to an increase in body mass index (BMI).

Although research on the ketogenic diet specifically is limited, some studies have found that decreasing carb intake may help prevent weight gain associated with menopause.

For example, one study in over 88,000 women found that following a low carb diet was linked to a decreased risk of postmenopausal weight gain.

Conversely, following a low fat diet was tied to an increased risk of weight gain among participants.

However, it’s important to note that the reduced-carb diets included in this study contained significantly more carbs than a standard ketogenic dietary pattern.

[siteorigin_widget class=”thinkup_builder_headingtheme”][/siteorigin_widget]

Many women experience increased hunger and cravings during the transition into menopause.

Several studies have found that the ketogenic diet may decrease hunger and appetite, which could be especially beneficial during menopause.

According to one 95-person study that included 55 women, following the ketogenic diet for 9 weeks increased levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which is a hormone that regulates appetite. Interestingly, this increase was observed in the female participants.

Similarly, another small study noted that a low calorie ketogenic diet decreased appetite and levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.

However, more studies are needed to evaluate how the ketogenic diet may affect cravings and appetite in menopausal women specifically.


Source: Healthline