The Natural Beauty Show discuss menopause
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Weight gain while going through the menopause can seem inevitable for many women, but doctors have advised that by eating lots of one macronutrient daily, they can slow down and possibly halt extra midlife pounds. It’s a food group that has long been hailed “critical” for everyone looking to lose weight and grow muscle but during the menopause, experts recommended women up their intake.
“If women don’t have good quality protein every day, the decrease in muscle mass that occurs as oestrogen levels drop is accelerated,” said Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Human Nutrition and Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
This decline in oestrogen is linked to decreased muscle mass and bone strength, so consuming more protein could aid weight gain significantly.
Registered dietitian Lauren Panoff added: “This is one reason that protein is a critical part of the diet, to combat these effects – in addition to engaging in regular physical activity.”
Guidelines currently advise that women over 50 eat 20–25g of high-quality protein per meal or 0.45–0.55g per pound of body weight per day.
And according to Healthline, the recommended macronutrient distribution range for protein is 10–35 percent of total daily calories.
Panoff recommended making high-quality protein a part of every meal rather than just once or twice a day, as this has been shown to promote muscle repair and growth.
“It’s especially important to not skimp on protein after a workout when it can contribute to building muscle mass,” she warned.
“You don’t need to fear looking like a bodybuilder merely from working out and eating protein.
“An average day’s protein consumption might include five or six ounces, or around 20-25 grams, of high-quality protein spaced evenly throughout meals and snacks.”
She suggested starting the day with a protein-loaded breakfast.
“An excellent place to start is to incorporate protein sources into your diet in a more balanced way throughout the day, starting with breakfast,” she explained.
“Many of us often load up with protein in the morning, but not again until dinner time.”
High-protein foods include:
Lean meats – beef, lamb, veal, pork
Poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, goose,
Fish and seafood – fish, prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams
Greens – lentils, beans, green peas
Dairy products – milk, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese
Women can also add protein powders or smoothies to their diet for an added protein boost
From extensive research, there is also evidence that certain foods can help relieve some other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, poor sleep and low bone density.
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