Can the keto diet help with menopause?

Menopause is a natural process that marks the stopping of the menstrual cycle mostly due to age, and a sharp decline in the reproductive hormonal levels. However, menopause is characterized by the coming in of symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances. While menopause can be difficult to cope up with, it is suggested that reaching out to a professional and following a proper guideline can be of great help for fighting menopause. Although you cannot cure it, you can always ease the symptoms.

Easing menopause symptoms is related to consuming a high fat Ketogenic diet. Nonetheless, health professionals have always recommended following the Ketogenic diet depending on the age and symptoms. This is usually because it may or may not suit you.

What is a Ketogenic high fat diet?

Ketogenic high fat diet refers to the consumption of fewer carbohydrates and more fat.[1] This type of fat directly aims at using all the fat levels of your body. As a result, low-fat diets do not seem to work out more if you require more energy. These can prove to be extremely effective for boosting the sports performance of women and also contribute to weight loss.

If your body is not accustomed to high fat intake, it can be a little problematic to deal with it. People involved in athletics and exercise and resistance training mostly are involved with Ketogenic high-fat diets.

Can a change in diet bring changes to the body?

Women undergoing menopause fail to understand that a minor change in their diet and lifestyle can prove to be extremely effective for easing the symptoms. If you are consuming a high-fat diet, it will eventually lead to a major hike in the insulin levels, thereby storing fat, leading to inflammation and other hormonal imbalance issues.[2]

Most women undergo severe hormonal imbalance that can cause several issues such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, irregular periods, and more. Chronic stress and anxiety are yet other problems caused due to the onset of menopause.[3]

A high-fat Ketogenic diet can, however, be useful for juxtaposing the drawbacks and boosting the benefits.

How can a Ketogenic diet be helpful?

The ketogenic diet, as stated, tends to have several benefits that can help to bring about a balance in the body. Some of the prominent benefits of Ketogenic diet to ease the symptoms of menopause include the following.[4]

·       Combats unnecessary cravings

During the menopause process, most people have an urge to eat. Increased hunger and craving are quite common. But studies have shown that following a Ketogenic diet pattern can help lower hunger and appetite.

One of the studies conducted showed that following a Ketogenic diet can help reduce the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, thereby reducing appetite.[5] Nonetheless, the studies related to the effectiveness of the Ketogenic diet in suppressing hunger needs to be done more to decide the effectiveness.

·       Burns fat

No matter how much you try, weight loss has become a difficult thing to cope up with.[6] Losing weight is extremely important during the menopause process to ensure living a healthy life. The ketogenic diet is said to regulate hunger hormones such as insulin and leptin, thereby keeping down the level of hunger hormone or ghrelin. Since your craving reduces, you will be able to lose weight at a faster rate.

Many studies over time have shown the relation of weight gain with menopause. Decreased carbohydrate intake will eventually help in losing weight at a faster rate. Another study has shown that a low-fat diet can increase the risk of weight gain.

·       Better insulin sensitivity

As stated, menopause can disturb your hormone level. Apart from interfering with sex hormones, it also decreases insulin sensitivity. This can, however, be a problem because your body won’t be able to use it properly. Insulin is one of the main hormones of the body responsible for transporting sugar from the blood to cells.[7]

Studies have shown the positive impact of the Ketogenic diet in increasing blood sugar control. Another research[8] has shown that following the Ketogenic diet for 12 weeks can help boost insulin level and sensitivity in women suffering from endometrial or ovarian cancer.

But the fact whether the diet can have the same effect in cancer during the menopause period is still unclear. Reducing carb intake can lower the risk of hormonal imbalance, thereby being helpful for menopause. However, there is a high risk of hot flashes involved, which is why one should be careful.

Does it have any side effects?

As mentioned above, the Ketogenic diet to ease menopause symptoms isn’t for everybody. While some may benefit from it, some may suffer because of it. Therefore, one must take care of it effectively.

While the Ketogenic diet helps to ease the symptoms of menopause, in some cases, it might increase the levels of cortisol, stress hormone in the body. Too much cortisol in the body is responsible for weight gain, high blood pressure, weakness, and bone loss. While on the one hand, it is suggested to lower weight by controlling cravings, on the other, it tends to promote weight gain.

Apart from that, the increase in the level of the stress hormone may also contribute to increasing estrogen (the sex hormone) level in the body, known as estrogen dominance. If estrogen becomes more than progesterone, there will be a problem in balancing both. As a result, it may prove to be harmful to your body.

Increased levels of estrogen can further lead to increased production of thyroid hormone, contributing to weight gain, constipation, and low energy. Therefore, women have a lot of problems maintaining their weight during the menopause period in the longer run.

It is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional before bringing any changes to the diet.[9]

A ketogenic diet will only bring about temporary results for the time being. However, in the long run, it may not prove to be that effective. Nonetheless, the Ketogenic diet tends to have a lot of benefits, such as increased insulin sensitivity and reduced weight.[10] In some cases, it might also throw the body into ketosis, which is why it is necessary to consult the professional.


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