Low Carb Diets and Menopause
The keto diet puts your body into an alternative state of metabolism called ketosis. At this stage, your body uses fat for energy, converting it into ketones, which are then used instead of sugar. In order to induce ketosis, you need to drastically cut down carbs and replace it with healthy fats. Such a diet that can help foster weight loss and help you achieve a moderate weight can help women going through menopause.
Most women experience weight gain around the menopause stage, which could be due to changes in hormone levels and a decelerated metabolism. A 2017 study compared four different diets to find out how they were effective in managing menopause symptoms. Compared to the Mediterranean, low fat, and other diets, a low carb diet was found to be more effective. The researchers found that individuals who consumed a diet low in carbs were at a lower risk of postmenopausal weight gain compared to those who followed other diets.
During menopause, women also tend to experience an increase in appetite or food cravings. Per researchers, Low Carb diets like Keto might help reduce hunger. A 2019 study conducted with obese women participants sought to analyze the link between changes in appetite and the keto diet. The results suggested that the keto diet increased the levels of appetite-regulating hormone in females. The study also found the opposite effect amongst male participants.
Also, insulin sensitivity tends to decrease during menopause. Insulin- the hormone responsible for transporting sugar from the bloodstream to the cells, has been demonstrated to be balanced while on a low-carb diet like the Keto. Several studies have shown that cutting down carbs can lead to lowered insulin requirements and therefore aid insulin sensitivity. Per a 2018 study, the ketogenic diet helped improve insulin sensitivity in women diagnosed with endometrial and ovarian cancer, which is more common among women post-menopause.
Another study demonstrated that a low-calorie keto diet helped lower appetite and the hormone Ghrelin- which helps stimulate appetite. Thus, it is evident that Low Carb diets like Keto can help improve insulin sensitivity, prevent weight gain, and lower cravings and appetite.
Low carb diets encourage weight loss and thereby help with some symptoms of menopause, including weight gain. While a Low Carb diet cannot help reverse menopause, it can definitely help ease some of its symptoms. We recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new diet.