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Foods to Avoid During Menopause (AndThose You Should Be Eating)

Maintaining a healthy diet is always important, but doing so can play an even bigger role during menopause. You may be surprised to learn that some foods can actually make unwanted symptoms such as hot flashes and difficulty sleeping even worse. Not to mention, some people experience unwanted weight gain as hormone levels fluctuate.

Let’s take a closer look at which foods to avoid during menopause and which you should incorporate into your diet.

foods to avoid during menopause

Spicy Foods

If you usually like to add a little spice to your meal, you may want to reconsider it. Spicy foods can cause you to sweat and may lead to an increase in hot flashes. You may want to try different seasonings to learn which ones worsen your symptoms and which are better tolerated. With some experimenting, you may discover other blends that are better for you.


Many people consume caffeine on a daily basis. If this sounds like you, you should be aware that studies show that women who consume caffeine are more likely to experience hot flashes. Not to mention, caffeine may make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. If menopause symptoms are already making it difficult to sleep, then you don’t want to consume anything that would worsen it. You may want to swap out caffeinated soft drinks with juices or switch to decaf if you’re an avid coffee drinker.

Junk Food

It’s not unusual for women to experience more cravings during menopause. If you notice that you’re grabbing a handful of chips or candy, consider swapping it out for a healthier snack. Processed foods are usually high in sugar and sodium, which can worsen menopause symptoms such as bloating.

High-Fat Meats

High-saturated fat meat such as bacon work to lower serotonin levels. When that occurs, you may have more mood changes. Because menopause already takes a toll on your mood, it’s in your best interest to avoid foods that may make you more irritable.


Some women claim that drinking alcohol makes them experience more hot flashes. You may want to consider keeping your alcohol intake moderate (one drink or less per day). Not to mention, heavy drinking can put you at risk for various health conditions.

Discover Your Trigger Foods

You may respond differently to certain foods. If you notice that your menopause symptoms worsen at different times, you may want to consider keeping a food diary. It can help you discover foods that trigger unwanted symptoms, and you can make adjustments accordingly.

Which Foods Should You Eat During Menopause?

Now that we’ve discovered what you shouldn’t eat, we should also discuss the types of foods that you should incorporate into your daily diet. You may notice that the suggested foods during menopause are also the types of food that would benefit anybody who wants to live a healthy lifestyle.


Focus on eating foods high in fiber, such as pasta and whole-grain bread. It is recommended that women should have 21 grams of fiber per day.


Calcium helps keep your bones strong and healthy. You should consume two to four servings of calcium per day. You can find calcium in dairy products, broccoli, legumes, and calcium supplements.


Make sure that you’re eating plenty of iron. Some examples of iron-rich foods are red meat, nuts, and leafy green vegetables. Getting three servings of iron per day is recommended to maintain a healthy diet.

Why a Healthy Diet Matters During Menopause

The truth is a healthy diet matter to anybody. However, because menopause brings some unwanted symptoms, such as sleep difficulty, weight gain, and hot flashes, you may quickly realize that your diet plays a significant role in managing those symptoms.

Other General Guidelines

In addition to the food sources mentioned above, you should also focus on drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables. Ensure that you’re reading the labels of foods to ensure that you know what is in the food you are eating. Pay close attention to how much fat you consume, as it should make up about 24-35% of your diet, with saturated fat being less than 7% of your daily caloric intake.

Remember that some “diet foods” are high in sugar and sodium and may not be the best for you. Maintaining a balanced diet will help you manage your weight, nourish your body, and possibly avoid unwanted menopause symptoms.

You should talk to your doctor or dietician about which foods are right for you. Making small changes to your diet may help reduce some menopause symptoms and help you feel better long-term.


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