According to author and Health educator Anne-Louise Gittleman, “Symptoms like depression, mood swings, and even weight gain may have just as much to do with your diet as with perimenopause itself. These symptoms often seem to go away by themselves when you switch to a blood sugar or hormone-balancing eating plan.”
All carbohydrates, simple and complex, get converted by the body into glucose. Glucose fuels the body but it’s also responsible for spiking blood sugar.
The difference between simple and complex carbs is the rate at which they impact blood sugar. Simple carbohydrates rapidly convert into glucose and trigger a sharp rise in blood sugar, which triggers a sharp rise in insulin, and then fat storage of any excess. This is one reason why people who eat low-fat, high-carb diets gain weight even though they aren’t eating a lot of fat.
In perimenopause and menopause, the change in hormones actually shifts the way that the body is able to handle carbohydrates. Estrogen is not as abundant, and it’s estrogen that helps offset insulin and keep glucose from being turned into fat. Interestingly, we know that fat is metabolically active (produces estrogen), so one reason the body may make fat storage easier is to provide menopausal women with an alternate source of estrogen!
What to do? Gittleman suggests moving away from a low-fat diet of 55 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent protein, and 25 percent (or less) fats toward a hormone-regulating diet of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fats. The result should be more stable blood sugar (which eases mood imbalance, anxiety, depression and inflammation) and less excess carbs being turned into body fat!
Do you need help figuring out how to make hormone-balancing meals? Book an Initial Consultation and let’s talk about it.