Menopause is the natural biological process that women experience when they stop menstruating for 12 months in a row and when the body no longer produces reproductive hormones. This is a physically stressful ordeal during which women undergo various body changes. Weight gain is caused by several factors during menopause: hormonal fluctuations, loss of muscle mass, insulin resistance, and poor sleep habits. Symptoms include mood swings and hot flashes, among others. Medical professionals prescribe diets to correct hormonal imbalances and reduce discomfort. One of the recommended diets for menopausal women is the well-known keto diet, which is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. However, there are side effects that could accompany the diet. According to a recent article on Healthline, there are some positives and negatives to adapting the keto diet after or during the sensitive phase of menopause. Lowers Insulin Sensitivity Low-fat diets and low-carbohydrate diets were compared in people who had type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to a study led by Harvard Medical School. While low-fat diets protect only heart health, low-carbohydrate diets helped reduce many things: insulin sensitivity, parameters that indicate the glycemic index, HDL, and body weight. However, maintaining a long-term diet remains a challenge for many. The study only looked at the benefits of insulin sensitivity in people on the ketogenic diet, and did not look at the response of postmenopausal and perimenopausal women. There is no study that says menopausal women in particular can reduce insulin resistance by consuming the keto diet.
The University of Melbourne conducted a study on 39 obese subjects who were followed the keto diet for eight weeks to understand if the diet helped regulate appetite. Once the eight-week cycle ended, they were reintroduced to the regular diet for two weeks. When the researchers measured the participants’ parameters after eight weeks, they found that leptin, the hormone that inhibits hunger, was present in large amounts compared to ghrelin, the hormone that activates hunger. Additionally, glucose was lower in participants after comparisons with results after two weeks of following the normal diet. Increases cortisol and estrogen When carbohydrates are drastically removed from the diet, this puts pressure on the body and increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels have a negative side effect in women going through menopause: increased estrogen levels. This causes an imbalance between the amounts of estrogen versus progesterone, the two important sex hormones. When a woman’s body produces both estrogen and cortisol in large amounts, it suppresses thyroid hormone and leads to weight gain. Therefore, weight loss, which is touted as the benefit of the keto diet, is not true, according to several studies. Causes Ketogenic Flu The inevitable side effects of the keto diet, collectively known as keto flu, could worsen menopausal symptoms. These include hair loss, mood swings, irregular sleep, and fatigue. The ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat diet that is often recommended for menopausal women to lose weight, but at what cost? MootikaLLC / Pixabay. [TagsToTranslate] menopause