Foods that can make menopause fatigue worse


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward


19 October 2020

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I take a look at foods that can make your fatigue worse.

Last week, I talked about fabulous foods that help your energy, and give you a really good sustained boost. But there is a range of foods that make our fatigue worse after we've eaten or drunk them.

Worst foods for menopause fatigue

The problem is when we're tired, we want a quick fix. We want something that's going to give us a quick burst of energy to help us along during the day.

These foods tend to be high-sugar foods and high-carbohydrate food. And all they do is shoot your blood sugar levels up which makes you feel better. You think, "Oh, I feel, I've got a bit more energy." But very quickly, your blood sugar levels will plummet, and that will make you feel worse.

When your blood sugar levels spike then fall quickly, you can be left feeling more tired and hungrier than you were before. There are several food culprits to be mindful of, these include:

Shop-bought energy bars

These are often touted as being healthy. But if you look at the list of ingredients, very often, sugar, honey, sucrose, and glucose are right at the top of the list.

So, these will give you very little benefit, if any, at all. And they will most certainly spike your blood sugars levels and then cause them to crash quickly.

What you can try instead:

You can make your own. Not only are they healthier, but they are also cheaper.

Look on our Food Hub for lots of lovely recipes for energy bars and energy balls.

Here are a few you can try:

Cinnamon and Chia Seed Energy Balls

Chocolate Orange Boost Balls

I love the cinnamon and chia seed ones. And I often make those and have just one as a little snack whenever I need some extra energy.

White pasta, white rice, and white bread

These are pure carbohydrates. They are broken down very quickly. And yes, they will give you a quick boost, but you will get a very quick energy slump afterward.

What you can try instead:

All you need to do is swap to wholemeal varieties. They take a lot longer to be digested. They release their energy slowly, and you will feel fuller for longer.

Muffins

These popular breakfast treats are usually packed full of sugar and processed fats, so they really don't help at all. Again they will give you a quick boost but also a quick energy crash.

What you can try instead:

Again, you can make your own, with wholemeal flour, with a lot less sugar, and you can put sustaining foods in them such as nuts, and seeds, and a little bit of dried food.

You could try making the Banana and Nut Muffins from our Food Hub, these are good for a nice energy-boosting treat.

Frozen Pizza

These are full of hydrogenated and possibly bad fats, and they are very high in carbohydrates.

What you can try instead:

Again, you can make your own. You can make the carbohydrate base a lot thinner. You can put more vegetables on them instead of the cheese. Now, again, you're going to get sustained blood sugar levels, and they're a lot fewer calories as well, which is a very good thing, too.

Cereal

These are often bad because, for many of them, sugar is the number one ingredient. And they tend to be just nothing but carbohydrates as well.

What you can try instead:

You can make your own granola or muesli. We've got some lovely recipes on our Food Hub such as:

Coconut & Almond Granola
Homemade Muesli with Almond Milk

Another really good one is just good old real porridge. Again, these types of cereals are going to keep your blood sugar stable for much longer, and you're going to feel better for longer.

Flavoured yoghurt

So many people think yoghurt is healthy and in the main, it is, if you eat the right kind. But flavoured yoghurts, again, very often, sugar is the number one ingredient, and these tend not to contain a lot of healthy bacteria. So, they're not even going to help your digestion.

My Self-Care Tip: My favourite yoghurt recipe for energy in the morning

Instead of flavoured yoghurt packed with sugar, why not make your own using my favourite recipe for a healthy and tasty energy boost in the morning:

Drinks to be aware of

As well as foods, there are several drinks which can affect your energy levels during menopause, these include:

Caffeine

Caffeine is notorious. It will give you a big hit, but what happens is a few hours down the line, you need another big hit, so you have another drink of coffee.

I know for so many women going through the menopause, that their first drink of the day is a cup of coffee or tea. And that is going to create problems for the rest of the day because you're going to keep needing a big hit to deal with the lows that you get after drinking coffee.

Alcohol, fizzy drink, and fruit juice

Other drinks that can be bad for you are things like alcohol, fizzy drinks, and fruit juices.

I know a lot of people think that pure fruit juices and smoothies are really healthy. But because there's no fibre in them, you've basically thrown away the good fibre that's in these fruits, and you're left with a very high-sugar drink, even though it may be healthy in terms of the vitamin and mineral content. So, I tend to not recommend these drinks during the menopause.

Remember to drink plenty of plain water…

Dehydration is going to cause fatigue! And for those of you that have been following for a while, you know how often I go on about water. But really, when you're feeling tired, when you're feeling really low, when you've got a bit of anxiety thrown in as well, then that big glass of water is going to make a huge amount of difference.

So, I hope you found this helpful. These foods are not good for us, but they can all be substituted with very easy and tasty alternatives that will make you feel much better in the long term.

If any of you have your own tips, or foods, or recipes that you find work really well to give you a lovely, gentle boost when you feel fatigued, then please, do share them with us.

Until next week, take care.

Menopause Support can provide support to the body through all stages of the Menopause but is especially useful when broad range of symptoms such as hot flushes, irritability, tiredness, pains and aches, vaginal dryness etc kick in.

  • Made from fermented soya beans
  • Support for all stages of the menopause
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A herbal dietary supplement containing soy isoflavones, magnesium and hibiscus extract for all stages of the menopause.

TIP: Read why so many women recommend Menopause Support for before, during & after the menopause

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