Nutrition in Menopause

Learn more about the nutrition guidelines during peri-menopause and menopause, including information on osteoporosis prevention and management.


Nutrition needs vary between men and women, and across the lifespan. Dietitians are trained to help women in many nutrition-related areas, such as in pregnancy or sports nutrition. 

Perimenopause and Menopause 

Menopause is linked to changes in metabolism, reduced bone density, and increased risk of heart disease. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to choose a diet rich in nutrients but lower in caloric density. Think healthy fats, lean sources of protein, low-fat dairy or dairy alternatives, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also, physical activity plays a critical in supporting metabolism, maintaining muscle mass, and maintaining bone health. Below are some general guidelines:



Digestive Symptoms


Many women during and after menopause experience changes in their digestion, such as an increase in bloating, bowel discomfort, abdominal pain, and altered bowel patterns. This is thought also to be mediated by hormonal changes, as well as changes in your gut bacteria(your microbiome). Your gastrointestinal system, immune system, blood sugar levels, energy levels and overall health will benefit greatly from following the guidelines below:



Osteoporosis Prevention & Management


Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease predominantly affecting women. After the age of about 35, your bone density slowly starts to decrease. Ensuring adequate nutrition, in addition to resistance exercise can slow this process down.


Key nutrients that work together to support bone health include calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and protein. 

Calcium intake of 1200mg per day is recommended primarily from food sources, which include: dairy, plant-based milks, dark leafy green vegetables, almonds, tofu, legumes, and canned salmon with bones. Interestingly, some mineral waters contain small amounts of calcium. 

Vitamin D recommendations are 2000IU per day, and are very rare in the food supply. We can get Vitamin D from the sun, but during the winter months this is not possible in Calgary due to our latitude. Please take a daily supplement. 

The recommended amount of Magnesium is 320mg per day. Great food sources include green leafy vegetables (Ex. Spinach), legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Another bone-health relevant nutrient that has been gaining recent attention is Vitamin K2. This vitamin is not to be confused with Vitamin K1, and can be tricky to get in the diet, particularly if you are vegan or do not eat many fermented foods. Some vitamin D supplements have Vitamin K2 added, or you can enjoy it from the following food sources: Egg yolks, sauerkraut, natto (fermented soybean), chicken, cheese, butter, and beef liver. Note that while cheese and butter are great sources of K2, they are also high in saturated fat. Just another reason to practice balance, variety, and moderation!

Hope this information has been useful! Keep those bones healthy and strong! If you have any questions about nutrition in menopause or other areas of women’s health, please reach out and book an appointment with me. I am always happy to help inform and identify strategies to improve your health through nutrition!

Dan Neuman
Registered Dietitian 

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