Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Menopause Diet

A woman with menopause should follow a healthy diet that is low in fat and cholesterol. Make sure there is adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet.

Recommended calcium and vitamin D intake:

  • 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day.
  • 400-600 IU of vitamin D per day.

General dietary measures include:
  • A soybean rich diet may help prevent menopause symptoms and osteoporosis.
  • Avoid excessive vitamin A.
  • Avoid spicy foods.
  • Calcium-rich foods include sardines (in oil), milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon, broccoli, soybean, and turnip greens.
  • Eliminate or at least reduce caffeine.
  • Check with your doctor about supplemental vitamins E, K, D, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Fruits and vegetables are great natural sources for these vitamins and minerals.

Other important general dietary measures include:
  • Control calories:
    • Eat just enough calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat quality fats:
    • Use virgin olive oil and other unsaturated, low-cholesterol fats.
  • Eat the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and protein:
    • Limit your fat intake to 20 or 30 percent, but don't substitute simple carbohydrates for fat.
    • Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
    • Up to 10% of the day's total calories from polyunsaturated fat.
    • Up to 20% of the day's total calories from monounsaturated fat
  • Avoid fad diets:
    • Eat a well-rounded diet instead.
    • Eat small, frequent meals.
    • Avoid large and heavy meals.
  • Limit cholesterol in diet:
    • To less than 200 milligrams a day.
  • Limit iron intake:
  • Eat enough dietary fiber:
    • Whole grains are best.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Reduce salt in your diet
    • Optimal: no more than 2 grams per day.
  • Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins:
  • Eat a diet that is rich in calcium.

Calcium Containing Food Sources
FoodServing SizeCalcium Per Serving
Sardines in oil3 oz370 mg
Milk1 cup290-300 mg
Swiss cheese1 oz (slice)250-270 mg
Yogurt1 cup240-400 mg
Canned salmon3 oz170-210 mg
American cheese1 oz (slice165-200 mg
Broccoli1 cup160-180 mg
Soybean curd (tofu)4 oz145-155 mg
Turnip greens1/2 cup, cooked100-125 mg
Ice cream1/2 cup90-100 mg
Kale1/2 cup, cooked90-100 mg
Cottage cheese1/2 cup80-100 mg
Corn bread2.5 inch square80-90 mg
Parmesan cheese1 Tbsp70 mg
Egg1 medium55 mg
Powdered milk1 tsp50 mg

Continue to Menopause Hot Flashes

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Menopause References
  1. Heinemann K, Ruebig A, Potthoff P, Schneider HP, Strelow F, Heinemann LA, Do MT. The Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) scale: a methodological review. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2004 Sep 2;2:45. [15345062]
  2. Obermeyer CM. Menopause across cultures: a review of the evidence. Menopause. 2000 May-Jun;7(3):184-92. [10810964]
  3. Zollner YF, Acquadro C, Schaefer M. Literature review of instruments to assess health-related quality of life during and after menopause. Qual Life Res. 2005 Mar;14(2):309-27. [15892422]
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