If you're going through perimenopause and suffering from brain fog and skin looking a little lacklustre, it could be that a minor tweak to your daily diet could make the world of difference.

As we move through perimenopause, incorporating good fats into our diets is essential.

We're a generation that has probably grown up surrounded by messaging that fats are the enemy. But the fact is, not eating enough good fats in your daily diet could potentially aggravate your perimenopause symptoms.

What is important to understand is that not all fats are created equal. Whilst we don't like to demonise foods, it's true that some fats are good and will support our health in perimenopause and there are others that, well, won't help so much and may even make us feel a whole lot worse.

How Do Good Fats Help Perimenopause Symptoms?

Good fats help with brain function and health.

So if you are suffering from brain fog, maybe all you need is to include some good fats into your daily diet.

Good fats also help maintain joint health by keeping your joints lubricated.

In perimenopause our skin can become dry and lose a bit of that youthful glow, so getting good fats into you will help reduce dry skin and bring back the glow.

Good fats help balance your blood sugar levels and have a big impact on weight management. 

With low oestrogen levels your body finds it harder to clear sugar from your blood as efficiently.

This is a big one!

Balancing your blood sugar levels helps prevent insulin resistance. We have written an article just on this topic, you can find it here.

Balancing your blood sugar levels will help reduce peri symptoms and help manage your weight. A key nutrient to prevent insulin resistance in peri is Magnesium Glycinate which is why we included it in our Peri Chai Latte and Peri Hot Choccy blends.

Good fats are satiating so will keep you feeling fuller for longer, maintain nice steady energy (rather than having those mid afternoon crashes) and keep the sugar cravings at bay.

Peri is a time when we need hormone function to be functioning as optimally as possible. Good fats are essential for hormone production and maintenance of proper hormone function. 

The Three Types of Fats

  • Good Fats -  these are unsaturated fats which come in two forms which are great for our health: Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats.  Foods high in good fats include avocados, olive oil, nuts & seeds and oily fish.

  • Bad Fats - these are are trans fats which increase the risk of disease, even when eaten in small quantities. Eek! Steer well clear!

  • Foods containing trans fats exist primarily in processed foods made with trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil. Trans fats being no good for us is one thing that nearly all health practitioners will agree on.  It's also this, near universal, agreement that is why it is no longer used in a lot of packaged foods.

    Here is a great article  that talks about which types of foods we may still find trans fats (It's dated for 2022 but likely to be pertinent to this year).

  • Saturated fats - whilst saturated fats aren’t as harmful as trans fats, when over consumed can negatively impact our health.

  • Foods high in saturated fats include red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream.

    Some plant-based fats like coconut oil and palm oil are also rich in saturated fat.

    As coconut oil is also high in MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) and other nutrients that have been studied and suggested that may help improve cognitive function, metabolism, and hair and skin health.

    Consume in moderation.

    Which Fats Should I be Eating In Perimenopause?

    Get ALLLL the good fats into you!  Here are some examples of good fats you could look to include with every meal:

    • Eggs - we absolutely LOVE our eggs. They are a great source of whole protein packed full of vitamins and minerals. Eggs are mostly unsaturated fats and are made up of about 28% saturated fats.

    • Fatty Fish - think salmon, mackerel, tuna (fresh) and sardines. You will not get any fat from tinned tuna as it’s removed in processing and replaced with water and in general poor quality oils. If you're able, try and have fish three times a week or more.

    • Olive Oil - have it drizzled on a salad or roasted veggies.

    • Raw Nuts and Seeds - especially those higher in Omega 3 that reduce inflammation e.g. chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts. Try to reach for the ones that are unroasted and have no added salt.

    • Full Fat Yoghurt - great for gut health and fat soluble vitamins.

    • Avocados - Avocados are filled with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that support our overall health. They are a great one to have daily as they are high in monounsaturated fats. Half an avocado makes for a great snack to reduce the afternoon sugar cravings.

      Suggestion: squeeze lemon or lime juice on half an avo and grind black pepper all over for a quick yum snack.

    • Coconut Oil - this oil is a plant based saturated fat that is high in MCT (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) and other nutrients. Numerous studies suggest that these may help improve cognitive function, metabolism, and hair and skin health.  As it’s a saturated fat it is recommended to have in moderation.

    • Dark Chocolate - 70% plus cocoa-based chocolate contains good fats and is a great alternative to sweet treats like biscuits and cakes. Oh hey, Peri Hot Choccy 😉 

    • Olives - are not only full of good fats but a great bitter food to stimulate digestive juices before eating and improve digestion.

    • Good Quality Mayonnaise  homemade is always best as you can include organic eggs and olive oil. If like us though, you don’t have the time then look for a store bought one with no added sugar, sunflower oil. We like The Undivided Food Co. for their good quality mayo made with olive oil and real eggs.

    We hope this article has helped eliminate the confusion around fats and convinced you to eat the good fats daily to help kick those peri symptoms in the girl balls!

    January 11, 2023 — Angela Greely

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