Today, we're diving into a topic that's personal to me and crucial for all you amazing women navigating menopause – the often underestimated importance of upping your fiber game.
My story: Do I look like someone with a total cholesterol level over 300? Well, appearances can be deceiving, but it's true. I'm here to share my journey and why paying attention to how you live during and after menopause is crucial. I've seen the impact firsthand, and it's time to talk about it.
On both sides of my family, high cholesterol is like a family heirloom, and perimenopause started nudging my numbers upward. Menopause, however, kicked those numbers into high gear, and it honestly freaked me out!
Despite some decent lipid labs and a reassuring cardiac calcium scan showing zero blockage, I discovered my lipoprotein A (Lp(a)) was high, indicating a higher genetic risk for cardiovascular disease.
Postmenopausal and armed with this news, I took inventory of my lifestyle, even though I already lived healthier than average. We can always do better, right? Let me know in the comments how you're stepping up your game!
This introspection led me to focus on my fiber intake, realizing I was only getting about half of the recommended 25-30 grams daily. As a low-carb advocate, I've always cycled carbs to support hormones, making fiber a crucial consideration.
Why Fiber Matters around Menopause Fiber, found in plant-based foods, is a type of carbohydrate the body can't digest. It offers a range of health benefits, from supporting digestive health to regulating blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and helping maintain a healthy weight.
Navigating peri- and postmenopause involves significant changes, from a slower metabolism and muscle loss to increased sensitivity to stress and heightened fat storage. As we face these changes that we can see and feel, invisible health conditions like poor bone health and high cholesterol also become more prevalent.
High-Fiber, Low-Carb Foods: Now, let's get to the actionable part – adding more fiber. There are two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance that carries out excess cholesterol and helps balance blood sugars. On the other hand, insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool, preventing constipation.
To help you make informed choices to include more fiber, in my YouTube, "How to Eat 30 Grams of Fiber a Day", I go over 16 high-fiber, low-carb foods. I also share how I implement some of these options into my day. So make sure to check that out!
Remember, consistency is key! Track your amounts for a few days and aim for 25-30 grams of fiber daily. You'll see below one of my days when I started tracking fiber. Don't hesitate to experiment, but ease into it, finding what works for you. Fiber works wonders with water, so also please stay hydrated!
Resources I mention in the YouTube include:
Chia Seeds: https://amzn.to/3RRgVG8
Ground Flaxseeds: https://amzn.to/3NC3Qy9
Psyllium Husk Powder: https://amzn.to/482ToaU
Protein powder with fiber: https://amzn.to/3NAxGTs
Hope you're feeling fired UPP!