February 8, 2023

Foods and Drinks to Avoid If You’re in Perimenopause

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Foods and Drinks to Avoid if You’re in Perimenopause

There are lots of symptoms in perimenopause that need to be aware of. Some symptoms can worsen if you eat the wrong foods. We’ve put together a list and details of some of the foods and drinks you need to avoid if you’re in perimenopause.

The following foods should be avoided or eaten in moderation during perimenopause since they can worsen symptoms:

  • Caffeine: This can lead to agitation, anxiety, and poor sleep.
  • Sugar: Weight gain and mood swings are both potential effects of sugar and processed carbs.
  • Alcohol: Can cause sleep disturbances and worsen hot flashes.
  • Salt: Can cause bloating and water retention.
  • Red meat and processed foods: Can make the body more inflammed.
  • Soy: Products made from soy may increase hormone levels

We break down each of these foods below and tell you why these must be avoided if you’re going through perimenopause.

Drinks to Avoid if You’re in Perimenopause


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The careful balance of hormones and neurotransmitters in the body can be upset by caffeine, a stimulant. Women may be more sensitive to the effects of coffee during perimenopause.

Coffee can worsen symptoms including irritability, anxiety, and sleep problems. Caffeine can disrupt the central nervous system’s regular operation, causing jittery and anxious feelings.

Additionally, coffee makes it harder to fall and stay asleep because it raises blood pressure and heart rate. This may result in tiredness and a diminished capacity to handle stress, which may exacerbate perimenopausal symptoms.

During perimenopause, limit or stay away from foods and drinks that contain caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks etc.).


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During perimenopause, drinking alcohol can really affect sleep and heat flashes. Alcohol can first help you sleep, but, alcohol can also mess up the regular sleep cycle. A poor sleep cycle causes you to feel tired, angry, and less ready to handle the mental and emotional challenges of perimenopause.

Alcohol might also make hot flashes worse and occur more often. Alcohol can cause a hot flashes by increasing blood flow to the skin.

Limit or avoid drinking during perimenopause in order to reduce symptoms. Lessen the chance of sleep disruption by drinking alcohol in moderation and avoid doing so right before bed.

Foods to Avoid if You’re in Perimenopause


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Sugar causes mood changes and weight gain. Sugar and refined carbs can be harmful to those going through perimenopause. It’s possible they can cause blood sugar spikes and falls, causing changes in energy and mood.

Sugar and other refined carbs like white flour quickly enter the system and raise blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels then drop quickly, which can cause feeling tired, irritated, and anxious.

Eating lots of sugar and processed carbohydrates will make you gain weight, which can make your perimenopause symptoms worse.

Excessive sugar intake might result in insulin resistance, which can promote fat storage. Weight gain in general can bring up other illnesses (example: diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer).

Red Meat

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Red meat and processed diets can cause inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate perimenopausal symptoms. The body’s normal response to injury or illness is inflammation. When it persists for an extended period of time, it can cause a variety of health issues.

Saturated fat, which is abundant in red meat, especially processed and preserved meat, can worsen inflammation in the body. Frequently heavy in sugar, salt, and bad fats, processed meals can contribute to the emergence of chronic inflammation. This can raise your risk of getting some types of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, among other health issues.

Inflammation can also make perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and joint pain worse. The delicate hormonal balance in the body can be upset by inflammation, which can cause a variety of symptoms.

Red meat and processed meals should be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether. Reducing consumption of this help lessen symptoms and lower the risk of inflammation. Pick items like fresh produce, healthy grains, nuts, and seeds that are high in anti-inflammatory ingredients instead. These meals can lessen symptoms, lower inflammation in the body, and enhance general health.

Soy Products

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Products made from soy contain phytoestrogens, which are chemically related to human estrogen and have similar physiological effects. Changes in hormone levels may result from this, which may have an impact on perimenopause symptoms.

Consuming soy products can cause some women’s estrogen levels to rise. It can also cause hot flashes and other symptoms to worsen. Other women can experience joint discomfort, mood fluctuations, and low energy as a result of soy products lowering estrogen levels.

Soy consumption can impact women’s bodies in different ways. For example, the amount and type of soy consumed can make a difference. A person’s genetic makeup and other aspects of their health can also make a difference.

Limit soy consumption or choose fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, and natto. These types of soy are less likely to affect hormone levels. It is advised to avoid or consume soy products in moderation if symptoms develop after doing so. You should also talk to your doctor or a qualified dietitian about your concerns.

Talk to Your Doctor!

If you’re not sure about what foods and drinks you need to avoid if you’re in perimenopause, check in with your doctor. Before making any dietary adjustments, it’s crucial to see a physician or a qualified dietician. Food impacts women’s bodies in various ways. Contact your healthcare provider to discuss the best course of action.

Join the Perimenopause community on It’sFetch! Share Your Story.

It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health-related content, note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content shared, should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician.

-Written by Paavana Varanasi

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