Are You Confused About Conflicting Dietary News?

coloured vegetables, dietary news

Hardly a day goes by without another news report on a diet and dietary practises. In fact, sometimes it appears in complete contrast to the day before.

This can be confusing and we can be forgiven for giving up on it all!

Take these two articles for example from the New Zealand Herald:

  1. Diet that cuts out fat may lead to an early death
  2. Five-a-day fruit and vegetable theory debunked

Often the science is correct but it’s been re-written in a new context to make it more newsworthy. And of course, they need a headline.

Let’s take these two stories for example:

1. Reducing fat intake may lead to an early death

The Canadian research spanned 18 countries and was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona. The data found that consuming high levels of fats cut mortality by up to 23 per cent.

The researchers said, “Our data suggests that low-fat diets put populations at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.” Those on low fat diets tend to eat too much stodgy food like bread, pasta and rice. Eating in this way caused them to miss out on vital nutrient, the experts said.

“Getting the balance of fats and carbohydrates right was about achieving a ‘sweet spot’ which was best for health”, they added.

I’ve highlighted the word balance as that is the MenoMe® philosophy of health, starting with a woman’s hormones. We’re all about happy, healthy hormones. To help this end make this a mantra you live by.


Avoid plain white processed foods with “empty” calories such as sugar and flour.

2. Five-a-day fruit and vegetable theory debunked

When reading the headline of the second article, “Five-a-day fruit and vegetable theory debunked” you might wonder. “Wow, shouldn’t I eat fruit and vegetables then? I’m confused!”

Actually, all it says is that eating four 80g serves gives you the same benefit as eating 5+ serves a day. For public health messages to mass populations of people the messaging has to be very plain, simple and clear.

The 5+ a day campaign has been very successful at communicating the importance of eating fruit and vegetables.

It cleverly uses a hand, with five fingers to communicate so that even children get it. But sadly it seems that many families cannot afford five serves of fruit and veges a day. Not to worry, because four could be enough. Well, at least statistically, five gave no more benefit over four in this study.

Our approach at MenoMe® is that fruit in moderation and loads of colourful vegetables as part of a balanced diet is the best “medicine”.

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.