Final analysis involved over 14,000 participants, including 914 who went through menopause naturally between the age of 40 and 65, with the average being 51. Every additional portion of refined carbs was associated with reaching menopause 1.5 years earlier after taking account of factors. Each additional portion of legumes and oily fish was associated with delay of menopause by 3 or more years. Higher intake of zinc and B6 were also associated with later menopause.
Similar results were found with analysis of particular food groupings. Meat was associated with menopause onset almost a year earlier than vegetarians. Extra portions of savory snacks was also associated with earlier menopause by 2 years. Higher intake of fish was linked with later menopause of over 3 years, and legumes 1.5 years. Eating grapes and poultry among childless women was associated with later menopause.