What is the Best Diet
for Osteoporosis
Prevention and Treatment?

Diet for Osteoporosis Eating a healthy diet for osteoporosis prevention is so important, especially if you have any risk factors for osteoporosis. You are what you eat definitely holds true when it comes to osteoporosis prevention and treatment. And, if you're already living with osteoporosis, what you eat can certainly improve or worsen your condition.

For Healthy Bones,
Forget the Milk!

One of the keys to designing a diet for osteoporosis prevention and treatment is to base your diet on fruits and vegetables. You were probably expecting me to say that your diet for osteoporosis should be based on lots of milk and dairy for calcium. It's true that calcium is vital to bone health - for more information, please read my page on calcium and osteoporosis. But, let me tell you why dairy is not the ideal source for calcium.

Milk and Osteoporosis - Why This Dairy Food is
Not Your Best Source of Calcium.

Foods are either acidic or alkaline - this refers to the pH of the food. When you consume a lot of foods that are acidic (which is what dairy is), your blood becomes acidic (metabolic acidosis). In response, your body attempts to neutralize this acidic condition. How does it do this? Well, it pulls calcium from your bones into the bloodstream (calcium is alkaline). The bottom line - if you eat a lot of acid-forming foods and your body is therefore chronically acidic, your bones will continue to lose calcium, making them weak and prone to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Any proper diet for osteoporosis prevention should then be fairly low in acidic foods.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
to Reduce Your Risk of Fractures!

In 2000, a study on osteoporosis and diet was published by researchers from the Department of Medicine and General Clinical Research Center, University of California in San Francisco. This study looked at the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in elderly women relative to their consumption of animal and vegetable foods. The findings indicated that hip fracture rates increased in women who ate more acidic foods (animal meats and dairy). Women whose diets were based on fruits and vegetables suffered from fewer fractures ( 1).

The take-away here is that, in order to have healthy bones, we should eat fewer highly acidic foods. So, what foods are acidic? First and foremost is animal protein. This includes all animal meats, milk and milk products. Other acidic foods include grains, many legumes, artificial sweeteners and most refined and processed foods. Foods that are alkaline - those foods you should make sure to base your diet on - include most fruits and vegetables, some nuts, tofu, and mushrooms. For a comprehensive list of acid/alkaline foods, click here .

So, here's my advice for the best diet for osteoporosis prevention and treatment:

  1. Limit your consumption of the following foods:
    • Animal protein (meats) - a good rule of thumb to help you figure how much to eat - for every serving of animal protein, you'll need to eat 3 servings of fruits or vegetables to neutralize the acid.
    • Dairy - milk, cheese, ice cream - get your calcium from dark, green, leafy vegetables or fortified juices instead. Consuming dairy foods does give you calcium, but calcium from animal sources is highly acidic, so the calcium you take in ends up getting cancelled out by the calcium you'll end up losing from your bones.
    • Artificial sweeteners and products made with artificial sweeteners - these are also highly acidic.
    • Highly processed foods - most are very acidic, but please read my page on dangerous food additives for even more reasons why you just shouldn't be eating these foods.
    • Grains - a good rule of thumb to help you figure how much to eat - for every serving of grains, you'll need to eat 2 servings of fruits or vegetables to neutralize the acid.
    • Soda pop - soda (especially cola and rootbeer) contains phosphoric acid, which has been shown to contribute to osteoporosis.
    • Caffeinated beverages - refer to my page on caffeine and osteoporosis for more detailed information.
    • Alcohol - alcohol in moderate amounts may be protective (beer has been found to be particularly good.) The key is to drink in moderation (a glass per day)!
  2. Base your diet on the foods in my list of healthy foods and make sure to increase consumption of the following foods:
    • Fruits and vegetables - Fruits and vegetables contain magnesium, which has been found to be vital to bone health (for more details, please read my page on magnesium and osteoporosis). Many of these foods also contain boron, a trace element which has been found to improve bone health. In particular, the following fruits and vegetables are beneficial to bone health in the following ways:
      • Yellow and orange vegetables: Winter squashes and carrots are great, as are dark green leafy vegetables like Kale. These vegetables are all high in beta-carotine, which has been found to increase absorption of nutrients and helps build strong joints.
      • Dark green leafy vegetables: Kale, collards, spinach, and chard are just a few. These vegetables contain beta-carotine, but are also are quite high in calcium - make these vegetables your main calcium source!
      • Sea vegetables - do you enjoy Asian foods with seaweeds? Good for you - they're high in magnesium and other minerals your bones love.

  "Here Are Some Wonderful Resources...
These 3 books get rave reviews - if you want to learn to eat a diet that will help prevent or treat osteoporosis, these books will serve as valuable guides!

In addition to eating a healthy diet for osteoporosis prevention and treatment, you may want to consider supplements such as calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, or strontium. To learn all about these, including recommended daily dosages, refer to my page on supplements for osteoporosis (to purchase high-quality, low-cost supplements, check out iHerb). Also, be sure to include healthy exercise in your day (read my page on exercise for osteoporosis for ideas).

Finally, remember to check back often (you can sign up for my RSS feed to get regular updates) - as I uncover more helpful information on preventing and treating osteoporosis, I will be sure to update my site!

RN, Certified Wellness Coach

1. Frassetto, Lynda A., Todd, Karen M., Morris, R. Curtis, Jr., and Sebastian, Anthony, Worldwide Incidence of Hip Fracture in Elderly Women: Relation to Consumption of Animal and Vegetable Foods, Journal of Gerontology: MEDICAL SCIENCES Copyright 2000 by The Gerontological Society of America 2000, Vol. 55A, No. 10, M585-M592 M585

Related Articles on Natural Treatment for Osteoporosis:

Strontium for Osteoporosis - An Effective Osteoporosis Treatment.
Strontium Supplements - The Best Information On Treating Osteoporosis With Natural Strontium!
Strontium Ranelate - An Alternative Treatment for Osteoporosis.
Calcium and Osteoporosis - Learn How Calcium Affects Your Bones.
Supplements for Osteoporosis - Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements are Vital To Bone Health!
The Vitamin D Osteoporosis Connection - What You Need To Know About How Vitamin D Affects Your Bones.
Magnesium and Osteoporosis - For Healthy Bones, Make Sure To Include Magnesium In Your Diet.
Whole Body Vibration Therapy. - An Effective Natural Treatment for Osteoporosis!

Return from Diet for Osteoporosis to Natural Treatment for Osteoporosis.

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