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.
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.
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.
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:
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!.
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
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