From Osteopenia to Osteoporosis…how to avoid them? Which foods to consume, which ones to avoid?

Hi everyone, this topic is really important please take 5 minutes to read and learn how to avoid this horrible disease of the century!

If your body is deprived of calcium for a long time, bone diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis can develop. Osteopenia occurs when the bone mineral density is lower than it should be but not low enough for osteoporosis to occur. If there aren’t sufficient levels of calcium in the blood to keep the heart, nerves and muscles functioning properly, the body will take from the bones and that is where bone minerals and mass will be lost. If the calcium is not replaced to the bones, over a period of time a far more serious bone disease may develop, osteoporosis leaving the bones weak and prone to dangerous fractures of hips, wrist and spine.

Our bone density reaches its peak at about age 30 so it is imperative to keep consuming sufficient levels of calcium and vitamin D, which enables calcium to be absorbed.

To avoid osteopenia and osteoporosis: have a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and omega 3! Omega 3 is known to help women in menopause to avoid loss of bone mass.

Here are essential foods that help you fight osteoporosis:

1-      Milk. We need 1000 mg of calcium daily and 1 cup of 250 ml contains around 300 mg of calcium!

2-      Yogurt and cheese are also very high in calcium. Some yogurt are also enriched with vitamin D so they’re a good option of snack!

3-      Sardines and salmons are rich in calcium, vitamin D and omega 3! To be included weekly in your menus!

4-      Dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are also rich in calcium. Studies in theUniversityofBernshow that if we ingest big quantities of those, our bone density increases by 3%!

5-      Soya beans are known to fortify our bones. They contain isoflavones which are known to have a similar structure as estrogen and because of that they help our bones absorb minerals like calcium.

6-      Walnuts and almonds are rich in omega 3 and calcium, very recommended daily consumption!

7-      Flaxseeds: help our kidneys get rid of salt and water, so they’re good for our bones to keep calcium inside because salt is bad for osteoporosis. Also flaxseeds are rich in omega 3: Have 1 or 2 tablespoons daily sprinkled on your salad or just added to your stews and cakes!

Foods to avoid if you want to prevent or treat osteoporosis as they can interfere with calcium absorption:

1-      Salt: sodium increases the excretion of calcium from the bones

2-      Soft drinks: rich in phosphorous, too much of it inhibits the absorption of calcium

3-      Oxalic acid like in walnuts, spinach, chocolate and whole wheat cereals

4-      Coffee: Caffeine is diuretic leading calcium to be excreted thru urine. Don’t have more than 2 medium cups of coffee per day to avoid this

5-      Iron: excess foods rich in iron can interfere with calcium absorption

6-      Saturated fats: found in butter, meat and fast food eliminate calcium from our body

7-      Too much protein can reduce calcium in our body since calcium is used by our body when we ingest protein

- The rule is simple: You can consume those foods especially those rich in oxalic acid as they are super healthy but just don’t consume them together with calcium-rich foods and you are in the safe side!! Bone disease can also be prevented by cutting on alcohol and tobacco!

- Exercise daily if you can for 1 hour, get some sun in your face and hands daily for 15 minutes without cream and directly in the sun (not thru a closed window for instance) to ensure proper vitamin D and consume more of the foods that help you get more calcium, vitamin D and omega 3 and less of the ones that interfere in calcium absorption!

- Check with your doctor if you need some calcium+ vitamin D supplementation! Prevention is always better than treatment!

Do what you can…believe me it’s already more than 80% of the work!

Samia Khoury Dietitian

 

I am waiting for you to help you lose weight or consult you on health issues at my clinic in Lebanon or over the web wherever you live! Just contact me at 00 961 3 48 31 86 or via email to take an appointment live or online.

Email: samia.khoury@gmail.com

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