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Eating to Prevent Osteoporosis

Early, Continuous Prevention is Key


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Thank you so much for this article. For years, as an adult, I hated milk. But, because of Spark People, I have been drinking or eating calcium enriched foods daily. Even though I am handicapped I try to exercise daily. It helps with the osteo-arthritis. Yep, it hurts when I exercise, but I feel good afterwards.

My 72 y/o husband loves milk products and has all his life. I keep teasing him that he is a cereal killer by drowning all the flakes. Looking at the list of foods and drinks, it seems we've been on target for quite a few years. Thank you, again, SparkPeople! You are the best Report
I am 63 and have never liked milk. When I lived at home, when my mother made me drink it, I had to hold my nose to get it down. As an adult I only use a little in an occasional bowl of cereal or in some cooking like mashed potatoes, pudding, etc. I have been checked for osteoporosis twice and all is well. I had a cousin who was my age who loved milk. She only drank white milk. It is the only thing she drank. Well, she died in her early twenties from bone cancer. As a result I never worried about not getting enough milk. I do like an occasional glass of chocolate milk. It is great after exercising. Good balance of carbs, protein and fat for replenishing your body. Report
So happy to see some people commenting on animal protein and calcium LOSS in the body. Dr. Furhman (in his book EAT TO LIVE) discusses how eating a mostly vegetable- based diet can reduce how much calcium is lost from the body. Also, a lot of Asian countries (at least before the "Americanization" of their diets) have fewer cases of osteoporosis, but not necessarily because they ingest less calcium, but less animal protein.

Can't wait for these articles to start being based in research rather than "common" opinion...

I saw graphs of which countries had the highest rates of osteoporosis and which ones consume the most dairy per capita and they were almost identical. The countries that consume the most milk had the most osteoporosis. Calcium consumption is a poor predictor of osteoporosis. African countries that had low calcium intakes but did not consume dairy had low rates of osteoporosis even though women there consume far less calcium than most doctors here say is prudent. When I started to tell people this they all looked at me like I was crazy. Now other a lot of other people are noticing that milk doesn't do the body good (certainly not your bones!).

If the department of agriculture worked for comsumers instead of the food industries there would be warning labels on dairy products but because they are funded by industry the instead promote dairy. Report
Even cattle are smart enough to give up drinking milk when they reach adulthood. Ever see massive stud bulls suffering osteoporosis? Didn't think so. Dairy products CAUSE osteoporosis by acidificfying processes within the body that lead to NETT CALCIUM LOSS. The amount of calcium contained in dairy products is irrelevant if the human body reacts adversely to them, which is entirely the case. Report
and the thing that helps it along is exercise! Report
green leaved vegetables, beets, lentils and beans, seeds and nuts, especially almonds and sesame, potatoes are good non dairy sources of calcium and can be absorbed better than supplements or dairy foods which are problematic for some people. the greater the variety in your diet, the more likely it is that you are getting the range of nutrients that will help calcium be assimilated. just enjoy real, unprocessed food in its natural state and that will reflect in the state of your health and wellbeing. Report
Almost all of these tips boil down to just get more cow milk. This causes more problems than it solves. And cow milk is unhealthy, this is recognized by the physicians committee for responsible medicine. Don't you have any tips that don't involve drinking some other mammals milk, or eating products made from it? Report
One more out for sugar, some studies show it decreases phosphorous and causes calcium to leach from bones.

I second the RAW milk! Research that states that meat leaches calcium is based on isolated powdered proteins from soy, eggs and/or milk...not high quality grass-fed or organic meat products which are full of good CLA and naturally occurring vitamin A and D needed to utilize calcium effectively. When eating meat, I try to only buy the highest quality, and eat a 2-4 oz portion.

Another problem to consider is that many people in the US are buying non-fat and low-fat milk. But the fact is that whole milk contains the animal fat with all the vitamin A and D needed for proper assimilation of protein and calcium.

I know all this conflicting research is confusing. But logic tells me that natural foods, with as little processing as possible, including meat and dairy, along with a good dose of veggies, make a lot more sense then supplements and drugs. Report
I would like to see an article which addresses those who HAVE osteoporosis. Because I am a breast cancer survivor, I must take an estrogen blocker, which has the side effect of weakening bone. In the past year, my DEXA scan showed I have lost a lot of ground and my score was -2.4. My oncologist is very concerned about this rate and prescribed Fosamax, 1500 units of calcium a day, and continuing with weight bearing exercise and free weights. Unfortunately, I can't set my nutrition tracker that high, so every day I get the message that I am going over in calcium.

Also, just to add a note to the milk controversy here, the best way to consume milk is RAW! The form of fat found is raw milk is healthier for your body and allows better absorption of calcium. (Sources: Nina Planck, "Real Food", and Michael Pollan, "The Omnivore's Dilemma.") Report
Calcium is great and if you are deficient you need to make sure you are getting more, but what about the other minerals that make up our bones? Many people are magnesium deficient and don't even know it. A magnesium deficiency makes it hard for your body to utilize the calcium properly.
Good food sources of magnesium are nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat bran. There are some great supplements, too. I use Natural Calm. Report
From what I've read, animal protein actually LEECHES calcium from your bones! Our bodies need a lot of calcium in order to digest animal protein, MORE than the calcium that is actually in milk! So every time you drink a glass of milk, you're actually LOSING calcium from your bones just by drinking it! That's why up until recently, Americans were the few suffering from Osteoporosis-- because we are one of the only countries that regularly consumes milk past childhood.

Ever notice how milk commercials say "calcium, like the kind found in milk, has been linked to bone health?" The research was done on calcium, NOT milk!! You can get plenty of easily absorbed calcium from leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans!

Sorry to get on my "soap box" there-- I used to be a big milk drinker until I learned about this stuff! It was hard to quit, but I am so much healthier now! Report
I have been doing a little looking on the Internet about eating a low-fat dairy diet. Studies have shown to significantly reduce belly fat and increase metabolism and muscle. Just google low fat dairy diet. I have a friend who went from a size 14 to a size 2 in nine months utilizing this principle. She is over 50 and kept her intake from 1200 to 1500 a day. She looks amazing. I have been doing it for about two weeks and see a difference already, plus, I find that I'm not hungry! Go figure! I have Dannon low fat yogurt with frozen blueberries. That gives you a bunch of calcium! And both my friend and I love 1% Lactaid milk. Yummy. With a little string cheese at 20% -- it's easy! Almost have to force myself to eat. Report
I am willing to try this out, but sadly what they are asking me to do is not calorie-efficient for my lifestyle change. But then I guess that's what makes it a life style change right? Report

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