Confused about what to eat if you have Osteoporosis?
You are not alone
It seems sensible eating might be getting a look-in.
Fad diets have had their day
Especially if you have Osteoporosis
Healthy bones need a well-balanced calcium-rich diet that incorporates food from a range of different food groups. Researchers delve deeply into the topic, but often produce conflicting advice.
But, when one looks it up, there are many foods that are good for us to eat, many which have been around for generations. Now, the official U.S. Government website cancer.net, has issued the following:
- Stop smoking
- Eat foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D
- limit alcohol
It was a chance remark by my Consultant, married up with something I heard on the radio – as one does. Putting the two together, I am now a happy bunny drinking “proper” milk.
When I saw my very sensible doctor last week I said I liked dairy products, expecting him to quote the latest ‘fad milk’. No – his advice was to drink as much milk – even full-fat – as I wanted. Yes, full-fat was fattening, but against that it filled you up for longer, so was probably going to stop you from snacking. And he’s right. So I ditched the skimmed.
Having grown up in the country, with our own Jersey herd that supplied milk, I always found the watery stuff in London too weak for my taste. For years, trying to eat healthily, I tried everything to make sure I drank my allocation for the day, but disguised the taste of skimmed by making souffles, bread and butter pudding – you know the tricks.
Now, thanks to sensible advice from my doctor, I have gone back to drinking Jersey full-fat milk, especially on my cornflakes; it fills me up, I no longer crave a snack mid-morning and have lost weight.
The Food Standards Agency advises that we should all be eating two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish. Fish such as whitebait, canned sardines, pilchards and salmon – where the canning process means that the bones are edible – are great sources of calcium. A 100g portion of fried whitebait contains 860mg of calcium, and 100g of sardines in tomato sauce has 500mg of calcium in it.
Oily fish are also a good source of vitamin D which ensures that calcium is well absorbed. A 100g portion of grilled salmon contains 7.1 micrograms of vitamin D; 100g of tinned pilchards contains 14 micrograms of vitamin D. Oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. White fish such as cod, haddock, plaice and whiting contain some omega- 3 but at much lower levels than oily fish.
We need some of following each day for bone health, but just a selection – not all:
- dairy – milk, yogurt, cream, cheese etc.
- green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, okra.fennel, spinach etc.
- fortified orange juice
- sesame seeds
- dried figs and apricots
- tofu, calcium fortified
- soya drinks with added calcium
- soya beans
- bakery produce made from fortified flour
- calcium fortified breakfast cereals
- fish with small edible bones, such as sardines and pilchards.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Shiitake Mushrooms
(All mushrooms contain some vitamin D. Similar to humans, mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D following exposure to sunlight or a sunlamp. Along with vitamin D, shiitake mushrooms in particular also contain copper—another key nutrient for bone health. Lower serum copper levels have been associated with decreased bone mineral density in certain parts of the bone.
Our main source of Vitamin D is sunlight. This is vitally important to us, and is stored in the body throughout the summer months for use during this time and also during the winter. People over the age of 65 are not as effective at producing vitamin D from sunlight and rely more on dietary sources. If you are able, ask advice from a GP, nutritionist etc. if you are concerned.
cancer.net say this vitamin is important as it helps your body to absorb calcium, then says most vitamin D is made by our bodies when skin is exposed to sunlight. Short-term exposure to sunlight without sunscreen (around 10 minutes, twice a day) when the sun is shining should be enough for the whole year.
But, just to repeat, it is as well to ensure you eat some of the following foods, as they contain Vitamin D:
- oily fish such as sardines and salmon
- fortified fat spreads
- powdered milk
- fortified breakfast cereals.