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Can diet help with osteoporosis?

Hi I have osteoporosis and it has been bad this week. Is there anything I can include in my diet to help? Thanks. Jean


Our expert says...

Hello Jean,


Diet can certainly be important when you have osteoporosis.  Surprisingly, removing certain foods and drinks from your diet can have more of a beneficial impact than adding foods.  These are my main dietary recommendations:


1.       Minimise animal protein in your diet, particularly meat, as this is acidic to the body and causes calcium to be used as a neutraliser.  Substitute with vegetable protein, such as beans and pulses.

2.       Ensure you eat plenty of calcium-rich foods other than dairy products.  Good sources of calcium from non-dairy foods include leafy green vegetables (such as spinach), small boned fish (such as whitebait, sardines, prawns, shrimps and pilchards), fortified soya milk, dried fruits (e.g. figs), sesame seeds and tahini, almonds, tofu, black beans and pinto beans.

3.       Reduce caffeine, sugar and alcohol in your diet, as they all raise blood sugar and adrenaline levels.  Caffeine and sugar can also cause an acidic reaction in the body similar to protein (above).

4.       Avoid fizzy drinks as much as possible, as they can contain high levels of phosphorous which causes calcium to be drawn out of bones. 

5.       Don’t drink tea with meals – tannin in tea binds with important minerals needed for bone health and prevents absorption.  Leave at least an hour before or after eating before drinking tea.


Also, make sure you do plenty of weight-bearing exercise, as this can improve bone density.  It is also helpful to reduce stress, use relaxation therapies and ensure you get enough rest.  Be sure to get out in the sunshine whenever you can!  This enables your body to produce Vitamin D, which is just as important to your bones as calcium.


I hope this advice is helpful.  

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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