Osteoporosis is defined as a loss of bone density resulting in brittle skeleton. It is more common in women, especially after menopause, but it can also affect men. There are several factors that favour it. But which ones? And how can you reduce the risk of being prone to osteoporosis? Should we be eating more dairy products to strengthen our bones?
Our bone capital is built up throughout our growth, mainly from birth and into your twenties. Our bone capital determines the strength of our structure and therefore the risk of fractures and bone demineralisation throughout life. Osteoporosis is not reversible, but it is totally possible to slow down its onset. But before we look at that, what do the risks of osteoporosis depend on?
The older one gets, the more bone density naturally decreases. In addition, the consumption of calcium and the capacity to absorb it decreases at the same time. Osteoporosis therefore becomes common after the age of 60. This is not classified as a disease as it’s a natural phenomenon, but it requires monitoring, e.g if you often fall or if you have regular fractures, you’ll need to consult a doctor for further examinations.
As a result of the hormonal changes which take place during menopause (usually around the age of 50) the loss of bone density manifests itself quicker. It can also be aggravated by weight loss diets which increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, even while maintaining the same calcium intake as before.
- Sedentary lifestyle
If you do and have always done very little sport, you are also more likely to naturally have a very low bone density. This is why it is so important to encourage your children to participate in physical activities so that they will go on to play and enjoy sport in the medium to long term, not only enabling them to solidify bones, but also to build muscle and more resistance to falls and fractures.
So what to eat for osteoporosis?
Based on your eating habits as well as on your goals to get there, we can offer you a diet that is perfectly suited to your needs. If you want to lose a few pounds without taking risks, we are there for you. If you are worried about the onset of osteoporosis because you are in the pre-menopause or menopause stage, one of our health professionals can offer you regular consultations and weekly menus. In this way, you will receive tailor-made advice to improve your daily health and as result, feel fitter every day! In order to find out more, check out our Balance program.
To reduce the risk of fractures, there is no need to devour all the dairy products on the farm especially in their ‘light’ forms. Indeed, even enriched dairy products are not essential to cover our daily calcium needs. You can cover these with mineral water, like Hepar or Contre, or by eating varied and balanced diet with green vegetables and cabbage which are rich in calcium, as are sardines, algae, oilseeds and legumes. However, vitamin D is paramount to ensure the proper assimilation of calcium. It is mainly found in fatty fish (or fish oils such as cod liver oil): sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon. And finally, the easiest way to obtain Vitamin D is by exposing yourself to the sun. It’s that simple.
Is it possible to fight osteoporosis differently?
Some drug treatments exist, but they can sometimes cause serious side effects and, therefore, should only be prescribed by a doctor after careful examinations to assess bone densitometry. Of course, we’d rather you participate in regular physical activity which can be started at any age! Find something you like and get started with it straight away! We recommend nordic walking as the most effective activity for slowing osteoporosis. Indeed, because it occurs in the open air, it also allows you to take in vitamin D through the sun. But above all, it allows an effective and overall muscular reinforcement, combining balance and agility. Like all low contact sports, nordic walking encourages an increase in bone density so you’ll find a lot of other benefits, apart from simply avoiding osteoporosis.
So please, don’t hesitate, go ahead and contact one of our dietician nutritionists for a personalised assessment and advice on how to get fitter and feel better.