Looking to Avoid Osteoporosis? Better Avoid These Junk Foods
Everyone knows that foods high in fat or sugar are unhealthy in large quantities. Given the high obesity rates in America, we are hearing more and more about the importance of healthy eating habits. But there’s something equally critical to consider: a poor diet high in fat and sugar can lead to osteoporosis.
Ron Zernicke of University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology and Cy Frank, executive director of the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institution, have verified that sugar and fat intake play a role in the development of conditions like osteoporosis through the weakening of bones, which is done in two ways. Diets high in sugar and saturated fats prevent calcium absorption, and saturated fats can form insoluble “soaps” that coat the intestines. Both of these effects on the body don’t allow the necessary quantity of calcium to keep bones strong.
Soda is an obvious source of sugar, but another osteoporosis-related problem comes from soda: caffeine. Lead researchers say that 100 mg of caffeine is a loss of six milligrams of calcium. Coffee and soda are the prime sources of caffeine in the American diet, though tea is also caffeinated. Studies have shown, though, that tea does not harm, and it is suggested that tea can actually promote bone density in older women.
Zernicke and Frank have noted that osteoporosis due to poor diet will begin to affect baby boomers in large numbers if this lack-of-nutrition trend continues. Frank notes that one in three women will break a hip by age 85 from osteoporosis. More frightening still, he adds, is that about 20 percent of these women will die within a year of the injury.
Currently, about 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 50, which is almost four percent of the country’s population. With the mass of Christmas cookies and heavy dinners we all encountered over the holidays, these findings give us some food for thought.
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