How to Change Your Diet to Avoid Osteoporosis

It's no secret that our dietary needs change as we age. After all, our bodies are changing, so it only makes sense that we need to feed ourselves differently.

One of the most dangerous age-related changes is the potential for loss of bone mass. Older women, in particular, are at risk for developing osteoporosis, a condition that can lead to bone fractures and debilitating injuries.

According to dietitian Leslie Beck of Toronto's Globe and Mail, you can combat osteoporosis and bone loss by changing your diet to include nutrients that help you build and maintain bone strength, and cutting out foods that will weaken your bones.

Beck says that over-50 adults need to get about 200 more milligrams of calcium in their daily diet than younger adults. A cup of plain yogurt or an ounce and a half of cheese both contain more than enough calcium to make up for the difference. And, of course, calcium supplements are widely available.

Vitamin K is another nutrient that will help you maintain strong bones. According to Beck, "Scientists think it takes a daily intake of 200 micrograms of vitamin K to protect bones from thinning an amount that can easily be obtained by eating one-half cup of cooked greens each day."

The third nutrient that helps you maintain bone health is vitamin D. Beck says that adults over 50 need about 800 to 2000 international units of the vitamin daily an amount that's best received in a supplement.

Finally, avoid foods that could cause bone loss, like caffeine, alcohol and sodium.

These might sound like a lot of changes, but as you can see they are all easily attainable. If you can make the changes, you'll give yourself the best chance of avoiding harmful bone loss and osteoporosis later in life.

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