Osteoporosis cannot be prevented in most cases. There are exceptions. It can be slowed down following good health habits. It can certainly be made much worse following poor or bad health habits.
As an adult, you have already reached and passed your peak bone mass. From here on the natural course for everyone is gradual bone loss with acceleration at menopause in women. This stereotypical pattern is unalterable and cannot be significantly changed no matter what you do with regard to diet and exercise. Please do not be discouraged by this statement. It is not a reason to give up or not begin eating healthy and exercise regularly and moderately. There are 100+ reasons to do so and you do not need me to elaborate them here. I am only telling you that when it comes to osteoporosis prevention, exercise and diet will not work if you are genetically destined to have the condition. They work great if you were never destined to have it in the first place.
The majority of white woman do not have the osteoporosis gene complex. Most other women never get postmenopausal osteoporosis. Yes, they can and do get age related osteoporosis and exercise and diet helps prevent that. On the other hand, if you have the gene complex how is that your fault? Yes, it is who you are and that’s okay. If you are going to get osteoporosis today is a good time to get it because there are some many safe and effective ways to beat it and never have disabling fractures.
I see many women in their 50’s who have already developed osteoporosis. They will do anything to avoid taking medication. They say, “Oh Dr. Woodson just give me a year to eat right and exercise and then lets see what happens.” They are like little children bargaining with me as if I could grant them their wish. If only this or that. If only it were so but it is not. They come back in a year for their next DXA and have lost a little more bone or are at best not changed.
The best diet for most modern people is a low carbohydrate, moderate fat, and high protein diet. This approach emphasizes foods that are low in caloric density. It includes, all vegetables except potatoes, high in fiber, low in dairy, high in temperate fruits and berries, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh meat, chicken, oils and moderate beer and wine. Keep the calorie intake low. Exercise regularly but moderately focusing on the core, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. Avoid building bulky muscles. Avoid all fast foods, preserved meats, processed foods, pasta, grains, rice including brown rice, and bread. Avoid snacks. If you must snack, snack on a low glycemic index food like a few raw almonds. It is natural for humans to fast for hours every day. Eating 3 meals a day was never normal for people until an advertising executive on Madison Ave thought it up and sold the idea to the food industry. Now we take it for granted. The fact is we were subtly persuaded through scripts written for radio, TV, and movie that his was “normal” and anything that varied from that was deviant.
Our metabolism was designed around long periods of fasting between meals and when we follow this simple practice we feel much better, have fewer aches and pains, think more clearly, and sleep better.
Focus on eating real food grown in the earth in as natural a form as you can find it. Prepare it fresh yourself and enjoy. If it is advertised on TV, the radio or billboards avoid it. Almost nothing good is ever presented to you from those sources. Attend you local farmers markets. Buy fresh from the farm if possible. Organic vegetables are much better tasting and more nutritious but are a lot more expensive. You can find good fresh food at the local supermarket that tastes great and is affordable.
These are simple ideas that work for many people. Following them will help you prevent many chronic diseases that can be prevented and many of them can. Osteoporosis may not be among them but do not let that stop you from doing the right thing. I provide more on diet, exercise for adults and topics on optimal health and wellness on the www.DrGCWoodson.com website, which I invite you to visit.