Did you know that Osteoporosis affects more than one million Australians & is more common in people aged 55 years & over. Worldwide, 1 in 3 women & 1 in 5 men aged 50 & over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture.
Osteoporosis is a loss of bone mass & strength, which causes bones to become weak & frail so that they fracture more easily. These fractures can cause complications & multiple health issues.
Dietitians can recommend a number of ways to help prevent osteoporosis, including:
- eat enough calcium-rich foods
- get a healthy dose of vitamin D
- doing physical activity – including weight bearing & resistance exercise
- maintaining a healthy weight
- only drinking alcohol in moderation
- avoid smoking
It is very important for strong bones & healthy teeth. Dairy foods contain a high level of calcium which is easily absorbed – milk, cheese, yoghurt. Low-fat options contain similar levels of calcium.
There are other foods we can get some calcium from for those who don’t eat dairy foods – fish with edible bones (sardines or tinned salmon), dark green leafy vegetables, calcium-fortified soy/ almond drinks, tofu, almonds, brazil nuts.
Why Vitamin D?
It is important for bone health because it helps the body absorb calcium. Food can’t provide an adequate amount of vitamin D so our main source is from sun exposure. Only a limited number of foods have small amounts of vitamin D – oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring), liver, egg yolks & some fortified products.