By now, you may have heard of the Mediterranean diet, which is a style of eating abundant in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and – of course – olive oil. This diet has been praised time and time again for its health benefits, like making heart stronger and even improving brain function. Well, a new study suggests this type of eating gets an additional gold star as it can help support strong bones, too.
The new findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, uncovered that the Mediterranean diet can help support strong bones, along with keeping your waist trim, heart strong, and brain on track.
The researchers evaluated the effect of diet quality on bone health in postmenopausal women. They uncovered that women who ate closest to the Mediterranean diet were less likely to suffer from bone fractures – specifically, hip fractures.
The Mediterranean diet isn’t complicated and involves fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, olive oil, and fish. Meat, dairy, and saturated fat should be well limited but, on the other hand, you can enjoy a glass of wine with your dinner.
After 16 years, 2,121 cases of hip fractures were reported, as well as 28,718 total incidences of fractures. Women whose eating habits most closely resembled the Mediterranean diet were 0.29 percent less likely to experience a hip fracture.
Lead study author Dr. Bernhard Haring said, “Our results provide assurance that widely recommended eating patterns do not increase the risk of fractures. This being said, the average woman should follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes adopting a healthy dietary pattern and being physically active.”
As populations continue to age, osteoporosis and other bone-related health issues are growing. Although it has been unclear whether taking supplementation for bone health can yield stronger bones, this study reveals that diet can play a role in bone health.
It is important to note that the study only reveals a small benefit of the Mediterranean diet in postmenopausal women, and it might have a greater impact if women follow such a diet to support strong bones prior to hitting menopause.
In a related commentary, Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health added, “At the present time, the U.S. health system almost entirely ignores nutrition in favor of pharmacology and is hugely expensive and ineffective compared with the systems in other countries. Integration of the Mediterranean diet and related dietary patterns into medical practice, hospitals, schools, and other institutions has the potential to improve well-being.”
Time and time again, we are told that for strong bones we need calcium, but with a growing number of individuals who are lactose intolerant, achieving recommended calcium through dietary means can be difficult. Although calcium is the primary mineral for strong bones, there are many other vitamins and minerals that your bones need as well. If calcium alone hasn’t improved your bones, you may need to find an alternative. Continue reading…
New findings suggest that a low-salt diet does not necessarily help improve bone health in menopausal women. Corresponding author Dr. Laura D. Carbone said, “When we started the study, we thought we were going to be telling everyone again that a low-salt diet is good for your bones. Instead, our message is, low-sodium intake by itself is not likely to be beneficial to your bones. We definitely don’t want to go further than that and say high sodium is good for them.” Continue reading…