We are headed into my kitchen today to discuss National Nutrition Month, which has taken place throughout the month of March. I am partnering again with Amgen to bring you important information about nutrition and bone strength for postmenopausal women.
Taking proper care of our bones involves many components and nutrition is a key factor.1 Allow me to remind you that osteoporosis is a bone disease which happens when our bodies lose too much bone, make too little bone, or both.2
Seven years ago, my primary care physician recommended I get a DXA scan because she knew my mother had osteoporosis, she knew I had shrunk one-half inch, and she knew I confessed to horrible eating habits at that time. The DXA scan showed me to be in the early stages of bone loss.
This one conversation grabbed my attention enough to lead me to better good-health practices with exercise and purposeful nutrition habits. I say “purposeful” because it is important to be educated about the vitamins needed for strong bones.
Nutrition, in particular calcium and vitamin D, can play a helpful role in maintaining strong bones.3 Risk factors for osteoporosis can include Vitamin D deficiency and low calcium intake.4,5
My doctor started by calling attention to my low vitamin D intake at that time. Since then, I take a daily vitamin D supplement. After pivoting to working from home last year, I now make sure I spend time outside to supplement the supplement! A concentration on vitamin D has resulted in healthier levels in my blood level.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends women age 51 and older should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day.3 While many of us know that dairy is a great source of calcium, I confess that I have never in my life been a fan of milk. My husband and sons love to grab a cold glass of milk daily. Occasionally, I will test to see if my mind has changed…and it has not. However, I will drink and enjoy almond milk – some brands have added calcium and vitamin D. Make sure you learn to read labels. I began to read labels when I started paying attention to nutrition. It took a wake-up call to make me get serious. So, don’t wait for that “doctor talk.” Become a “label reader” now.
I tell you this to encourage those non milk-lovers that there are many ways to find calcium. My favorite ways have been eating yogurt and occasional cheeses.
Here is an example of one of my favorite original recipes which is packed with calcium and includes cottage cheese, yogurt and some yummy spices. There was a time I would not make dip for just me and Mr. B, but now a calcium-rich dip is great with our favorite fruit…try it!
Cottage Cheese & Nut Fruit Dip
1/2 cup ground, roasted walnuts or almonds
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 tbsp vanilla low-fat Greek yogurt
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika
¼ tsp turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds
Your fruit of choice – my favorite was pineapple!
While healthy nutrition and exercise are very important, they may not be enough on their own for people/women with osteoporosis.6 Be sure to talk with your doctor to get to work on a personal bone health plan. Schedule this discussion now and do not wait too long.
Thanks for stopping by the kitchen today, and make sure you…
By Pamela Lutrell
Disclaimer: I was provided compensation for this post, but all words are my own.
1.National Osteoporosis Foundation. Nutrition. https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/nutrition. Accessed February 19, 2021.
2.National Osteoporosis Foundation. What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? https://nof.org/patients/what-is- Accessed February 2, 2021.
3.National Osteoporosis Foundation. Calcium/Vitamin D.
https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/calciumvitamin-d. Accessed February 19, 2021.
4.Camacho PM, Petak SM, Binkley N, et al. American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College Of Endocrinology Clinical Practice Guidelines For The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis-2020 Update. Endocr Pract. 2020;26(Suppl 1):1-46. doi:10.4158/GL-2020-0524SUPPL.
5.Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinician’s Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis [published correction appears in Osteoporos Int. 2015 Jul;26(7):2045-7]. Osteoporosis Int. 2014;25(10):2359-2381. doi:10.1007/s00198-014-2794-2.
6.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004.