There are some strong misconceptions with how one develops osteoporosis today even among the medical community. Medical doctor Michael Klaper gave very clear steps one can take for strong bone health in an interview on The Vegetarian Health Institute. If you think he gave a list of foods high in calcium, you would be wrong. Read a summary of the interview for the shocking answers:
Dr. Klaper feels a plant-strong diet has plenty of calcium and the real focus should not be on adding calcium to the diet, but rather limiting foods that are acidic to the body. Foods acidic to the body cause the body to steal calcium (and other minerals) from the bones to neutralize the acid. Don’t mistake “foods acidic to the body” with “acidic foods.” For example, lemons which are acidic foods, are NOT acidic to the body (they are alkalizing to the body).
Acidic foods to limit in the diet may include:
- Sugar, meat, cheese, milk products, eggs, wheat/grains, soy, walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanut butter, salt, alcohol, beans, chocolate, coffee
Dr. Klaper made a strong point to say don’t stop eating beans, walnuts, etc. as they have great health benefits, just don’t overdue any of these foods. The goal is to have a healthy balance incorporating many alkaline foods to compensate any acidic foods you might be eating.
Alkaline foods to increase in diet may include:
- Dark greens, lots of veggies, fruits, lentils, all seeds especially pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, green tea, oats, quinoa, wild rice
Another interesting note from Dr. Klaper is that he feels a bone density test is not always the best indicator of osteoporosis. Bone strength is a better test. If a doctor diagnoses osteoporosis from a bone density test, consider this.
Other than limiting the acid foods, weight bearing exercise is probably the next best thing to keeping bones strong and healthy. Walking is a great way to build bone strength. Even better, walking with 1 lb weights in both hands will add to the intensity of the weight bearing. Lifting some light weights is also an excellent means to build bone strength. Some exercises that are not considered “weight bearing” would include swimming and bicycling although they have other great benefits. If you get to a point where it is hard to get out of a chair by yourself, you may have issue with bone strength.
I found a food alkalinity chart online as a reference for readers to ensure a healthy balance of alkalinity in their body: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ABPbigk6EWA/Sf9kKHmQ12I/AAAAAAAAAmA/En1moyS72YQ/s1600-h/Jaffe+Acid-Alkaline+Food+Chart.JPG
Source: interview with Dr. Michael Klaper from The Vegetarian Health Institute at: http://www.veghealth.com/audio/27osteoporisis886.php
I have been vegan 30 years and I have been diagnosed with Ostopenia at age 52. I have a t score of 2.2 in my hips. I went through menopause in my early 40’s and didn’t take any hormone replacement for it. I was a moderate drinker and maybe had too much salt in my diet, I am fairly active though and within a healthy weight range. Is the advice the same for someone in my position? I have now stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine and soda and have now reduced the salt in my diet too.
Hi Lyn. Thank you for your question. I think in general for most people, having too much acidity in the body is going to cause health issues. That said, some people digest dairy well and don’t have an issue with it even though it is acidic. It certainly is not a one-size-fits-all. Since you went through menopause many years ago, your bones may be ready to absorb more calcium again. VitD helps absorption of it. I really love the idea of using calcium-rich herbal teas (steeped covered for at least 20min). these may include herbs like: oat straw, raspberry leaf, peppermint, spearmint, nettle, red clover, dandelion leaf. If interested, I am doing some free mini consults via zoom and then posting them on my youtube channel to help others like yourself. If interested, email me at Linda@Truebalancewellness.com Would love to work with you.