Dr. Sarah Ballantyne PhD., a medical biophysicist from the University of Western Ontario, explains why the Paleo diet helps prevent osteoporosis.
The Paleo Diet for Skeletal Health ~ The Paleo Mom
By Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD
September 17, 2018
Osteoporosis affects approximately 10 million Americans over the age of 50, and a further 34 million older Americans have low bone mass (osteopenia). And brittle bones in our later years is a major mortality risk. For example, 1 in 5 people who fracture a hip die withing 6 months (and if you extend that time frame to 1 year, it’s even worse, 1 in 4 die). Keeping our bones healthy can greatly improve our health in old age, but it comes in handy at any time of life! Our bones provide structure to our bodies, anchor our muscles for movement, protect our organs, and store calcium and other minerals for us. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to support our skeletal health, by providing the right nutrients and the stimulus of activity!
Is Dairy Essential for Bone Health?
“Milk, it does your body good,” or so we’ve been told by actors and models with comical milk mustaches since the 1980s. However, once we recognize that there are several reasons why dairy products are not ubiquitously beneficial (see The Great Dairy Debate), the natural follow up question is “but, what about bone health?” Dairy products are not the only good source of calcium out there. In fact, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, and seafood all contain substantial quantities of calcium.
It’s easy to see how a veggie-rich Paleo diet with an emphasis on seafood plus nuts and seeds in moderation can provide the Recommended Daily Allowance of calcium every day. Another calcium-rich superstar is blackstrap molasses, discussed in Blackstrap Molasses: The Sugar You Can Love!.