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"At age 20, we worry about what others think of us.
At 40, we don't care what they think of us.
At 60, we discover they haven't been thinking about us at all."
— Jock Falkson
Many people have heard the often repeated myth that low carb dieting causes osteoporosis. We think
it's likely that this myth comes directly from the fact that low carbers generally avoiding drinking
regular milk in quantity because of its lactose content.
"Research conducted jointly by the University of Pittsburgh,
the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Creighton University,
Omaha, shows that a high-fiber, low-fat diet may significantly
lower the amount of calcium the body can absorb. The 142 women
between the ages 42 and 54 who participated in the program were
classified as either premenopausal or perimenopausal. The former
reported having had a menstrual period within three months of a
physical exam; the latter reported no menses within the prior
three months. Calcium absorption among participants ranged from
17 to 58 percent, but women who consumed low-fat diets absorbed
20 percent less calcium than the others did.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or
if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also
known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.
Any bone can be affected, but of special concern are fractures of the hip and spine. A hip
fracture almost always requires hospitalization and major surgery. It can impair a person's
ability to walk unassisted and may cause prolonged or permanent disability or even death.
Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height,
severe back pain, and deformity.
As you can see, the prospect of osteoporosis is a justifiably frightening one.
Osteoporosis can be painful and debilitating. But the good
news is that a healthful low-carbohydrate nutrition plan can
be just the ticket to actually AVOIDING it.
Here's a quote from the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition (2000; 72: 466-71):
Researchers found that women who are better able to absorb
calcium had higher body mass index ratings and higher blood
levels of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for calcium
absorption, among other important functions. These results show
that supplementation alone may not be enough to boost calcium
levels and protect bones from osteoporosis. Diet also plays a
key role. Unfortunately, women on low-fat diets excrete most
of the calcium they consume. However, eating a low-carb diet
with plenty of butter and cream and vegetables rich in calcium
provides the body with plenty of fat and calcium, ensuring that
this and other important minerals are absorbed."
On a low carb plan, you'll be getting plenty of protein, of course. And you'll also be deriving sufficient calcium
from your food ? the combination that keeps your bones strong. Cheese and other dairy foods are a
great source of calcium. Just one ounce of cheddar cheese, for instance, gives you 204 milligrams
You'll also be getting plenty of vitamin D from the foods you eat while low carbing.
Butter, cheese, fish and eggs are all good dietary sources of this important ? and often neglected ? vitamin.
And because you'll be eating nuts, whole grains and fresh vegetables, you'll also be obtaining a lot of
the other important nutrients you need for bone strength, including magnesium, phosophorus and folic acid.
Copyright © February 2005 Low Carb Luxury