When you incorporate the Menopause Dietstyle into your life, your entire being benefits. It is not a quick weight-loss diet. It is a wonderful beginning with no end in sight. It makes allowances for mistakes and transgressions, and it enables you to celebrate with a gourmet meal on occasion knowing that you can face yourself, your family, your friends, and your scale without having to face the music tomorrow!
Studies are just beginning to show that better nutrition, increased weight-bearing exercise, and HRT that is appropriate for you may work to arrest the decline in bone mass that puts women at risk of osteoporosis in midlife and later. Such studies also show the benefits of supplemental calcium in the diet. Earlier we believed that bone loss was permanent, but new studies point toward a more hopeful path for women with osteoporosis. Thus, as women grow older, the balance between the various food groups—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats— the types of calories eaten, and the nature and amount of exercise to offset calorie intake become increasingly important. Calories are energy, and regular exercise doesn’t just burn more calories when you are doing it; it also gears your body to burn more calories for hours afterward.
Appropriate nutrition is a natural pathway toward healthy bone. Bone requires a healthy foundation of protein, in which minerals— especially calcium—are deposited. Successful bone-building requires a diet of well-balanced foods containing adequate calcium.
If you are premenopausal, you need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. After menopause, your need rises to 1,400 milligrams daily. The average woman in the United States between the ages of forty-five and sixty-five receives far too little calcium: between 460 and 650 milligrams per day. You need to double that amount.
Research is underway to study whether increasing calcium intake during the formative adolescent and young adult years will increase the amount of bone in the later reproductive years. The facts are not in, but it appears that there are no disadvantages to trying that approach.
There have been no studies that prove that a decrease in osteoporosis-related bone fractures can result from dietary changes alone. Nor. can calcium supplements alone reduce the incidence of fractures. Making new bone requires the presence of estrogen in your system. This process is enhanced by adequate weight-bearing exercise and a good diet that provides the right amount of calcium. Diet and exercise alone will not prevent bone loss!