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Bone Health Which May Surprise

Story ID:10038
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
Year:2014
Person:Becky Striepe
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I often recall how as a teacher in the 50’s and 60’s we teachers were all
brainwashed into telling our students that MILK WAS A PERFECT FOOD. But today
I know that these government posters and pamphlets failed to mention that milk
was a perfect food for CALVES – not humans.

It has taken over a half century to dispell this propaganda which the dairy
industry was pushing and still does today. Thankfully though, I don’t see any more
of those silly celebrity milk mustaches any more, and I believe that more and more
doctors are beginning to realize that milk is NOT a perfect food. I will not fault the
good people of the past who took this position probably through ignorance, but I think
today there is compelling information for us to go beyond milk and dairy for health
reasons.

In the recent past I found some doctor articles on the internet taking the position
that milk is not good for us, and today I was reminded of this because of an article I
spotted on Care2 by Becky Striepe entitled “4 Best Foods for your Bones (and the 4
Worst!)."

This notion of milk not being the best for our bones should make us take a good
look at the oriental countries where for a long time they consumed very little dairy
if any, and the incidence of osteoporosis among women I believe was non-existent.
Sadly, I think that this will change as many of them are now adopting our meat
and dairy diet.

As a senior, I looked forward to reading what this writer said, even though as a
vegan, I don’t use any dairy products. Would I learn something new from her? Was
I doing something wrong for my bones? I didn’t think so, but I read the article
anyway.

She reminded us in the first paragraph that the dairy industry is spending billions
of dollars to convince us that their products are important to bone health. Yes, she
admits -milk is high in calcium but reminds us that magnesium is just as important
for our bones as is calcium but that dairy products are NOT rich in this vital nutrient.
Nor does milk contain Vitamin K- another important nutrient for bone health.

Here are the food which she lists as the BEST FOODS for bone health:

1. DARK LEAFY GREENS such as kale and collard greens contain calcium, magnesium,
and vitamin K. I have to admit that I should buy more of these greens even if I will
only use them in smoothies. But I have been taking calcium, magnesium, and vitamin
K as supplements for my bone health.

2. SEEDS – She advises us to sprinkle some seeds on our salads for some bone-
building power. What could be easier? She suggest pumpkin seeds. I have been
using sunflower seeds but will try the pumpkin seeds next time I grocery shop.

3. NUTS – She says we should snack on a handful of nuts daily to protect our bones.
I do this one already. I like to augment whatever meal I have with them though I
believe once a day is enough because they are highly caloric. She also suggests
adding them to soups or salads, on top of casseroles, or even puree them to make
creamy vegan desserts. And she adds that walnuts give the most bone-protection
power. I think Dr. Oz once said that he eats 12 walnuts every day.

4. BEANS – Beans are not only a cheap source of protein and calcium but they are a
cheap way to round out a meal. Black beans she notes are especially good for building
bone health, but reminds us that all beans are packed with nutrients to keep our bones
healthy.

Most vegans, including myself have been incorporating these foods in our meals. So, we
are doing something right for our bones while remembering that our lifestyle not only is
healthy, but compassionate as well.

I recently had a fall in a dark auditorium on Holy Thursday. At my age, a broken hip was
more than likely. But no, thank God – I suffered only a sprain to my left foot. I was
shocked to find out that it would take weeks to heal but today it is finally healed.

Now – THE WORST FOODS FOR BONE HEALTH.

1. DAIRY PRODUCTS. She said that she too was surprised as most people will be to
read this. I was not surprised because I had read before that dairy products can actually
leech calcium from bones and will increase your risk of fractures over time. It would
seem that my use of soy instead of dairy kept me from realizing a more serious fall in
that darkened auditorium where I mistook two steps for one.

2. SALT. Well I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised re this. I think most healthful
diets suggest restricting salt intake. It may increase bone fragility and a Japanese
study found that women who ate more salt were four times as likely to fracture a
bone.

3. COLA. Research has found out that carbonated beverages or soda pop are bad
for your bones. Scientists believe that probably the phosphoric acid in cola depletes
your bones.

4. TOO MUCH PROTEIN. Surprised? Although we need protein to stay healthy, TOO
much of it is bad for our bones. But the research is not clear on this finding since the
group who ate less protein ate a plant-based diet. So we don’t know whether it is the
amount of protein or the type of protein that is causing the damage.

I hope you have learned something from Striepe’s article. Even though some of it was
not new to me, there were some aspects that I found new and interesting. And of
course, that as a vegan, I do follow a diet devoid of milk and dairy products. I believe
this is doing something right for my bones, for the environment, and for suffering
animals.