Getting enough calcium can be a problem in many cases, low carb dieting including. But how about cheeses? Also, there are other sources of calcium besides diary products.
Low Carb, Osteoporosis, and Calcium
First, let me address the worries about osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the amount of bone tissue is so low that bones fracture easily in response to minimal stress or force. It affects more than 25 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. At higher risks are white or Asian women who are in the early stages of menopause.
Certain lifestyle factors will increase the risk: smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, exercising too little, and not taking enough calcium with food or supplements. There also are some medications that can rob your body of calcium.
You can see that though it is true that calcium intake is very important for prevention of osteoporosis, there are many other things you can do to prevent it:
1. Eat a proper diet, one that is rich not only in calcium but in all essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Exercise three to five times a week. Find a workout that fits your lifestyle; one that you enjoy and therefore, will stick with. Weight training has been proven to greatly reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
3. If you’re a smoker, quit now. It will reduce your risk of osteoporosis — not to mention heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and a host of other illnesses.
4. True, wine can be good for you, if you know when to say when. The recommended intake is one to two glasses a day.
While it’s a good idea to cut back on dairy products, you needn’t give them up all together, which brings me to the second question:
How much is too much?
The table below shows you that there’s no serious reason why you should give up on cheese altogether.
There are other sources of calcium besides diary products. Though the carb-to-calcium ratio in dark green leafy vegetables is not as good as it is in cheeses, these veggies are a good source for very valuable nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber, so put them in your salad! The table below lists just a few of the calcium-rich greens you can add to your menu.
One more important note about diary products: Some doctors think that even though milk is relatively high in carbohydrates (about 11 grams per cup,) “friendly” bacteria eat these carbs up during fermentation. The authors of the low-carb GO-diet, Jack Goldberg and Karen O’Mara, advise to have at least an eight-ounce cup of yogurt or kefir (WHAT’S KEFIR?) a day, without worrying about the carb grams.
A few more notes about osteoporosis prevention:
Adequate dietary calcium intake and maintaining a physically active lifestyle in late decades of life could reduce in the risk of osteoporosis and hence improve the quality and perhaps quantity of life in the elderly population.
Sufficient calcium supplementation for all calcium intakes is above 1,000 mg a day.
Results suggests that lobster-shell powder could be a valuable source of dietary calcium in increasing bone mineral density.
Prevention efforts need to be directed toward education related to the need for adequate dietary calcium and the need for weight-bearing exercise.