Lose the Fat, Keep the Bone

Because of the obesity epidemic, health-care professionals often encourage their patients to reduce their body fat to lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, the potentially negative effect of weight loss on your bones should also be an important con­sideration. It is well known that rapid weight loss—particu­larly in women over fifty years of age—can take a toll on bone density.

In general, people with low body weight face a greater risk for reduced bone mass and bone fractures. Younger women can also develop osteoporosis, usually due to a poor diet, low body weight and the resulting estrogen loss, calcium deficiency, and malnutrition. Studies show that overly restrictive dieting at any age affects the bones sooner than later, increasing the risk for osteoporosis and fractures throughout life. If your doctor recommends weight loss, discuss your concerns about bone loss and request an evaluation of your bone density. The best way to lose weight with bone health in mind is to do the following:
1.  Lose weight very gradually—a maximum of one to two pounds per week.
2.  Maintain healthy nutrition—include foods with calcium and vitamin D.
3.  Focus on increased activity rather than food deprivation.
4.  If you need to reduce calories, decrease the fat calories and keep the protein.
Don't kill yourself to be the thinnest babe on the block. A diet that contains vital and wholesome foods will support a stronger life force. Be physically active, eat a nutritious diet, and live a healthy lifestyle.

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