A High Alkaline Diet Includes More Fruits And Vegetables And Less Meat
A high alkaline diet emphasizing fruits and vegetables is widely believed to be excellent for osteoporosis treatment and prevention.
There is growing consensus that a high alkaline diet plays an important role in osteoporosis treatment and that excessive acid forming foods (meat and soft drinks) are a risk to bone health.
Both the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) warn that excessive meat consumption can contribute to bone loss.
In "Strategies for Osteoporosis," the National Osteoporosis Foundation states:
"Excessive protein and sodium intake can increase calcium loss through the kidneys. In fact, an individual's daily calcium requirement increases in direct proportion to the amount of protein and sodium in his/her diet."
And the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) repeats this warning:
"Although a balanced diet aids calcium absorption, high levels of protein and sodium (salt) in the diet are thought to increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. Excessive amounts of these substances should be avoided, especially in those with low calcium intake."
Americans Love Their Meat!
While meat consumption is declining in Canada, it is steadily increasing in the US to an extraordinary 101 kg (223 pounds) per capita in 2007. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein for men is 56 grams/day and for women 46 grams/day from all food sources including meat, tofu, eggs, grains, legumes and dairy products.
Statistics Canada reports that Canadian consumption of red meat (including beef, pork, mutton and veal) and chicken has been slowly declining since 1999 to approximately 77 pounds (35 kg) per person in 2007 or 25 grams of protein a day. (This calculation is based on a conservative estimate of 25% protein for the combined meat groups. In Canada, red meat comprised 24.5 kg per person and poultry 10.6 kg per person.)
The USDA reported that Americans consumed 101 kg (223 pounds) of meat in 2007... or 72 grams of protein a day from meat alone... not including eggs, dairy, grain or legumes. As this includes every man, woman and child... adults are clearly consuming far more than the recommended level of animal protein.
The current levels of meat consumption in the United States are not supportive of healthy bones. We do not have to become vegetarians to have a bone healthy diet but reducing our meat consumption and increasing vegetables and fruit in our diet is definitely indicated.
The added threat of mad cow disease, swine flu, avian flu, extensive use of antibiotics and hormones and unacceptable environmental damage from factory farms provide additional incentives to reduce our meat consumption and eat more of those wonderful fruits and vegetables.