Study finds Mediterranean Diet Good for Bones and Muscles
According to a new study of postmenopausal women in Brazil, the Mediterranean diet, known to be good for the heart and numerous chronic diseases including diabetes, seems to also be good for an older woman’s bones and muscles.
The study of 103 healthy post-menopausal women with an average age of 55 found higher bone mass and muscle mass in the postmenopausal women who adhered to a Mediterranean diet verses those who did not. Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with higher bone mineral density at the lumbar spine and with greater muscle mass. The association was independent of whether the women previously used hormone therapy, had ever smoked, or their current level of physical activity. The study’s lead investigator concluded “the Mediterranean diet could be a useful nonmedical strategy for the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures in postmenopausal women”.
So what exactly is a Mediterranean diet and how does it compare to the Food4Osteoporosis Eating Plan? They both emphasize eating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and moderate amounts of lean meats and seafood. The Food4Osteoporosis Eating Plan is basically the Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on being sure you get enough calcium from food and that you eat enough alkaline foods to balance out the acid foods in the diet. The Mediterranean-style eating pattern is one of three food patterns recommended in the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Photo used with permission from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Photo taken by Jamie Stolarz, MS, RDN, LDN.