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Osteopenia Diet

Osteopenia diet is prescribed for people affected with osteopenia, a condition in which the BMD or bone mineral density is lower than the generally required BMD, but still not low enough for the condition to be categorized as osteoporosis. Bones in the osteopenia are also quite fragile and are prone to easy-breaking. It is, therefore, important for patients affected with the condition to take care of their health and lifestyle. Patients with osteopenia have a very huge risk of developing osteoporosis at a later stage.

Although, in a majority of cases, osteopenia cannot be reversed or completely treated, its progress can be slowed so that it does not turn into osteoporosis. The condition mostly affects older adults as bones tend to naturally get thinner as age progresses. To take care of the condition, doctors generally put the patient on a balanced routine of exercise, healthy diet and medication.

Main Features of an Osteopenia Diet

A diet plan for a patient suffering from osteopenia is generally tailor-made by the physician and dietician based on a person's individual requirements, age, limitations, lifestyle and other similar factors. As the main focus is on preservation and possible strengthening of bones, a diet for osteopenia is generally a calcium-rich one. Some common inclusions in a diet plan for the condition are:

Milk and milk products: Milk is one of the best known sources of calcium and an important part of a diet designed for an individual affected with osteopenia. Regular consumption of milk is greatly recommended as is consumption of dairy products like cheese, cottage cheese and tofu. Home-made cheese and dairy products are favored over processed and packaged ones and toned milk is preferred as the body weight has to be kept under control.

Fish: Fish is not only a good source of calcium, but also Omega 3 acids which help strengthen bones. Also, fish is a white meat and its controlled consumption does not promote weight-gain.

Green, leafy vegetables: Leafy vegetables, like spinach and cabbage, are a healthy food option rich in minerals and vitamins which promote bone strengthening. Their consumption, raw or as a soup, salad, etc., are greatly encouraged.

Foods to be Avoided

Rich foods high in fat and calorie contents are strictly avoided as these are known to have a negative effect on the condition. Alcoholic beverages, cola drinks, sodas and packaged fruit juices are also regulated and their consumption, if any, is strictly controlled.


To read more about controlling osteopenia and what constitutes an osteopenia diet, visit: