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Aug 10, 2013 03:15 PM

Osteoporosis Diet: Anti-Inflammatory? Low-Acid?

Please don't scold me for asking about this at a food site. :) I know you are not my physicians and that I must do my own research.
It's just that there is *so much* knowledge and experience here that I can't help asking for your help.

I am trying to put together an eating lifestyle that addresses osteoporosis and general disease prevention. Trying to reduce animal product, processed food, and salt consumption. Not interested in eating loads of soy, though some is ok.
While I believe in many cases an "everything in moderation" approach is good, I also believe that there are specific things I can be eating or avoiding to help myself.

If you have similar concerns/goals, will you please share ideas, resources, advice?
I am becoming overwhelmed by my reading and beginning to confuse things. Ugh
I apologize if this is too vague. Basically looking for your take on eating for osteoporosis prevention or reversal.

Thanks very much!

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  1. Here is my story :)

    I eat a "primal diet" most of the week. No processed foods, vegetable heavy, clean meats, no grains, limited/seasonal fruit, no added sugars, low carb, high healthy fats, high intake of many "super foods" that are anti inflammatory.

    I have a shoulder condition that will flare up if I stray too far away from my diet. My diet is anti inflammatory for that reason. I am also in my 50's and enjoy outdoor sports so I need to be fit and stay thin.

    I lacto ferment a ton of foods from vegetables to sodas and teas and consume them daily. Gut health....and the friendly bacteria eats the sugars, so I don't!

    I also IF (intermittent fast) when desired.

    What does all this look like?

    Breakfast: kombucha tea, coffee or green tea, maybe eggs in ghee or coconut oil, or a lower carb cracker with a spread ( cheese, a hummus, veggie pâté, meat pâté), or a smoothie (either green or a protein one) or a scoop of cottage cheese with some sesame seeds, fermented veg, or just miso soup.

    Lunch: maybe one of the items listed for breakfast, or a big salad, or some leftover dinner, fermented veg. I typically pack a bento box and load it up with small bites or various savory things. I also snack on nuts during the day or make a low carb trail mix.

    Dinner: vegetarian about half the week, omnivore the other half and about one day/maybe a meal or two, of whatever I feel like (pizza, nacho, more "unhealthy" items, restaurant food, or empty calorie foods, starchy things, etc). If I stray off for more than one day, I feel like crap. This effect gets more pronounced the older I get.

    My dinner plate is very colorful with vegetables making up about 3/4ths of the meal. I really like meat but eat smaller amounts of only clean meats these days. Heavy on condiments with the cuisines that I cook (yogurt, pickled veg, fermented veg/beans/pulses, chutneys, herbs, dips and spreads).

    My cooking style at home is heavy on Indian, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern mix, and Korean. I drink wine with dinner most nights.

    Desserts and treats are always homemade and low carb using heavy cream, almond flour, fruit and sugar substitutes. I don't make them much anymore. I have lost my taste for cookies or pies or things like that. I tend to get something like that at a restaurant when I am going "off rails" as we call it in my house :)

    8 Replies
    1. re: sedimental

      sedimental... Would love to hear more about lacto fermenting. What foods and manner do you use to ferment? Sounds interesting!

      1. re: Phoebe

        Sorry, Phoebe, I didn't see your post!

        I am a fermenting fool. I ferment all kinds of veg like cabbages turnips, beets, onion, carrot, etc. It is easy, healthy and tasty....although you need a lot of glass jars. :)

        I ferment lentils and beans for dosa.

        I ferment beverages (to make natural sugar free soda pop from juice) and make kombucha teas.

        I ferment shio koji for cooking and make different japanese pickles.

        I Make yogurt and culture cream for sour cream and butter.

        I ferment salsa and mayo and many condiments. Homemade mayo safely lasts for weeks in fridge this way, with no change in flavor or texture, bonus!

      2. re: sedimental

        Hi, sedimental. You look like the ideal person to ask, and I also invite information from anyone else who may have experience with the "Paleo" diet, and similar, which is what I am assuming you refer to as a "primal diet most of the week."

        I'm considering going on the more rigid "Paleo" diet for serious health reasons, and the one I'm considering bans legumes and grains of any sort because they are highly inflammatory, SOOOOOO... My question for you is whether the miso bothers you? Traditionally, "miso" is made by fermenting rice, barley, or soy beans, and on a strict Paleo diet, that would mean no soy sauce, miso, sushi, rice pudding, and all sorts of things, including white potatoes and even tomatoes as these are both in the nightshade family. It's an expensive diet because I live in a city and it requires grass fed organic meats of all kinds, including chickens, and the only dairy allowed is organic ghee. So I'm asking... Does the miso and any other legume products (e.g. peanut butter) bother you on days you're "off rails?"

        Thanks a bunch!.

        1. re: Caroline1

          There are some differences between Paleo and Primal diets. I am more Primal in philosophy and try to "center" my meals around a healthy item or two. I don't make anything off limits, just restrict the proportion and frequency. Listen to what my body tells me about it :)

          That being said, I eat fermented soy products with no problems. I don't know what would happen if I ate a "ton" of them....some soy sauce on my food or a small bowl of miso in the morning doesn't cause any inflammation for me. It is the grains (themselves) that I notice a problem.

          I eat beans only occasionally, and I ferment the legumes most of the time for dosa and crackers. Fermented foods are easily digestible and I think that makes a big difference in the way my body handles that particular food.

          I ferment/culture dairy too, not a problem with small amounts.

          1. re: sedimental

            "a small bowl of miso in the morning doesn't cause any inflammation for me. It is the grains (themselves) that I notice a problem."

            The way I understand the grain-inflammation chain is that high insulin levels inhibit endogenous steroid production and also the transport protein that delivers them to cells, hence it switches off your anti inflammation hormone while at the same time promoting unfavorable types of oxidation.

            1. re: mcf

              I don't know exactly how it works, but I can tell you that I can only go about 48 to max 72 hours eating higher carb (grains and sugars) without a physical reaction and a visually noticeable problem. My bone actually swells. So, there is a timing issue involved in whatever metabolic inflammatory process is going on.

              Also, I am not "allergic" to anything( like wheat), it really is an overall inflammatory process for me. I wouldn't have thought it would be so dramatic without first going completely "sugar and grain free" in the beginning. IME, eliminating, then adding foods back in is really helpful to understand which foods aggravate a condition.

              1. re: sedimental

                i was utterly brainwashed about "healthy grains". until i eliminated them i had no idea how sick they had made me for decades.

                there is a wide spectrum of tolerance before even approaching actual allergy.

                1. re: sedimental

                  Same for me, in terms of big neuroma type swelling in my left foot that I didn't even know I had until I went off plan a few times. The water storage/bloat that comes with stored glycogen from excess carbs (each glycogen molecule is attached to three water molecules) can cause uncomfortable swelling alone. Then add inflammation to the mix... I also had excruciationg fibromyalgia that literally, no exaggeration, disappeared overnight when I cut out starch and sugars. And all my joint aches and pains were gone, too.

        2. I recall reading a research article years ago in which even very elderly patients gained bone and muscle mass by increasing dietary animal protein.

          Adding bone mineral density at age 95. even, if I recall correctly.

          I've been eating very low carb, higher protein and fat for about 15 years and at 58, have above average bone density, even compared to much younger women.

          Low carb eating is very anti inflammatory, due to not lowering the steroids your body makes the way high carb diets do.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mcf

            "Low carb eating is very anti inflammatory, due to not lowering the steroids your body makes the way high carb diets do."

            I was nodding my head until the part where you mentioned that the low carbs do not lower the steroids in the body, which is supposed to be a good thing. Being one who has not had good experiences with prescription steroids, do you know if/how these steroids associated with low carb eating are different from the medical steroids?

            1. re: vil

              Hydrocortisone (Cortef) is the same strength as physiological cortisol,

              Prednisone is about 5x stronger and also lasts longer, so it destroys normal diurnal rhythm, unlike hydro, which is given at 10 mg a.m. and 5 mg p.m. for a full daily replacement dose in those who don't make their own, with individual variation in needs.

              Ddexamethasone, IIRC, is ten times stronger than physio and lasts longer, too.

              The ones stronger and longer lasting than hydrocortisone suppress normal adrenal function and disrupt normal endocrine functions of other hormones as well by suppression and destruction of normal circadian rhythm.

          2. I strongly recommend that you meet with a registered dietician (health insurance will often cover this appt if it is a referral from your dr)
            Your above overall goals are all beneficial for disease orevention. The more dark leafy greens, vegetables and high antioxidant fruits (blueberries, berries, pomegranates) the better. Eliminating processed foods, sodas, white flour products and convenience foods are a first step.

            I would also recommend strongly that you look into an excersize routine, simple weight baring excersizes using your own body weight as well as simply walking regularly are beneficial.
            Surprising sources of dietary calcium include almond milk, spinach, and lentils.

            1. For what it's worth, here's an excellent article by an RD who *has no allegiances to ANYthing corporate* fact, he's started a group of Dieticians for Professional Integrity since he's appalled at RD's saying Coca-cola is ok to drink, etc, etc., and all of the RD events sponsored by these hideous corps. You want MINERALS and VITAMINS found in plants mostly (AND weight-bearing exercise is vitally important to good bone health too) your research & best wishes to you for good health:

              26 Replies
              1. re: Val

                this author and article seem to skew heavily towards vegetarianism? i also was immediately raising an eyebrow at her assertion that "vitamins" and "minerals" added after processing to junk like soy milk is just as good and equally bioavailable as that found in whole foods. (am not an advocate for drinking milk though.)

                a few servings per week of shellfish, wild fish like sardines and herring + offal like liver would blow a mountain of kale out of the ballpark for minerals and micronutrients.

                animal protein is not the demon on anybody's menu.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Am not trying to say that animal protein is a demon...just saying that bone health can be obtained from MANY sources...not just dairy milk...the points he makes are valid...plants STILL offer more nutrients than meats, period. Thanks!

                  1. re: Val

                    There is nothing we can get from plants that we can't get elsewhere, which is why they are not at all essential in a biologhical sense in human nutrition. You can thrive without them.

                    Without adequate bioavailable protein and fats, you die. Fat and protein are the only essentials, we can't make them ourselves. So to suggest that nutrition from plants is anywhere on a health plain with them is false.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Excuse me, can obtain fats and proteins from plants...avocados offer fats and so do nuts and seeds; many plants offer proteins (broccoli, kale, legumes and nuts to name a few). And are you saying you can obtain fiber from meats? Fiber is found only in plants, antioxidants too.

                      1. re: Val

                        You don't NEED fiber. Especially if you don't eat starch. The fiber is healthy because you don't digest most of it.

                        Further, the discussion here is about optimal nutrients for anti inflammation and bone health.

                        Plant proteins are poorly used by the body compared to animal proteins, even when fully digested.

                        You're wrong about antioxidants being required from the diet; the body is able to manufacture them, that's one of the reasons plant foods are NOT ESSENTIAL in human biology. That's why folks eating meat only are healthy, not malnourished. We don't have a requirement for other sources of antioxidants.

                        1. re: mcf

                          In part, mcf writes:
                          "You don't NEED fiber. Especially if you don't eat starch. The fiber is healthy because you don't digest most of it.'

                          I may end up wishing I had never gotten involved in this conversation, but.... Here goes!

                          Fiber *IS* important in good nutrition simply because it acts as a sort of "pot scrubber" in the lower colon, especially in anyone middle aged or older. As we age, diverticula (basically "side pockets" or "pouches") are formed in the walls of the small intestine that can trap fiberless food particles and become infected, resulting in diverticulosis and/or diverticulitis, therefore vegetable fiber is critical in keeping our digestive system in good functioning order. It's how we're designed, and low fiber diets have been shown to have a link to diseases such as colon cancer. Listen to your momma and eat your veggies!!! '-)


                            1. re: Caroline1

                              We're working from different information. Humans can survive on pure fat and protein and thrive, in fact. It's been done, researched, there is no disputing it.

                              1. re: mcf

                                Well, that depends... It CAN be disputed, and disputed through fact and valid challenges. WHO are the people who "thrive" on a "fibreless diet," and for how long? As I reference above, in humans being, a fibreless diet is dangerous for anyone living with flush toilets in modern society past age 40. The science is this: AS WE AGE the collagen in our bodies begins to weaken. It's why we have facial wrinkles when we get older. But the collagen in the rest of our bodies also begins to weaken and break down in aging. Collagen is an important strengthening substance in our entire body! Osteo arthritis is a "natural" condition of aging that is directly related to collagen break down in weight bearing cartilage in our joints over time. Collagen is also a critical substance in our small intestine, and when it weakens, diverticula can easily be a consequence. A fibreless diet in such an individual greatly increases the risk of infection in the diverticula Many animals that are carnivorous by nature use plant fiber by instinct to ease gastric duress. It's why dogs eat grass and cats eat catnip. Man is making giant leaps in making domestic animals sick because we force changes in their natural diet And strong evidence is compounding that that is exactly what we are doing to ourselves as well. When you understand all of this, it all boils down to common sense. MAYBE some people can "thrive" on a fibreless diet, but for how long? THAT is the fly in the ointment! People past age 40 who enjoy the modern conveniences of flush toilets as opposed to squatting in a field and thereby reinforcing bowel muscles will be highly prone to diverticulitis, in which case a high fiber diet is beneficial and for which such remedies as ground flaxseed (Metamucil) is a common medically suggested (it is no longer prescription) treatment. So I stand by my statement that a fiberless diet over the long term is a shortcut to serious gastric problems. I rest my case.

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Humans require ONLY fat and protein, they are the only essential macronutrients in human biology. Humans thrive indefinitely on all meat and fat diets. No lower limit of required carbohydrate has ever been established in humans because there's nothing in them that we cannot manufacture or get from other sources.

                                  The only time there is a negative side effect is when protein is also restricted and the diet is mostly fat, as in the extreme ketogenic diet used to reverse severe epilepsy, which can lead to kidney or gall stones. A diet of all protein and no fat is also not optimal.

                                  A diet of protein and fat is sustainable indefinitely, and in patient study of the Arctic explorers in 1928, at Belleview demonstrated only benefits of the diet for a year of study after encountering Arctic natives living on only protein and fat long term.

                                  Humans require only protein and fat, nothing else for adequate nutrition. That's not to say that we should not eat all the colorful, non starch, high fiber veggies available to us because they are nutrient dense and delicious, but we don't need them. OTOH, eating grains for fiber is a nasty trade off of high glycemia and low nutrient value for a paucity of fiber per calorie compared to non starchy veggies.

                                  I eat lots of fiber because my diet is very carb restricted, But I don't need to.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    So you're confirming what I say above. Thanks!

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      I couldn't read all that unbroken text. What did I confirm for you? When I say I eat lots of fiber, it's not because I need it due to my mostly protein and fat diet, but because I eat very low carb. I also go weeks on protein and fat alone at times, and I never need added fiber. Fat does the job better than fiber, if it's motility you're worried about.

                                      BTW, I am way above 40, and I have no digestive disorder with a diet of 85% protein and fat or more.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        Well, if you can't read "all that unbroken text," there's not much chance of you understanding what I'm talking about and even less chance that you read the link to the well researched Wicki article I offered. So if you're unable to learn things because you can't follow "all that unbroken text," why waste my breath????

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          you're typing. not talking. :)

                                          a quick perusal of your wiki brings a refutation to your belief, and its footnote:

                                          10. Anne F. Peery, Patrick R. Barrett, Doyun Park, Albert J. Rogers, Joseph A. Galanko, Christopher F. Martin, Robert S. Sandler. A High-Fiber Diet Does Not Protect Against Asymptomatic Diverticulosis. Gastroenterology, February, 2012

                                          plenty of entrenched dogma and an unwillingness to buck the accepted wisdom about fiber, but you're working off outdated info that has been most often promoted by the big cereal companies.

                                          did you bother to read the links i provided above?

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            I would ask why expend so much of it, without pause, and suggest you make sure you understand the content you're posting.

                                            I don't need the wiki, I've been reading widely in metabolic and nutrition scientific research for over a decadeh, and using critical analysis to make sure I evaluate study design, subject selection, methodology, uncontrolled variables and whether they legitimately support the stated conclusions.

                                            So often, they do not support the author's contentions. For years it's been reported that adding fiber or eating high fiber has produced many conflicting results, including no benefits at all. That's probably because the added or "high fiber" accompanies a high grain diet, which has a paucity of fiber and nutrition per extremely high glycemic calorie as compared to low carb diets, which are naturally higher in fiber and nutrients from carbs that don't over stimulate insulinemia the way grains and fruits do.

                                            High insulin levels are especially a strong risk factor for colon, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.

                                        2. re: mcf

                                          The underlying point I am trying to make is that it is very risky to extrapolate broad information based on narrow examples. Humans are very adaptive creatures, as are most life forms on this planet we share. Just because an Arctic team of 1928 were able to "benefit" from a protein and fat diet for a year does NOT mean they would have done well on that diet at the equator, or at high altitude or in Death Valley or the Dead Sea. It simply means they adapted to that circumstance at that time. It also means there is a high probability that they didn't have access to much vegetation. Not a whole lot of banana trees or potatoes growing in that region.

                                          It is always risky to assume that "one size fits all" on anything. Beyond our need for breathable air and potable water and some sort of sustenance that works for our individual bodies, there is a lot of evidence that indicates there is no one answer that applies well to all people. There are people who do not do well on an all fat/protein diet. There are also people who do not do well on a high carb/low fat diet. But conversely, there are other people who do do well on those same diets.

                                          The quest for answers is an ongoing torch that is passed from generation to generation, and it's dangerous to think we've found the end-all truth on anything. Dogmatism is a dangerous game because it is the best way to ensure that we are overlooking a lot of important clues that may indicate a better answer. How well would your example 1928 crew have done in another habitat that had few edible animals and lots of edible vegetation? I suspect they would have found a way to come through in pretty good shape at the end of a year. BUT....! The problem with both situations, Arctic or temperate, is that we have no long term data on how well each individual fared for the rest of their life, were there any long term side effects that suggest the diet was beneficial or detrimental, did the diet add to or shorten their projected life spans?

                                          A questioning but open mind has always worked best for me. But I readily admit it can get me into trouble. Seventy years ago I tried to argue with my science teachers that it is centrifugal force and not "gravity" that keeps our feet firmly planted on the planet, because if it was "gravity," then people on the other side of the world would have to walk on their hands because teach (and science) was claiming that "gravity" is a universal force...Turns out I may well have been closer to the truth than my closed minded science teacher, but only more time will tell. Ask LOTS of questions, but question every answer! Just because it may not happen to you does not mean there aren't people who get into serious digestive problems with an all fat/protein diet. I know that, because I'm one of them. But then, I'm an individual. And so are you.

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            there is not a single nutrient in plants that we cannot get from animal protein and fat. we do not "need" to eat them. we eat them because they are available and tasty.

                                            the push for high-fiber diets came from big ag in cahoots with the government which was busy paying subsidies for the over-production of cereal grains.

                                            if you would venture to read ANY of the links i posted for you, you might see a differing perspective.

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              Caroline, questioning authority and every answer is how I came to study and learn all this stuff and after 15 years, I haven't stopped assiduously researching it and evaluating the veracity of health and nutrition claims.

                                              I evaluate the information I find very carefully and never accept anyone's conclusions or assertions about what the research shows without reading it on my own..

                                  2. re: Val

                                    I really see both your point and mcf's. I think that there is no "need" to eliminate an entire food group unless there is a specific, individual medical/health reason to do so. Skewing them to meet your individual needs is different, which is what the OP seemed to be asking about.

                                    Ethical concerns are different, of course.

                                    People with medical concerns vs athletes vs overweight vs disease should have very different diets, IMO. Very few Americans need excess "filler foods" of simple or complex carbohydrate, but some thrive on them and do well (chronically underweight, active people). I think people get into trouble when they don't pay attention to their own bodies.

                                    My daughter turned vegetarian for ethical reasons, however she is allergic to many good plant protein sources (including all soy!) and she is gluten intolerant. She has never felt worse or gained so much weight. She is not paying attention to her body and what it is telling her. I am trying to convince her to reconsider her stance on animal protein and fats. No go..... :(

                                    I did get her to drink whey protein shakes and she feels a little better, but that is a very processed solution.

                                    1. re: sedimental

                                      My daughter, with no allergies, tried vegetarianism several years back, with eggs, whole and fermented soy, dairy and supplementary whey protein shakes totaling over 100 grams of protein per day. Had to give it up after a month or so, she felt shaky and weak all the time.

                                      Went away on lower amounts of quality animal protein, immediately.

                                      1. re: sedimental

                                        The blog has excellent recipes:
                                        To the far right is says "allergies" and you can sort by gluten free and or soy free.
                                        This blog also has a lot of helpful information under the menu for typical days and recipe ideas:

                                        Just more information for you and your daughter, not to be read as a commentary on this deeply personal choice.

                                  3. re: Val

                                    omega 3's are sorely lacking in a vegetarian diet, and the 0:6 consumption is often through the roof, skewing the healthful ratio badly and thus causing inflammation. zinc, b-12, iron, k2 and yes, calcium, are frequent deficiencies as well.

                                    best sources for zinc? lamb, grass-fed beef and scallops.

                                    best sources for b-12? shellfish, liver and caviar

                                    best sources for iron? shellfish, liver, beef

                                    best sources for k-2? natto (know any americans who eat it?) grass-fed dairy and pastured eggs

                                    best sources for calcium? wild fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon and grass-fed dairy.

                                    ALL of these animal sources present their major nutrient in conjunction and balance with support minerals and vitamins. in other words the iron in shellfish presents with sufficient zinc.

                                    i could not eat enough kale in my lifetime to offer the benefits i get from shellfish, offal and wild fatty fish.


                                    "plants STILL offer more nutrients than meats, period."

                                    comically fallacious. sorry.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        Yup. I was a vegetarian for 8 years and did fine for a while, then I became deficient in B12 and iron. I became anemic and didn't know why I felt like shit until my lab reports told me why.

                                        Once eating meat again, it all quickly resolved. Now I eat enough meat for my needs and plenty of vegetables, very few grains and fillers. I do poorly on fruit.

                                        I am big on fermented foods, probiotics, and gut health. Personally, I notice a big difference and it appears that people process foods (minerals too) better with the right gut bacteria. My spouse with IBS has dramatically improved with fermented foods and can now (finally!) process B vitamins and doesn't need to take an injection for them! Yay.

                                        1. re: sedimental

                                          another "fine for awhile, til i wasn't" reformed vegetarian. so many ailments and issues i thought were normal resolved when i resumed eating animal proteins.

                                          am quite sure this exacerbated my gluten intolerance too. when i gave up grains? felt like a million bucks within a couple days. amazing difference between "i feel fine" and feeling really great.

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            That was my story, too, minus gluten issues.

                                2. I am so sorry to be getting back here so late! My absence was unavoidable (all is well now, thankfully). Felt like I ding dong ditched you. :(
                                  Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and informative responses. I knew you'd be the folks to ask. :)

                                  For various reasons I am reducing my intake of animal products. Not eliminating, but reducing. I have had several kidney stone episodes so a bit less meat and sodium might help there.
                                  Also reducing dairy, but not eliminating. I eat eggs and cheese but am doing with less.
                                  Used almond milk with my Shredded Wheat for the first time recently. Plan to make my own soon to see how that goes.

                                  Have significantly upped the vegetables and am using beans and lentils.
                                  Yesterday I made what was pretty much a thick version of the italian soup with italian sausage, white beans, and kale. Skipped the sausage, though, and used kale, chard and spinach, canned tomatoes, roasted bell peppers and onion. Made soft polenta so it'd seem heartier for the family.

                                  Hummus and avocados have replaced my beloved mayo on sandwiches.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bonoeuf

                                    Somehow i cut off part of my earlier reply. Trying again:

                                    I am so sorry to be getting back here so late! My absence was unavoidable (all is well now, thankfully). Felt like I ding dong ditched you. :(
                                    Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and informative responses. I knew you'd be the folks to ask. :)

                                    For various reasons I am reducing my intake of animal products. Not eliminating, but reducing. I have had several kidney stone episodes so a bit less meat and sodium might help there.
                                    Also reducing dairy, but not eliminating. I eat eggs and cheese but am doing with less.
                                    Used almond milk with my Shredded Wheat for the first time recently. Plan to make my own soon to see how that goes.
                                    Have significantly upped the vegetables and am using beans and lentils.
                                    Yesterday I made what was pretty much a thick version of the italian soup with italian sausage, white beans, and kale, minus the sausage and with lots of veggies added. Made soft polenta so it'd seem heartier for the family.

                                    A couple of days ago I made brown lentils in the rice cooker, then made a salad using leftover oven roasted onions, tomatoes from the garden, cucumber, green onion, a splash of vinegar, whatever else was around waiting to be used up. As I ate it I added things like just a bit of feta and olives, or blue cheese. I know, high sodium additions. Just used a bit, promise.

                                    Bottom line is that I am making some general changes toward what looks to me like healthy eating. Not specific enough re bone health yet.
                                    Still need to learn more about my issues but you've all added so much for me to work with!
                                    I will go through your replies and links more thoroughly and sort things out.
                                    Thank you so, so much!
                                    Osteoporosis is for the birds.