Your elders may have ever told you to eat your vegetables. “to have healthy, strong bones,” then prepare for your inner child’s vindication. Recent research from the University of Leeds has shown that vegetarianism has many benefits but also has its drawbacks.
And for middle-aged women, one such downside includes an increased risk of hip fracture—roughly 33% as compared to regular meat eaters in the study. A hip fracture is a serious, independence-altering injury, which makes this statistic all the more alarming.
But before you swear off brussels sprouts forever, let’s get to the root of the facts.
The proof is in Bone Mineral Density
The University of LeedsTo determine the impact of their diets on hip health, we followed 26,318 UK women. There were many diet choices among the women. They ranged from vegetarian to vegan to an omnivore (both occasional and regular meat consumers), to an omnivore (both regular, as well as occasional,) to an omnivore (both regular, and occasional meat eaters). 822 of the sample population were affected by hip fractures, which is 3%.
Researchers modified the hip fracture data to include other possible factors like ethnicity, other diseases and other lifestyle factors. The data showed that only vegetarians had a higher risk of developing hip fractures.
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While scientists say the subject needs more research, preliminary estimates suggest vegetarians’ increased risk is due to a lower bone mineral density. Healthy bone mineral density is supported by nutrients found in animal products such as calcium and protein.
“Low intake of these nutrients can lead to lower bone mineral density and muscle mass, which can make you more susceptible to hip fracture risk,” wrote Dr. James Webster, the study’s lead author. “This makes it especially important for further research so that we can help people to make healthy choices.”
Global Health Issue with High Economic Costs
The severity of the injury is one reason why there is so much urgency in finding out more about the link between bone health, vegetarianism and it. Study co-author Dr. Janet Cade described hip fracture as a “global health issue with high economic costs that causes loss of independence, reduces the quality of life, and increases the risk of other health issues.”
Middle-aged people, especially those who forgo meat, can make informed decisions about their health and make better choices. Because all things considered, a vegetarian diet isn’t a bad idea. It’s also healthy. Lower the chance of certain chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, but it’s also Better for the Environment.
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Still, it’s important to be aware of all potential risks of a diet, even one that seems particularly healthy on the surface. While scientists gather more data on plant-eaters’ bone health, there are some steps you can take to fortify your nutrition.
Another option is to include more nutritious vegetables in your diet. I am a vegetarian and know how easy it can be to eat a lot of potatoes and beans. Broccoli, leafy greens, and squash are all rich in calcium. Vitamin D, which aids the body absorb calcium from food, is found in bananas and citrus fruits.
You can also take supplements to supplement your nutrition. It’s important to consult with a doctor or nutritionist to figure out what deficiency you might have and which supplements are recommended.
Vegetarians can enjoy many benefits. However, it is important to take precautions and focus on filling any nutritional gaps. This will help you avoid potential downfalls such as the one shown in this study.