Eating fish, olives could prevent hip fracture
Sticking to a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, unrefined cereals, olive oil and fish can stave off bone loss in sufferers as they grow older.
The findings add to the growing string of health benefits linked to the Mediterranean diet, such as fighting heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Bologna University scientists led the study, believed to be the first long-term analysis of the diet’s impact of bone health in older adults.
Nearly 1,150 volunteers were followed over a year.
Their bone density was measured both at the start and end of the European Union (EU)-funded trial, which involved British, French, Dutch and Polish researchers.
Half of the participants, who were all aged between 65 and 79, were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet. The others were not.
For volunteers with normal bone density, the diet had no significant impact. But, it was found to offer benefits for osteoporosis patients.
All osteoporosis patients not following the Mediterranean diet had the usual age-related decrease in bone density.
But those sticking to the diet saw an equivalent increase in bone density in one part of the body – the femoral neck.
Consuming more fruit and fish, and fewer sugary drinks and snacks, are the most important aspects of a Mediterranean diet.
Emphasis on: Fruits; Vegetables; Legumes; Nuts; Seeds; Whole grains; Fish and meat; and Monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil.
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