To Your Health
September, 2022 (Vol. 16, Issue 09)
Is Your Diet Hurting You?
By Editorial Staff
Women who adopt a vegetarian diet improve their health on numerous levels relative to eating a meat-based diet, particularly if the meat is high in saturated fat / cholesterol. However, depending on the vegetarian foods you eat (or don't eat), you may actually be putting your health at risk. Here's why going vegetarian requires careful consideration to make sure you're getting the proper macro- and micronutrients your body needs.
Vegetarian women have an increased risk of a major health complication that, depending on their age, can significantly compromise functional abilities ... and in some cases, even prove fatal. We're talking about a hip fracture, which leads to death in a shocking one in five adults over the age of 65. If you're younger, your survival odds improve, but don't think you're out of the woods; your mobility and independence will be severely limited until you're fully recovered.
Researchers found that among more than 26,000 middle-aged women (at the start of their study), vegetarians were the only diet group with an increased risk of hip fracture compared to regular meat eaters during 20 years of follow-up. Occasional meat eaters and pescatarians (eat fish, but not meat) had no such elevated risk. Their findings appear in a recent issue of BMC Medicine.
Does this mean vegetarians should start eating meat? No, but it does mean vegetarians, particularly women – whose bones tend to be more fragile than men in general, and particularly after menopause), need to be attentive to meeting their bone-health needs. That means ensuring adequate intake of calcium, vitamin D, protein and similar bone-support macro- and micronutrients. Talk to your doctor for more information.