Have a Cola and Osteoporosis?

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How many people do you personally know that guzzle soft drinks from the time they get out of bed until the time they crawl their ass back into it? I know of several who do this every day of the week and they also never drink anything else like water or milk. Who in their right mind could ever think of this as being anything healthy? Are you nuts?

This topic came about as a result of a conversation I had with my mother who was telling me about a little old lady in her neighborhood who has bad Osteoporosis which according to said little old lady, was a direct result of drinking soda pop only for several years. Allegedly, her doctor told her this, which got me curious if this could be true. My research into this also took me down many other rabbit trails regarding this affliction. Osteoporosis is a terribly debilitating condition, I have found that there is a lot more to it than soda pop, it can also be caused by poor nutritional practices over a life time.

The biggest tie to Osteoporosis and soda pop seems to come from an excess of phosphoric acid intake over calcium intake which can lead to bone loss. However, research also shows that those who drink only sodas rarely drink milk in order to increase their calcium. So, this could be the bigger culprit in the ties between soda and Osteoporosis.

Crappy diets over a life time can lead to Osteoporosis and drinking nothing but soda every day is also a pretty damn stupid thing to do for a whole host of other reasons. The bottom line is just because we can get away with dumb choices for a period of time in our lives, eventually our stupidity will catch up to us through failing health. Is it any wonder that now days you can see people as young as in their forties who suffer from ailments that used to only affect true senior citizens? Isn’t is ironic how in our society that we can judge smokers as being dummies who will die young from their dirty habit, we can condemn the lifelong alcoholic or drug addict for the damage their habits will inflict on loved ones besides themselves, yet it would be socially unacceptable to call people out for their gluttony of bad foods and drink. Gluttony is probably more harmful than smoking, drugs and alcohol because most people do not recognize it as being bad until their ass is getting a foot chopped off because of diabetes, or they are too fat to get get their own ass on and off the toilet.

In writing this blog, I began with a purpose of going in one direction, but this is now going in a couple. The first thing I am going to address is drinking soda pop every day. Specifically, drinking several servings a day or nothing but soda. Whether you drink diet or regular soda all day, you are a blooming idiot if you understand the health implications and continue to do so anyway. If you do not know this is bad for you, then I truly hope someone else is in charge of your life as you must have a learning disability or something. If you can read the following and still continue your all day, every day soda habit, you would be a special kind of stupid. Stupid as Ol Smokey going through a pack or two of cigarettes a day.

According to Cleveland Clinic;

  • The sugar in sugar-sweetened sodas may increase blood glucose and increase insulin. Over time, these may lead to glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and inflammation. Those changes in turn influence atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries), plaque stability and thrombosis (clot formation), a risk factor for strokes caused by blockage of an artery.
  • The fructose in sugar-sweetened soda can be converted to visceral (belly) and liver fat. This enhances lipogenesis (fat buildup and triglyceride synthesis in the blood stream). Fructose also increases uric acid in the blood, which can reduce nitric oxide in the vessel lining and increase blood pressure, a risk factor for strokes caused by blockages or hemorrhages.
  • Because the body does not regulate our consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in the same manner as foods, drinking them may lead to excess caloric intake. This is unlikely to explain our study findings, however, because controlling for energy intake in our models did not change results.
  • The caramel coloring in sugar-sweetened and low-calorie colas contains advanced-glycation end products. These have been linked to inflammation, which has been linked to the initiation, growth and unstable plaques that can break off and cause strokes. An inverse (U-shaped) association has been reported between high blood pressure and caffeine, while a linear association has been reported between high blood pressure and increased soda intake. This suggests that ingredients other than caffeine in soda affect blood pressure.
  • The ways in which diet or low calorie soda may influence stroke risk are less clear than those for sugar-sweetened soda. Diet soda has recently been linked to an increased risk of vascular events (Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2012); diabetes (Diabetes Care 2009, European Journal of Nutrition, 2013) and kidney function decline (Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2011).
  • Researchers have also begun to look at ways in which diet soda may affect “reward processing” in different parts of the brain (Physiology & Behavior, 2012) and hormone levels (Diabetes Care, 2012). Both mechanisms may help to explain the epidemiologic findings.

That is a lot of bad stuff happening in your body when you drink high amounts of soda every day. What ever happened to the days when a bottle of pop was a treat instead of something to consume by the gallons every day.

Now, to get back to Osteoporosis. Of course there are many reasons folks can get this that are beyond their control such as menopause and or sickness. My point is not aimed at these folks. My focus is on those who do end up with Osteoporosis as a direct or even indirect result of a poor dietary habits over a life time. With my own age advancing closer to my retirement years and the ever rising cost of medical care, I think about ailments that are preventable or at least minimized by healthy eating. If some of this sounds overly harsh so far, understand that I am frustrated beyond belief with two immediate family members who are in piss poor health because of their eating habits. One barely eats now and the other is eating himself into an early grave at 54 years old and a body weight of about 500 lbs or better. And neither one of them seem to give a damn that their lifelong habits have a direct result on those of us who love them.

According to Mayo Clinic, a bone healthy diet can help in preventing and managing Osteoporosis.

Like any living tissue, bones need nutrients so that they can grow and then maintain that growth. That’s why a key component to both managing and preventing osteoporosis is good nutrition. Is there a bone-healthy diet? The answer is yes. Here are five steps to eating well for strong bones.

1. Eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains

Studies show that eating more vegetables and fruits will lead to improved bone health. These foods are generally lower in calories and fat and are high in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. They also contain phytochemicals, substances that can help protect against a variety of diseases, including osteoporosis.

Aim to eat four or more servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, K and A. All play a role in maintaining bone health.

Also eat four servings of grains daily. Choose whole grains when possible because whole grains contain more nutrients, especially magnesium and fiber, than do refined grains.

2. Choose healthy sources of protein and fat

Protein is important for bone health, because it’s a major component of bone tissue and plays a role in maintaining bone. The best choices include plant proteins, such as beans and nuts, as well as fish, skinless poultry and lean cuts of meat. Plant proteins are rich in vitamins, minerals and estrogen-like plant compounds that help preserve bone. Low-fat dairy products, including milk and plain yogurt, are another good source of protein and also provide calcium, which benefits bone health. Protein should account for 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories.

You need some fat in your diet for your body to function properly. The best choices are monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, nuts and seeds. Cold water fish also provide essential omega-3 fatty acids — eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Even these fats, however, should be eaten in limited amounts. Avoid saturated fats, which have been shown to be detrimental to bone health in adults.

3. Get plenty of calcium

Calcium is critical to bone health. This mineral is a key building block of bone, and it helps prevent bone loss and osteoporotic fractures in older people. Although the recommended daily intake for most adults ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams (mg) or more, the typical diet provides much less.

If you’re not getting enough calcium, try to increase your consumption of foods that are high in the mineral. Milk and other dairy products are the richest food sources, but calcium is also found in kale, broccoli, and calcium-fortified foods such as juices, cereals and tofu products.

If you can’t get enough calcium in your diet, then you should consider a calcium supplement. A calcium supplement is often recommended for postmenopausal women because it can reduce the rate of bone loss. Calcium should not be taken alone, however. Vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption, and magnesium helps direct the calcium to the bone, keeping it out of the soft tissues.

4. Limit sugar, salt and phosphate additives

Foods that contain sugars added during processing generally provide a lot of calories, additives and preservatives, but very few vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. For this reason, dietary guidelines often recommend that you limit processed foods and beverages. Soft drinks are often the biggest culprit.

Too much salt in your diet also can be harmful. Not only can salt cause high blood pressure, but too much salt also can increase the amount of calcium you excrete from your body with urination. Aim for a limit of 2,300 mg of salt daily — the equivalent of about one teaspoon.

Phosphorus is used as an additive in many processed foods. Too much phosphorus in your diet can interfere with how much calcium is absorbed through your small intestine.

To limit your intake of these problematic ingredients, check the labels on the processed foods you buy at the grocery store and choose fresh foods whenever possible.

5. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption

Consuming more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day hastens bone loss and reduces your body’s ability to absorb calcium. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. And drinking alcohol with meals will slow calcium’s absorption as well.

Caffeine can slightly increase calcium loss during urination. But much of its potentially harmful effect stems from substituting caffeinated beverages for milk and other healthy drinks. Moderate caffeine consumption — about 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day — won’t be harmful as long as your diet contains adequate calcium.

So, the question becomes, do you care about your health concerns as you age? And what are you prepared to do about it? Do you eat a bone healthy diet, or a diet that only temporarily fills an empty void when you are hungry on a constant basis? Besides the types who only drink soda pop all day, how many do you know who only seem to ever eat from fast food restaurants, junk food from convenience stores or the garbage usually found in vending machines. How many go the less benign route of only buy foods from the grocery store where all you have to do in order to feed your family is to pop the already made meal into the oven or in a pot of boiling water? How much processed garbage do you eat or feed to your family? Can you actually pronounce the names of all the ingredients on the label, and do you actually know what each of those ingredients are? Do you look at the contents sugar, salt and preservative amounts?

Maybe you can roll the dice by eating garbage your entire life while washing it down with soda and never have a health issue. Or, you may roll the dice and lose in a big way. Is temporary satisfaction really worth a risk to your health and well being over the long term? If you do not really care about yourself, do you care about your kids enough to not fuck them with a life of preventable ailments? Ask yourself, is there ever a good reason to feed your loved one a meal with zero nutritional value which could directly affect their well being. Lastly, next tie you see the stooped over old lady or the little old man who is frail and maybe not as old as he appears, ponder the question if that condition was a result of a poor diet. Take the thought even deeper with the understanding that even if it was from a hormonal issue or sickness, it still could be a indirect result of a shitty diet.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Brenda Sue says:

    This is so important. Osteoporosis is a life altering ailment. I’ve also known a woman who developed a terrible case of it and guess what…she drank nothing except coffee and the small bottled Coca-Colas! Good blog!

  2. Laura says:

    More motivation to wisely nourish our bodies! Thank you David!

    1. davidyochim says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting Laura.

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