Treatment

A comprehensive osteoporosis treatment program includes a focus on proper nutrition (especially for calcium and vitamin D), exercise, and safety practices to prevent falls. In addition, your physician may prescribe a medication to slow bone loss, increase bone density, and reduce fracture risk.

INGREDIENT FOCUS

Alendronate (brand name Fosamax) is a medication that is used to both prevent and treat osteoporosis. In postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, the drug reduces bone loss, increases bone density in both the spine and the hip, and reduces the risk of spine and hip fractures.

mini-summary

  1. Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for many Americans, mostly the elderly and women.
  2. After age 30, bone resorption slowly begins to exceed bone formation. Bone loss is most rapid in the first few years after menopause.
  3. Risk factors include gender, age, body size, ethnicity, family history, diet, a sedentary lifestyle, cigarette smoking, and excessive use of alcohol.
  4. To prevent osteoporosis, you need to get an adequate supply of calcium and vitamin D over your lifetime, perform weight-bearing exercises, and avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol.
  5. Using a special kind of X-ray, a physician can detect osteoporosis.
  6. A comprehensive osteoporosis treatment program includes a focus on proper nutrition (especially calcium and vitamin D), exercise, and safety practices to prevent falls. In addition, your physician may prescribe a medication such as Fosamax to slow bone loss, increase bone density, and reduce fracture risk.

NUTS AND SEEDS Nutrition

Nuts and seeds pack quite a few vitamins (such as folate and vitamin E) and minerals, along with fiber and protein, in their small sizes. Nuts in particular also contain quite a bit of fat. Luckily, most of the fat (except in walnuts) is mo-nounsaturated. Walnuts and flaxseed are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid. One ounce of many nuts contains from 13 to 18 grams of fat, making nuts a relatively high-kcalorie food. By comparison, seeds contain less fat and more fiber but still quite a few kcalories, but they can be easily worked into any diet. The fat and fiber they contain will, in any case, make you feel full longer.

Large studies have confirmed the link between eating nuts and a reduction in heart disease. The monounsaturated fat in nuts helps lower low-density

CHEF'S TIPS

lipoprotein cholesterol, the bad kind. Nuts (and seeds) are also excellent sources of phytochemicals,

  • Figures 7-14, 7-15, and 7-16 show a variety of nuts and seeds that can be used in many ways.
  • Toasting nuts brings out a lot of the flavor. To toast nuts such as almonds, spread them in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake at 325°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until the almonds are lightly colored. Toss occasionally. They will continue to brown slightly after you remove them from the oven.
  • You can dry roast nuts or roast them in a little oil to enhance their flavor as you prefer.
  • Nuts are wonderful in muffins, such as honey-almond muffins and walnut-strawberry muffins.
  • Nuts and seeds work well in granolas, give crunch and flavor to casseroles, and add interest to salads such as fennel, orange, watercress, and walnut salad.
  • Nuts and seeds turn rancid easily due to their fat content. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer to increase shelf life.
  • Pumpkin seeds are common in the cuisines of Austria and parts of Mexico, where people like their zesty flavor. Pumpkin seeds can be coated with olive oil and roasted to bring out their nutty flavor, then tossed on

FIGURE 7-14 Nuts. Top row: almonds, macadamia nuts, filberts. Bottom row: walnuts, pine nuts.

Photo by Frank Pronesti.

FIGURE 7-14 Nuts. Top row: almonds, macadamia nuts, filberts. Bottom row: walnuts, pine nuts.

Photo by Frank Pronesti.

FIGURE 7-15 Nuts. Top row: Brazil nuts, cashews. Bottom row: pistachios, pecans.

Photo by Frank Pronesti.

FIGURE 7-15 Nuts. Top row: Brazil nuts, cashews. Bottom row: pistachios, pecans.

Photo by Frank Pronesti.

salads. Pumpkin seeds can also be pulverized into a thick powder or paste and used as a thickener or toasted and used as a crust. In Austria, pumpkin seed oil, which has a very strong flavor, is used in small amounts in salad dressings. It also is used in the United States by some chefs.

■ Sunflower seeds are large compared with seeds such as sesame and caraway. They can be used in casseroles, stews, vegetables, stuffings, and salads.

FIGURE 7-16 Seeds. Top row: flax seeds, sunflower seeds. Bottom row: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds.

Photo by Frank Pronesti.

FIGURE 7-16 Seeds. Top row: flax seeds, sunflower seeds. Bottom row: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds.

Photo by Frank Pronesti.

  • Sesame seeds and caraway seeds are often used in baking. Toasted sesame seeds can be sprinkled on soups, fish, and cooked vegetables for flavor and texture.
  • In cooking, flax seeds add a pleasant, nutty flavor. The attractive, oval reddish-brown seeds of flax add extra texture and good nutrition to breads and other baked goods. That's why flax has been long used in multigrain cereals and snack foods. Flax seed also delivers the benefits of its soluble fiber, lignans, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Flax seed can be added to your cooking in a ground or whole seed form.
  • Whole flax seed. Add to bread doughs and pancake, muffin, or cookie mixes. When sprinkled on top of any of these before baking, it adds crunch, taste, and eye appeal.
  • Ground flax seed. Grind a desired amount of flax seed to a free-flowing granular consistency. Added to any foods, the ground flax seed enhances the flavor and appearance of the finished product.

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