Too many people think osteoporosis is a disease that affects only older women. While the risk of experiencing a broken bone increases dramatically with age, this often symptomless disease can be prevented if women act now—no matter how old they are.
Practicing healthy lifestyle habits helps build and maintain bone mass and guard against osteoporosis. "Nutrition and exercise must go hand in hand for good bone health," says Holly Thacker, M.D., director of the women's health center at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and author of Women's Health: Your Body, Your Hormones, Your Choices (Cleveland Clinic Press).
Because women, in general, make less bone than men—and lose it faster—we're more likely to develop low bone density, which in severe cases can result in a decrease in height, lost teeth, and fragile bones that are likely to break. In fact, half of all women will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. But this debilitating condition can be stopped. Whether you're in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, our easy diet tips will pave the way to your bone-healthy future.