It’s Tuesday and that means that Lani is dropping by to answer some of your questions! If you want to learn a little bit more about Lani, or check out her helpful advice in the comments check out this introduction post.
This week Lani addresses the soy question as well as a question about osteoporosis.
Also! Tune in tonight to Lani’s tele- class with Engine 2′s, Natala Constantine! Click here for details.
Alison asks: Please put the soy question to rest! I have one friend telling me she can’t consume soy because of the estrogenic effects.
Lani Muelrath: Hey Alison, I love the soy question because invariably it is asked by people who are pounding down the dairy and quite possibly other animal products with far more dangerous risks to our hormonal profile than a few bites of something soy.
Whether or not this is true for your friend, here’s the thing. Some people are allergic to soy, so that’s a no brainer about elimination. And all ‘soy’ is not created equal. Processed soy products and isolated soy proteins should not form a large part of a whole-food, plant-strong diet. A little bit of tempeh, a few cubes of tofu, and a splash of soy milk on your oatmeal is a far cry from isolated soy protein shakes and bars. Soy foods should not comprise more than about 5% of your total calories for the day, which they probably shouldn’t anyway because they are rather high in fat. You might as your friend at what levels of soy consumption she is concerned with the estrogenic effects. It’s possible that her health care provider has directed her not to eat soy due to her own personal sensitivity and profile, which she should listen to. This is different from general recommendations.
Vikki asks: I’m 60 and was diagnosed with osteopenia / osteoporosis last year. What’s the best thing(s) I can do to halt and / or reverse the progression?
Lani Muelrath: Vicki, the 2 primary points of intervention are diet and exercise.
Let’s start with exercise. First, remember that bone is a living tissue and given the right stimulus it will try to build itself stronger. Bone is built by stress that is delivered in 2 ways: Through impact of gravity and through muscle tugging on bone. Every time you take a step while walking or jogging, your muscles are getting the inspiration to become more dense. Every time you lift a weight or object, muscle tugs against bone and bone building is the response. When you try to regain your balance, the muscles of the back tug against the spine and you build bone.
When it comes to diet, a whole-foods plant based diet rich in greens, beans and their other plant friends is loaded with calcium, iron, zinc, etc, and the more plants you eat the more minerals you get. The problem is then not the supply. The problem is potential depletion of mineral stores in the bone. Here’s how it happens.
The typical American diet of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and cheese as well as processed grains is very acidic. These acids demand to be neutralized. And guess what the primary buffering system of the body is. The bones. They dissolve so as to neutralize the acid. They are washed out into the kidney system. What’s left behind is osteoporotic bones.
Corrective diet and load-bearing exercise along with resistance training are your two allies in the quest for stronger bones.
Thank again Lani for taking the time to answer some questions!
Do you have a question for Lani? Please leave it in the comments below!