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Diet can help you avoid a broken hip

Breaking a hip is a big worry for older adults, especially women whose bones have become brittle because of osteoporosis. About 350,000 osteoporosis-related broken hips occur each year in the United States. The consequences can be grim: About 20 percent of people who break a hip die within a year.

Your diet may help you prevent -- or raise your risk -- of a fracture. Ohio State University researchers found that older women with high amounts of specific omega-3 fatty acids in their blood reduced their risk of a fractured hip. The protective omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. They also can be found in some fish, most prominently salmon, tuna and sardines.

Conversely, older women with high levels of omega-6 acids had twice the risk of fracturing a hip. Most omega-6 acids in the American diet come from corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.

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