We often talk about the foods that are good for our bones, since it’s important to include these in your diet, but we also need to avoid foods that compromise our bones and make them weaker. Foods that you eat can affect your bone health, so learning as much as possible about the things that are detrimental will go a long way to improve your bone and overall health. The more we learn about these the easier it will be to make healthy food choices every day. Below is a list of foods that compromise calcium absorption and weaken bones.
Most Americans eat too much salt, unless you are on a very clean diet. Excessive salt robs your bones of calcium which we need to keep our bones and organs healthy. If you eat processed foods, you’ll know that they are loaded with sodium, which is one reason why we’re told to avoid eating them. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise limiting sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day - equal to a teaspoon of salt. But most Americans get at least 4,000 milligrams a day.
Oxalates are present in things like spinach, rhubarb, beet greens and some beans. If your food is high in oxalates, you won’t absorb calcium well, so don’t count the calcium content in these if you eat them. These items, high in oxalates, are good for other necessary nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy.
Phytates are similar to oxalates in that they impede the bodies’ absorption of calcium causing our bones to release calcium into our urine. Beans and wheat bran are two forms of high-phytate foods. If you eat either of these, space your calcium out by several hours so the phytates and calcium are not competing for absorption.
You can eliminate some of the phytates in beans if you soak them over night or for a few hours and then cook in fresh water.
Too much alcohol is bad for your bones. Limit your alcohol to 2-3 drinks a day. Alcohol can also make you more susceptible to falling since it has an impact on your balance.
Drinks that contain caffeine, like tea, coffee, sodas and energy drinks also inhibit your body’s ability to absorb calcium, so drinks these in moderation or not at all.
Colas have caffeine and phosphoric acid in them. Phosphoric acid may lead to bone loss because it’s believed that too much phosphorus is bad for our bones. Another issue is we substitute milk, or other healthy drinks, and choose colas instead; limiting the calcium we could be getting.
Our skeletal system is a living organ, and we need to supply it with foods and nutrients that will keep it strong and healthy. We know the importance of calcium, vitamin D, exercise and a good diet, so add this list to your daily routine so you can be sure that your bodies’ framework carries you far into a healthy future.
Ward, Elisabeth M. (1-9-2008). Osteoporosis Diet Dangers: Foods to Avoid. Retrieved 1-2-2015 from http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/living-with-osteoporosis-7/diet-dangers
National Osteoporosis Foundation. Food and Your Bones. Retrieved 1-2-2015 from http://nof.org/foods