When it comes to bone health, the first and foremost thought is to boost daily calcium intake. But this doesn’t mean meeting daily calcium requirement alone builds strong bones. Though almost all bone growth is done in the childhood and teenage years, it is important to take care to maintain bone health as bone loss starts in the mid-thirties.
Healthy bones are made from the little decisions of diet one makes throughout the day. What we eat and what we don’t make a big difference in bone health. Hence, diet can make bones better or worse. As calcium-rich foods and vitamin D aids to build stronger bones, there are also some foods that can weaken the bones. [ You might be interested in this: How To Protect The Knee Joint From A Meniscus Tear? ]
Here is a list of foods that can hurt your bone health and that should be limited or avoid completely, based on the condition of your bones.
1. Salty Foods
The more salt consumed, the more calcium is lost. Sodium is known to cause excessive calcium excretion through the kidneys. The body needs a certain ratio of sodium to potassium for optimal bone health. When the sodium intake rises, there will be an imbalance of too much sodium and not enough potassium. This results in gradual bone loss and leads to osteoporosis. Limiting salty foods and opting for foods that are free of or low in added salts can be beneficial for bone health.
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2. Iron-rich Foods
Though iron is beneficial for health, an excess amount of it is not good for bones. When iron-rich foods are consumed along with calcium-rich foods, iron interferes with calcium absorption and causes bone loss. So, one should avoid iron-rich foods while having those that are rich in calcium in order to maximize the calcium absorption.
3. Carbonated Beverages
Consuming a lot of carbonated beverages such as sodas and soft drinks can negatively affect bone health. This is because of the high amounts of phosphoric acid present in them. Phosphoric acid in carbonated drinks causes an increase in the acidity levels of blood. This leads the body to pull calcium out of the bones to bring down the blood’s acidity levels. As a result, bone mineral density reduces and increases the risk of fractures. [ You might be interested in this: What Causes Knee Pain And How To Prevent It? ]
4. Sugary Snacks
High sugar intake can definitely affect bone health. Snacking on sugary foods can make bones more susceptible to lower bone mass, injury, and osteoporosis later in life. It is not necessary to give up sugar completely, but opt for natural sugar in moderate amounts.
5. High-protein Foods
Protein is an essential nutrient for the body. One needs around 1gm/Kg of body weight. Since protein-rich diets have become much popular these days, people are often having to consume more protein than what they need is needed. Excess protein intake leads to calcium exertion and results in weaker bones. People who get excess protein, especially in the form of animal protein are at higher risk of reduced bone density. So, get consume the required amounts of protein in order to make a balance.
Coffee, teas and some soft drinks contain caffeine. Excess consumption of caffeinated drinks decreases the body’s ability to absorb calcium and affects bone health. When 100 mg of caffeine is consumed, about 6 mg of calcium is lost. Caffeine combined with sugary foods have has greater effects on bone health, especially in postmenopausal women. If the daily caffeine intake exceeds 400 mg, bones become weaker and have been at an increased risk of fractures.
Leafy greens are rich in calcium. But the oxalates present in them block the calcium absorption and make it unavailable to the body. This is not same for all the leafy greens but some such as spinach, kale, interfere with calcium absorption. So, in order to get the health benefits of leafy greens, have them with foods that contain calcium readily absorbed by the body such as cheese. [ You might be interested in this: Top 5 Health And Fitness Tips To Make Your Life Best ]