What to avoid to help with osteoporosis
Cut out known bone loss triggers
What we take away from our diet, is just as important as what we add, to improve bone health. Time to remove or reduce:
- Cigarettes: Smokers are at increased risk of fractures as they have weaker bones.
- Alcohol: Yet another reason to go easy on the booze! Heavy consumption contributes to low bone mass and decreases bone formation. Alcohol appears to slow down healing after a fracture and let’s face it if it is consumed in excessive amounts can cause unsteadiness leading to falls! Over two units a day increases your risk.
- Fizzy drinks: A high intake of sugary fizzy drinks may cause bone loss through increased amounts of phosphoric acid. NOS says “there is no clear evidence proving a detrimental effect of fizzy drinks on bone health” but you could moderate your intake and think about including more nutritious drinks, milk or yogurt based smoothies or simply water if you are thirsty.
- Red Meat: Cut down on red and processed meats. A study published in Advances in Nutrition in January 2017 reported that reducing your intake may have a positive impact on bone health. Too much protein causes the body to produce sulphates, causing bones to lose calcium. However, it is not necessary to illuminate it altogether as red meat contains bone building zinc.
- Caffeine: According to the NOS: there is some evidence to suggest that more than several cups of coffee a day, maybe as many as eight, may cause a slight imbalance between calcium intake and calcium loss from the body. The effect is only modest. But, if you already have other risk factors for osteoporosis, you may want to consider limiting your intake of caffeine. Interestingly, studies suggest that tea does not have the same effect.
- Processed sugars: There is no proven link between sugar and bone health, yet over consumption may prevent calcium absorption. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruits rich in antioxidants, which are healthy nutrients that support bone health.
- Excess Salt and Processed Foods: Calcium from bones goes into the bloodstream, into the kidneys and down the toilet. The more salt you eat; the more calcium is lost to the kidneys. Cut out salt and monitor sodium levels in processed foods via the traffic light system on packaging.