You drink your daily glass of milk, maybe you even take vitamin D supplements – but is that really enough to keep your bones healthy? Knowing what to eat, when to take supplements, how to combine calcium with vitamin D and other factors can cause confusion and lead to brittle bones. In fact, Americanbonehealth.org recommends roughly 1,000 milligrams a day, although this varies by gender, age and health status.
"Like with many health conditions, the foods you choose -- or choose not -- to eat, can play an important role in preventing or managing symptoms," writes Sarah Klein, assistant editor of Healthy Living for HuffingtonPost.com. So, naturally, some foods are worse for your bone health than others. Fortunately, Huffington Post is sharing the top 5 foods that are bad for your bones.
But don't cut these out of your diet just yet! "Not everyone needs to eliminate the following foods known to hurt your bones, but someone with a family history of osteoporosis might want to consider cutting back," says Heidi Skolnik, M.S., C.D.N, a board member for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
"More calcium is pulled into the urine when your intake of caffeine is high," says Joan A. McGowan, Ph.D., director of the NIH's Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases. Fortunately, the effect is relatively small, but it's something to consider if you're a heavy coffee drinker.
Sure, soda has caffeine too – but that's not what makes this beverage bad to the bone. According to Skolnik, "In excess, phosphorus, in the form of flavoring agent phosphoric acid in many colas, could interfere with calcium absorption."
"The more salt we consume, the more calcium we shed in urine and sweat. While a diet with enough calcium can make up for a moderate sodium intake, many of us consume much more salt than we know," says McGowan, who recommends checking nutrition labels and limiting dining out as much as possible.
(Too much) alcohol
Moderate drinking (i.e. one drink a day for women and two for men) seems to offer some protection to the bones, according to the experts. "However, too much alcohol can contribute to bone loss," says Skolnik. "Not to mention increase your likelihood for bone-breaking falls, especially among the elderly," adds McGowan.
Too much protein
"Although it's rare for someone to get excessive amounts of protein," says McGowan, "too much can change the pH balance of our bodies. The more acidic environment can lead to bone loss."