Concerned about bone health? What you eat and drink makes a difference. Bone health is not just genetic. We can affect bone health with our lifestyle choices.
Approximately 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and 43 million others have low bone mass. But according to orthopedic experts, protecting and maintaining strong bones has less to do with drinking milk and more to do with avoiding foods and beverages that negatively impact bone health and density.
Dr. Andrea J. Singer, the chief medical officer for the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), explains that osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both.
“As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in more severe cases, simply from sneezing or minor bumps,” she tells Newsmax. “Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men aged 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.”
The number of people with osteoporosis has been consistently rising. This may be due to a number of factors, including the growing population over the age of 50, people not reaching peak bone mass in their younger years and therefore being more susceptible to osteoporosis later in life, and older people being more sedentary than previous generations.
According to HuffPost, taking calcium and vitamin D supplements in dosages appropriate for your age can help maintain bone health. Avoiding these four foods may also decrease your risk of osteoporosis:
Avoid These Foods for Better Bone Health
Drinking more than a glass of alcohol daily for women, or more than two drinks for men, according to the guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can alter the body’s ability to absorb important nutrients that are beneficial to bone health, such as calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium. Drinking too much alcohol can also increase your risk for falling and bone breakage.
Coffee, energy drinks, tea and supplements that contain caffeine can increase calcium loss and decrease calcium absorption, says HuffPost. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends drinking no more than 400 milligrams daily, which is about four or five cups of coffee. Soda, particularly cola, is also a culprit of bad bone health. One study found that drinking cola, including diet versions, was associated with significantly lower bone density in women. The more cola women drank, the more their bones were negatively impacted.
• Wheat bran.
Wheat bran is heart healthy, but it can also prevent proper calcium absorption. This is because it contains high levels of phytates, so-called “anti-nutrients” naturally found in plants that reduce the absorption of other nutrients. It’s best to switch to oat bran, which doesn’t have those high levels of phytates and is better for bone health. Spinach, beans, and other plant-based foods may also contain other “anti-nutrients” that decrease calcium absorption. Soaking them (in the case of beans) and cooking them (in the case of spinach) can lessen their impact.
While salt is usually associated with high blood pressure, too much can also lead to calcium loss from your bones. According to a 2018 study by the Journal of the American College of Physicians increased sodium consumption significantly increased the risk of osteoporosis. The FDA recommends consuming no more than 1 teaspoon of table salt, or 2,300 milligrams, daily.
“Osteoporosis and the broken bones it can cause are NOT a part of normal aging,” says Singer. “There is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life, such as getting enough calcium and vitamin D, eating a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables, and avoiding smoking and excess alcohol.”
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