5 Foods to Avoid for Osteoporosis

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020, 11:09 pm

Bone-Dissolving Foods Seniors Must Avoid

Thanks to classic “Got Milk?” advertisements, many of us are aware that calcium and vitamin D support bone health. But have you ever thought about the foods that cause the opposite effect?

The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that around 54 million Americans have poor bone density. Often the first sign of poor bone density is a fracture, and at that point, it becomes much more difficult to improve bone health.

In fact, fractures not only make it more difficult to improve bone health – but at a certain age, bone fractures can lead to a permanent loss of independence for seniors.

Statistics from a National Hospital Discharge Survey show that the risks only increase with age.

1.) Soft Drinks

Soft drinks (yes, even diet soda) are packed with phosphoric acid, which causes an increase in the blood’s acidity levels.

As a result, the body pulls calcium out of our bones in order to bring the acidity levels back to normal.

When calcium intake is low, consuming excessive amounts of phosphoric acid will promote rapid calcium loss from the body.

To make matters worse, nearly all soft drinks lack calcium. Couple this with the fact that they also increase calcium excretion in our urine and it’s easy to see how these dangerous drinks act as a double whammy for bone health, putting seniors at serious risk for developing dilapidating bone conditions. 

2.) Table Salt

While sodium plays an important role in our overall health, over-consuming table salt, or eating excessive amounts of high-sodium foods can pose a great obstacle to a sturdy skeleton. 

Research has found that postmenopausal women with a high-salt diet lose more bone minerals than other women of the same age.

Studies show that regular table salt, not simply sodium, causes calcium loss, weakening bones with time. That’s important because Americans get about 90% of our sodium through salt.

We also get about twice as much sodium as we should. 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.

A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition in December 2016 found that participants who had a habit of eating salty foods were more prone to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bone-thinning.* A study published in the journal Osteoporosis International in January 2017 found this association also for postmenopausal women.

A good starting point is to replace regular table salt with pink Himalayan salt instead. 

Both table salt and pink Himalayan salt consist mostly of sodium chloride, but pink Himalayan salt has up to 84 other minerals and trace elements – including potent doses of common minerals like potassium and calcium which help maintain the vital mineral balance needed for healthy bones.

When ingested excessively, caffeine can begin leaching calcium from bones, sapping their strength.

Over-consuming caffeine (from soda or coffee or other caffeinated drinks) is a particular problem when a woman doesn’t get enough calcium each day, to begin with.

3.) Excessive Caffeine

That’s not as much of a loss as salt, but for coffee lovers who are unwilling to budge on their java intake – it’s worrisome, nonetheless. 

For reference, a 16-ounce cup of coffee can provide 320 milligrams which exceed the daily recommended amount when it comes to supporting strong, healthy bones.

The good news is that limiting caffeine intake to 300 milligrams a day while consuming the appropriate amount of bone-rebuilding nutrients can help offset the losses caused by excessive caffeine intake.

Coffee addicts may also find it helpful to gradually reduce their caffeine intake by drinking half regular and half-decaf coffee. 

4.) Hydrogenated oils

Hydrogenated oils are man-made fats produced by contaminating vegetable oils with hydrogen gas under super-high pressure – which creates synthetic artery-blocking trans fats. 

This man-made form of trans fat is not to be confused with the naturally occurring trans fats found within animal products and coconut oil – Naturally occurring trans fats are proven to support our health whereas the synthetic version can do serious damage. 

This is because the synthetic processing used to create hydrogenated oil destroys any naturally-occurring vitamin K in the vegetable oils. And since vitamin K is essential for strong bones, experts recommend forgoing any foods that contain non-natural trans fats completely (think fast food, frozen food, pastries, and most store-bought coffee creamers). 

To ensure your foods aren’t contaminated by these foul fats, check the ingredient list (even if the label reads trans-fat-free) for any “hydrogenated oils” or “partially hydrogenated oils.” Those phrases are synonyms for synthetic trans fats and are likely to be snuck into your food.

Like beans, wheat bran contains high levels of phytates which can prevent the body from absorbing calcium. However, unlike beans, 100% wheat bran is the only food that appears to reduce the absorption of calcium in other foods eaten at the same time.

For example, when consuming 100% wheat bran cereal with fortified milk, the body’s ability to absorb calcium from the milk is drastically reduced. 

It is recommended that cereal and bread lovers switch from wheat bran products to using sprouted grain products instead of those offered by the Ezekiel brand. The sprouting process breaks down phytates, which frees up nutrients like magnesium, B vitamins as well as nutrients from companion foods (like the calcium from fortified milk) easier to absorb.

5.) Wheat Bran

Plus, the sprouting process also breaks down some of the starch found in whole wheat bran grains, which makes sprouted grain products a little easier to digest. Making sprouted grain products the preferred alternative not just for bones, but for overall health and wellbeing. 

What Seniors Can Do To Rebuild Their Bones

An adult human possesses 206 bones made up of calcium, collagen protein, and other minerals. Unfortunately, poor bone health has become somewhat of an epidemic – leading to horrific accidents, fractures, and falls causing many of my senior patients to lose their independence earlier in life.

Adequate calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D intake helps to cast a protective net around bones, but collagen protein is the primary substance that makes up our bone’s solid material, providing the bone density needed to maintain a stronger skeletal structure within the body.

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