You probably know that calcium and vitamin D are needed to build strong bones. But what you may not know is that there are certain foods in your diet that can actually reduce bone density, increasing your risk for osteoporosis. For even stronger bones, avoid these everyday calcium destroyers.
Caffeine leaches calcium from your bones, reducing their strength. In fact, you lose about 6 milligrams of calcium for every 100 milligrams of caffeine ingested. In a recent study of 31,527 women ages 40 to 76, researchers found those women who drink 330 milligrams of caffeine or more a day — the equivalent of about four cups of coffee — had an increased risk of bone fractures. This risk was especially noted in women who had a lower consumption of calcium.
The good news is that limiting caffeine intake to 300 milligrams a day while getting adequate calcium probably offsets any losses caffeine causes. Therefore, if you can’t reduce the caffeine, make sure you are getting enough calcium.
Too much sodium in your diet can cause you to excrete calcium in your urine and perspiration. Sodium is found in table salt and many processed foods. 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.
Americans get about twice as much sodium as recommended. The dietary guidelines for Americans advise limiting sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day. For every 2,300 milligrams of sodium you take in, about 40 milligrams of calcium is lost in the urine.
Many carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which can increase calcium excretion in your urine. And nearly all soft drinks lack calcium. Excess phosphorus promotes calcium loss from the body when calcium intake is low. The occasional soda is fine, but many people, especially women, consume more than an occasional soda.
The only food known to reduce the absorption of calcium when eaten at the same time as calcium is 100 percent wheat bran. If you take calcium supplements, foods containing wheat bran should be eaten two or more hours before or after taking the supplement.
Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages is associated with lower bone density because alcohol interferes with the absorption of calcium and vitamin D. Alcohol interferes with liver enzymes that are necessary for converting the inactive form of Vitamin D into the active form. Without sufficient active Vitamin D, your body can not absorb calcium from your gastrointestinal tract. To lower your risk for osteoporosis, limit your intake of alcohol to one drink a day.
Balance Your Diet with High Calcium Foods
If you consume high amounts of any of the foods mentioned above, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet to keep your bones healthy. Getting the recommended amount of calcium each day to offset any loss of calcium caused by any other foods you eat will go a long way to preventing bone loss.
Fortunately, there are plenty of good sources of calcium to include in your diet:
- low-fat dairy products
- dark green, leafy vegetables
- calcium-fortified whole grain cereals
- calcium-fortified juices
- calcium supplements
Whatever your diet, you should be getting 1,000 mg of calcium daily if you’re under 50(more if you are pregnant or nursing). If you’re over 50, you need 1,200 mg of calcium daily.
If you are looking for an effective supplement to strengthen and protect your bones, we suggest Healthy Choice Naturals Osteocare. It provides you with a rich source of highly absorbable Calcium, Magnesium and important minerals scientifically formulated to support and strengthen your bones.