Monday, September 19, 2011

Harmful Foods and Drinks for Bones

Most of the people think that they have a strong and stable skeleton structure as their mothers served healthy foods while their growing age. However in actual fact, our bones are continuously absorbing and exuding minerals, which demands the healthy and bone-friendly diet throughout our entire life. In our bodies, bones have an essential role and they get damaged not only from the fracturing a limb but also from bad lifestyle choices. To build and maintain healthy bones, it is necessary to consume right foods and drinks that help them to re-strengthen themselves. Just as some foods help to maintain strength, some foods are also harmful to our bones. As a health conscious person, you should know about which foods are fortifying your bones and which are damaging them. Read on to know about foods and drinks which are harmful for bones and find out how many of these foods you are consuming everyday?

Harmful Food and Drinks for Bones


High-salt diet

Too much salt in your diet draws calcium from your bones, which is subsequently excreted through urine. People lost approximately 40 mgs of calcium for every 2,300 milligrams of sodium they intake. Processed foods contain 20 percent more sodium than the percentage of daily recommended value. Most Americans have a diet that includes double amount of sodium, means twice the calcium is likely to be released from our bones.

To reduce your sodium intake, avoid high-salt foods or foods that are high in sodium, such as canned, processed or frozen foods and replace them with fresh ingredients. Avoid adding salt to your food, as many foods may already contain sodium in good amount. Read the nutrition label to determine the sodium content of the food. If the food has more than 20 % of your Daily Value for sodium, then go for other food.

High-meat diet

Though protein is an essential dietary nutrient, high amount of protein, particularly animal protein in our diet can leach calcium from our kidneys. The amount of protein required in a day is about 5½ ounces for men and 5 ounces for women. Protein from dairy products is not included in this category as they contain a healthful balance of phosphorous and bone-building calcium.

Consider your individual protein portion sizes. Calcium loss can be compensated by getting enough calcium through diet.

Legumes (beans)

Beans such as navy beans, pinto beans, and peas are an excellent source of the chemical named phytate. Body’s ability to absorb the calcium gets interfered by the phytates. Phytates in beans bind with calcium and other minerals and thus prevents the absorption of it. Foods containing phytates tend to be healthy foods, so eat them in moderation for avoiding their effect on your bone growth.

To reduce the phytate level in beans, soak dried beans in water several hours and then cook them in fresh water. If you want to take calcium supplement after a bean-based meal, then wait for a couple of hours to ensure the absorption of calcium.

Wheat bran
Similar to beans, wheat bran are also high in phytates, which prevents the absorption of calcium in the body. Only 100% wheat bran seems to decrease the absorption of calcium in other foods consumed at the same time. In case, you take wheat bran cereal and milk together, your body can absorb only some amount of calcium, but not all from the milk.

If you want to take calcium supplements, then take them two or more hours before or after eating 100% wheat bran. As well, it is essential to consume fiber-rich foods that do not interfere with calcium absorption.

Sugary Foods

Foods containing high amount of sugar, such as cakes, cookies and pies, can affect the overall bone health. Sugary sodas also have negative effect on bone health. Furthermore, foods high in sugar are also inclined to high calories, which can contribute to obesity. Obesity has negative impact on our bone health. Maybe you are also missing vitamin and mineral-rich foods, such as vegetables and fruits if you are consuming a significant amount of sugary foods.

Limit your intake of sugary foods or try to avoid them. As well, if you are eating some of sugary foods then try to make up them with calcium fortified drinks like milk and juice.


Coffee and Tea

If you are starting your day with a cup of coffee or tea, then it is worth to know that too much amounts of coffee or tea could reduce your body's capability to absorb calcium. Coffee is more harmful than tea as it contains more caffeine. The caffeine is known to take out the calcium from bones. You will lose approximately 6 mgs of calcium for each small/medium sized cup of coffee you consume. Drinking more than 3 cups of coffee in a day may be harmful to bone health.

To control your calcium levels, try to limit your intake of coffee to one or two cups. Then switch to other drinks that compensate the caffeine's bone-sapping action; for example, milk and fortified juice. In brief, enjoy drinking coffee and tea by getting enough amounts of calcium that meet your body’s needs.

Soft drinks

Soft drinks are bone killer. In sodas, the carbonation comes from phosphoric acids which will cause as much calcium to leave from body through urination and thereby such beverages may raise the risk of bone fractures. The caffeine and phosphorous usually found in colas and other soft drinks may contribute to bone loss. As well, soft drink has no nutritional value; it satisfies our thirst and provides the feeling of fuller without providing any of the nutrients that you might get from juice or milk.

Moderation is the best way; limit your intake of soft drink a day. Also, try to replace soft drinks with milk, calcium and vitamin D fortified beverages like orange juice or a fruit smoothie prepared with yogurt. Or prefer water as a drink when you're thirsty.


Drinking of alcohol in excessive amount can also lead to bone loss as it prevents the absorption of calcium in the body. It also prevents the regeneration of bones after an injury. Many people who drink too much alcohol do not receive enough calcium. Bone-building cells get prevented by the chronic drinking so they can not re-build the injured and eroding bones. Excessive intake of alcohol is also bad for overall health.

If you’re going to drink wine, beer, or hard alcohol, then keep it to only one glass a day. In smaller amounts, alcohol does not harm bone health; means having no more than 2 drinks a day.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More