Most people know what foods to should eat for strong bones — anything chock-full of bone-building calcium and its osteoporosis-fighting partner vitamin D. Just as important, but less often discussed, are the foods and beverages that take away from bone health. From overly-salty snacks to high-in-sugar sodas, certain foods can inhibit your body from absorbing calcium, reduce bone mineral density, and more. Beware of these foods that are bad for your bones.
It’s important to remind yourself not to go overboard on sugar — especially if you have a sweet tooth. “While there’s no proven link between sugar and its negative effect on bones, the harm to bones may be caused when people consume too much added sugar and don’t get enough of the nutrient-rich food they need,” says senior nutritionist at The Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. For an optimal osteoporosis diet, satisfy that sweet tooth with prunes, cranberries, and other fruits rich in antioxidants, which are healthful nutrients that support bone health.
If you drink a lot of soda, it could negatively affect your bone health. “Drinking seven or more colas per week is associated with a reduction in bone mineral density and an increase in risk of fracture, The mechanism is not totally understood,” she says, but “no soda is good for general health.”Despite not being able to say why exactly, a study that looked at 73,000 postmenopausal women who drank soda found they had a heightened risk for hip fracture, whether the soda was regular or diet, cola or non-cola, and caffeinated or caffeine-free.
Think twice before going caffeine-crazy. A study found that caffeine consumption contributed to low-bone density in postmenopausal women. “Caffeine leaches calcium from bones, sapping their strength,” explains nutrition consultant in Mount Kisco, New York. “In fact, roughly 6 milligrams of calcium are lost for every 100 milligrams of caffeine you ingest.” And, when combined with sugary foods, caffeine can have greater effects on the bone health of postmenopausal women.