6 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Bone Health

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Bone & Joint Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Each cup of coffee pulls 40 mg of calcium from your bones. Instead, switch to green tea which improves bone mineral density.To improve the strength of your bones, you need to eat a balanced diet, including sufficient calcium and vitamin D. But there are also six common bone robbers you want to avoid:

1. Excess Protein—Some protein is necessary to build strong bones, but excessive amounts of animal protein without sufficient calcium intake to balance it can have a harmful effect. I recommend a diet with no more than 25 percent animal protein. If you feel you need additional protein, turn to vegetarian sources such as nuts, soy, and tofu. Eggs are bone-friendly, too.

2. Salt—Every 500 mg of sodium leaches 10 mg of calcium from your bones. Make sure to avoid processed foods, because they contain high quantities of sodium. Read labels and limit your sodium intake to 2–3 grams daily.

3. Coffee—Each cup of coffee pulls out an additional 40 mg of calcium from your bones. Green tea is the better alternative, with many health advantages over coffee, including the fact that it increases bone mineral density.

4. Soft Drinks—The phosphoric acid in most soft drinks literally leaches calcium from bones, causing excessive calcium excretion. Avoid all colas and diet sodas.

5. Alcohol—Limit your intake to three glasses of wine per week. Alcohol, like caffeine, can pull calcium from bones.

6. Cigarette Smoking—The data on smoking indicate that it doubles the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture.

Now it’s your turn: Are you avoiding these common bone robbers?

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