6 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Bone Health

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Filed Under: Bone & Joint Health
Last Reviewed 05/12/2014

Each cup of coffee pulls 40 mg of calcium from your bones. Instead, switch to green tea which improves bone mineral density.To improve bone strength, you need to eat a balanced diet, including sufficient calcium and vitamin D. But there are also six common bone health 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 on bone health. I recommend a diet with no more than 25 percent animal protein. If you feel you need additional protein to ensure bone health, turn to vegetarian sources such as nuts, soy, and tofu. Eggs are great for bone health, 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 and can impair bone health. 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 for bone health, 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 deplete calcium, harming bone strength.

6. Cigarette Smoking—The data on smoking indicate that it doubles the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture, two major impediments to bone health .

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

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