Certain substances directly interfere with bone building or otherwise damage bone
health. Reducing or eliminating those substances from your diet can go a long way
in protecting your bone health.
- Sugar increases the excretion of valuable nutrients, including
calcium, magnesium, chromium, copper, zinc and sodium. It also limits calcium absorption,
and is highly acid-forming, causing still more mineral loss from bone.
- Soda, especially cola, contains phosphoric acid, which leaches
calcium from bone. It also prevents absorption of magnesium, a key bone-building
mineral. Soda’s high sugar content acidifies the body.
- Sodium, in the form of sodium chloride or table salt, is second
only to sugar as the most popular food additive. Salt increases secretion of calcium
in the urine. Increasing your calcium intake can help compensate for excess sodium,
but any woman consuming more than 2000 mg of sodium per day (the average American
consumes 8000 mg per day) can reduce bone breakdown simply by decreasing her salt
- Protein is necessary for the formation of collagen in bone, but
too much dietary protein erodes your bones. Digestion of protein (particularly animal
protein) creates acids that must be neutralized with the alkalizing mineral compounds
stored in your bones. Most Americans eat far more animal protein than is necessary,
and the excess drains your bone of the minerals it needs to remain healthy and strong.
- Alcohol negatively affects bone health on many levels. It inhibits
absorption and increases secretion of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc and copper.
It damages the liver, which can interfere with vitamin D metabolism, and directly
decreases the spongy inner trabecular bone.
The good news is that avoiding these substances is a simple way to improve your
bone health by immediately reducing the demands on your bones. And you don’t
have to totally eliminate them to get some of the benefits. Even reducing your consumption
will help limit the negative effects on your bones. The more you avoid dietary excesses,
the better for your bones.
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