If we want to build and maintain our bone density, we must keep exercising by walking and performing weight-bearing exercises, and eat a balanced plant-based diet containing the right nutrients and micronutrients. But there are some things we want to avoid that can zap our bone density.
The things to avoid are:
- Excessive Caffeine – Consuming large amounts of caffeine not only dehydrates our bodies, but it may cause bone loss. When ingested excessively, caffeine can cause calcium to leach from our bones. According to Dr. Chad Walding, “We can lose up to 6 mg of calcium for every 100 mg of caffeine we consume.” Yikes! He recommends no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day.
- Excessive Alcohol – Research from the University of Oregon shows that moderate consumption of red wine benefits your bones because resveratrol inhibits bone-reabsorbing osteoclast and boosts bone-building osteoblasts. However, chronic and heavy drinking only weakens our bones.
- Excessive Salt – Using too much salt in your diet can increase the loss of calcium through urine. Research shows that for each 2300 mg increase in salt, calcium is expelled by 32.2 mg. So pass the saltshaker to someone else. There’s enough salt in many prepared foods today. You’d be better off using fresh herbs to flavor your food.
- Refined Sugar and High Carbs – These foods elevate blood sugar, increase triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and insulin resistance, but they also accelerate glycation. Glycation is when glucose attaches to proteins like collagen and elastin triggering an inflammatory response, which damages your bones. Sugar can deplete our body’s essential bone-building micronutrients and block micronutrients from being absorbed. Even slightly elevated blood sugar levels can block vitamin C from getting into your cells and cause a weakened immune system. And calcium and magnesium are both depleted by sugar! (Rebuild Your Bones by Mira and Jayson Calton) Sugary delights should be an occasional treat, not an everyday habit. A diet high in sugar only increases any health problem you may have!
- Soft Drinks Period – My husband and I booted these out over 25 years ago for many reasons. Phosphoric acid has been shown to damage bone density. Excess phosphorus pulls calcium from your bones and excretes calcium through you urine. This is in addition to acidifying your body and dehydrating your body if your soft drink contains high amounts of caffeine. According to Dr. Chad Walding, “When calcium intake is low, consuming excessive amounts of phosphoric acid promotes calcium loss from the body.” Soft drinks also increase calcium excretion from the body. Phosphoric acid neutralizes hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which is needed to break down food and absorb micronutrients (Rebuild Your Bones). Opt for herbal tea, fruit infused water, San Pellegrino Sparkling Water (phosphoric-acid free), or just plain H20 on the rocks.
- Too Much Stress –High stress over extended periods of time may cause bone loss because stress causes an increase in cortisol levels. When the stress hormone is activated, it elevates blood sugar. And this in turn causes urine to excrete calcium out of the body. It’s important to manage stress by using exercise, deep breathing, walking, reading or another hobby.
According to health advocate and researcher, Lara Pizzorno, “The Standard American Diet (SAD) eats your bones.” It causes chronic inflammation along with metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis is when an acidic pH in the body that results in calcium being withdrawn from the bone to restore a more alkaline state. All of these dietary habits along with stress only decrease our bone density. By avoiding these six bone zappers, we have a better chance at building and maintaining our bone density.
Have you discovered any other things to avoid?
For Your Health,