Here are 7 foods that can hurt your bone health and that you should limit or stop eating, depending on the state of your bones.
1. Iron-Rich Foods
While iron is incredibly beneficial for you, the timing of consumption matters. Most of the foods that cause bone loss are directly a result of interfering with calcium absorption and thus causing bone loss. So, when eating calcium-rich foods, avoid those that are high in iron in order to maximize absorption of calcium.
2. Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated beverages might also lead to bone loss and can reduce bone density. They have been found to lead to bone loss . It’s worth swapping a lunch-time diet coke for a glass of cold water, with perhaps fruit or citrus added for additional flavor. Water will have no harmful effects on bone health!
While definitely a delicious and protein-rich plant-based food, legumes can interfere with calcium absorption. Beans, or legumes, contain phytates and they interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. So, be wary of portion control and try to avoid eating when consuming calcium-based products in order to reap the bone-promoting benefits.
4. Salty Snacks
Before reaching for that bag of potato chips during your lunch break at work, think again. Sodium rich foods causes your body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loss. Limiting sodium-filled foods and opting for cleaner, whole foods that are free of or low in added salts can be beneficial for bone health.
Doctors warn against drinking alcohol too frequently in the week or in excess amounts, as “heavy drinking can lead to bone loss.” Instead of downing cosmos like they are water, drink more water and slow down. You can also limit yourself to one or two drinks when dining out and imbibing, in order to keep things in moderation.
Giving up your morning cup of coffee is not necessary, but limiting intake throughout the day (i.e. choosing water or some nuts over an afternoon coffee trip), could help you prevent bone loss over time. Caffeine may also decrease calcium absorption and increase calcium excretion which can lead to bone loss.7. Sugar
Sugar can affect your bones, making them more susceptible to lower bone mass, injury and osteoporosis in the future. Be mindful of products that are high in sugar and stick with more moderate amounts of natural sugar, as opposed to additive sugar.