The campaign to maintain bone health was echoed in World Osteoporosis Day which falls on Tuesday (20/10). Some foods need to be avoided to prevent osteoporosis in the future.
Osteoporosis is a condition when bone density begins to decrease. This condition causes bones to easily become porous and broken.
Many people certainly know about what foods to eat to prevent osteoporosis. Foods with high calcium and vitamin D are the best choices for maintaining bone health.
Some foods also need to be avoided to prevent osteoporosis in the future. Cited from Everyday Health, these foods are known to have a negative effect to the bone health.
1. Foods with High Salt Intake
The saltier the food, the more calcium is lost. Endocrinologist Felicia Cosman said salt is known to cause excessive excretion of calcium through the kidneys.
A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Chinese men who have a habit of eating salty foods are more prone to have osteoporosis. Another study in the International Osteoporosis Journal also found a link in post-menopausal women.
For maximum bone health, Cosman recommended moderate salt intake. “Below 2,300 milligrams per day is enough to maintain bone health,” she said.
2. Sweet Snacks
Damage to bones can occur when a person consumes too much sugar. This condition is exacerbated by the lack of intake of nutrient-rich foods that the body needs.
To keep bones strong, replace your sweet food intake with natural sources. Satisfy your sweet cravings with prunes, cranberries, and other fruits that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are one of the important compounds that can support bone health.
Drinking excess amounts of soda can negatively impact bone health. Cosman said, drinking seven or more soft drinks a week can lead to decreased bone mineral density and increased risk of fractures.
“The mechanism [soda intake affects bones] is not fully understood. However, no soda is good for overall health,” explained Cosman.
A study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that caffeine consumption contributes to low bone density in post-menopausal women.
Caffeine is known to remove calcium from bones and make them weaker. “In fact, about 6 milligrams of calcium are lost in every 100 milligrams of caffeine consumption,” said nutritionist Dina Khader.
Even worse, when combined with sugar, caffeine consumption can have a worse impact on the bone health of post-menopausal women.
To prevent osteoporosis, drink decaffeinated coffee and tea. Also limit the consumption of sweet foods, especially those containing caffeine, such as chocolate.
Excess alcohol consumption is known to contribute to lower bone mass, decrease bone formation, increase fracture incidence, and longer fracture healing. This condition can occur at a younger age.
Khader said healthy women aged 19-30 who consumed high amounts of alcohol were found to have lower bone density scores.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommended a maximum limit of 2-3 glasses of alcohol per day to keep bones healthy.
Nuts can prevent the body from absorbing calcium. Certain types of beans are high in phytate compounds. Phytate is known to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
However, Cosman said that this does not mean you really have to avoid eating nuts. Some types of nuts are rich in magnesium, fiber, and other nutrients that can maintain bone health.
Cosman suggested that you reduce your phytate intake. The trick is to soak the beans in water for a few hours before cooking.
7. Foods That Cause Inflammation
Some foods are known to cause inflammation of the bones such as tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, white potatoes, and eggplant. Inflammation of the bones can lead to osteoporosis.
However, the vegetables above also contain other vitamins and minerals that the body needs. So, it is not recommended that you avoid the above vegetables completely.
“As long as you make sure you get adequate calcium intake, around 1,000-1,200 milligrams per day, you can eat these vegetables and maintain bone health,” explained Cosman.
8. Raw Spinach
Raw spinach contains calcium which is healthy for bones. However, spinach also contains a substance called oxalate. Oxalate is a substance that can bind calcium and make it no longer available to the body.
Cosman suggested that you balance your spinach intake with other foods. The foods need to be contained calcium that is easily absorbed by the body.
“If you eat spinach, the oxalate will prevent you from absorbing the calcium from the spinach. However, if you add cheese on top, you can absorb the calcium from the cheese,” said Cosman.
9. Red Meat
Consuming too much animal protein is also known to remove calcium from replenishing it. “If you have osteoporosis, you have to limit red meat,” said Khader.
A study published in Advances in Nutrition found that reducing your intake of red and processed meats, fried foods, sugary foods, and whole grains can have a positive impact on bone health.