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Osteoporosis Diet Dangers: Foods to Avoid

Salt, soda, caffeine: Could your daily diet be damaging your bones -- even leading to osteoporosis?
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Osteoporosis Diet Danger 1: Salt Is Bad for the Bone! continued...

If you want to get a grip on this diet danger, here are some of the highest-salt foods to limit or avoid. Choose no-added salt versions whenever possible.

  • Processed meats, such as deli turkey and ham, and hot dogs
  • Fast food, such as pizza, burgers, tacos, and fries
  • Processed foods, including regular and reduced-calorie frozen meals
  • Regular canned soups and vegetables and vegetable juices
  • Baked products, including breads and breakfast cereals

Scan food labels for sodium content. There's a good chance the majority of it comes from salt, so the lower the sodium, the better for bones.

When you dine out, check the web sites of your favorite restaurants for the sodium content of the dishes you order most often. If your typical meals exceed 800 milligrams of sodium, opt for lower-sodium alternatives, such as grilled fish or chicken, steamed vegetables, baked potato, and salad. Request that your meal be prepared without salt, too.

If you think you can’t lower your salt sufficiently, eat plenty of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, tomatoes, and orange juice. Potassium may help decrease the loss of calcium.

Osteoporosis Diet Danger 2: Some Popular Drinks

Many soft drinks and certain other carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which can increase calcium excretion in your urine. And nearly all soft drinks lack calcium. That combination spells trouble for women at risk of osteoporosis.

"Excess phosphorus promotes calcium loss from the body when calcium intake is low," Massey explains.

The occasional soda is fine, but many people, particularly women, consume more than an occasional can or glass. To make matters worse, soft drink consumers may also avoid calcium-laden beverages that bolster bones, such as milk, yogurt-based drinks, and calcium and vitamin D fortified orange juice.

To prevent osteoporosis, instead sip these drinks:

  • Eight ounces of orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D
  • A mixture of fortified orange juice and seltzer or club soda that's free of phosphoric acid
  • Fruit smoothie: Combine 8 ounces fat-free yogurt, one medium banana or a cup of fresh or frozen berries and 2 ice cubes in a blender or food processor
  • Fat-free plain or chocolate milk
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Osteoporosis Glossary

  • Bone Mineral Density - A measurement of the amount of calcium and minerals in bone tissue.
  • Calcium - A mineral in (and vital to) your bones. If your body lacks calcium, it takes it from bones.
  • DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) - a test used to measure bone mineral density.
  • Osteoporosis - A decrease in bone density, which increase the risk of fractures.
  • Vitamin D - A vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium.
  • View All Terms

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