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Dhaka Tribune

The worst foods for your bones

Update : 16 Apr 2013, 02:17 PM

 

You might think you are doing your best to eat for bone health by pouring some milk over your cereal in the morning. You are not wrong to keep an eye on your calcium intake, since most adults need at least 1,000 milligrams of the essential nutrient a day. But calcium isn’t all we require to keep our skeletons strong.

We also need adequate vitamin D for optimal calcium absorption, and to subscribe to a number of healthy habits like not smoking and staying physically active, reports The Huffington Post.  

“It’s about a balance of foods,” says Joan A McGowan, PhD, director of the NIH’s Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases, including balancing the good eats with a few that you might want to avoid.

Like with many health conditions, the foods you choose or choose not to eat, can play an important role in preventing or managing symptoms. And similarly, the amount to which you are likely to alter your diet to control your symptoms depends on how great your risk is to begin with.

Here are a few of the bad-to-the-bone foods you might want to steer clear of.

Caffeine

That morning pick-me-up can interfere with your calcium absorption. “More calcium is pulled into the urine when your intake of caffeine is high,” says McGowan. The effect is relatively small, she says, and shouldn’t cause much damage if your diet is rich in calcium.

However, don’t forget to take into consideration the total amount of caffeine you are getting from a number of sneaky places, including chocolate and even some over-the-counter medications.

Soda

While caffeine may also be found in some soft drinks, there are a couple of other reasons to stay away from soda if you are concerned about bone health, according to the experts.

Salt

The more salt we consume, the more calcium we shed in urine and sweat. While a diet with enough calcium can make up for a moderate sodium intake, many of us consume much more salt than we know.  

(Too Much) Alcohol

Moderate drinking, defined as up to one drink a day for women and up to two a day for men, seems to offer some protection to the bones, according to the experts -- but that is no reason to start if you are not a big drinker, says McGowan.

However, too much alcohol can contribute to bone loss.

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