Calcium is good for your bone health. You know that, thanks to all the advertisements of the commercial baby foods and dairy products. Seemingly, if you drink their calcium-rich milk, you can become a world class badminton player from a little 6-year-old in 3 months.
But knowing what to eat is not enough. Because, before we make our bones stronger, we must see to it that we are not damaging our bones. And this brings us to what we should NOT eat if we want keep our bones healthy.
There are a few items below which are considered to be bad food for bone health. Interestingly, you will see that most of these food are bad not only for your bone health, but they also cause other health issues, giving you all the more reason to avoid those foods.
Let’s get to it!
Legumes, dairy and meat are all high-protein food and hence, are bad for bone health. Protein causes you to lose calcium. A substance called, phytate, can be found in legumes which makes it harder for you body to absorb calcium. But again, protein is good for your muscles. So, you cannot do away with all proteins just because you only want to focus on your bone health. The key is to eat in proper quantity and in a proper manner. For example, you can can soak the legumes in water before consumption and you can boil meat nicely to reduce the adverse effect of these foods on you bone health.
Alcohol causes bone loss. When you consume alcohol, it interferes with the functioning of your pancreas and hampers in absorption of calcium. It increases the risk of fracture and makes your bones vulnerable to degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, becoming bad for your bone health.
Coffee, soft drinks, soda etc. contains caffeine. Caffeine causes low bone density. It affects menopausal women the most. What exactly causes the damage is not conclusively known but there, sure, is a causal relationship between consumption of caffeine, soda and low bone density.
Wheat and Rice:
As mentioned earlier, phytate reduces your capacity to absorb the calcium you intake. Unfortunately, our staple foods are made of wheat and rice which contain a good amount of phytate. We cannot stop eating bread and rice but we can, sure, limit the intake to improve our bone health.
This is another component found in food which makes the food bad for bone health. Cashew, almonds, slimy foods like spinach, sweet potato, colocasia (aalukee in Hindi, Cēmagaḍḍa in Telugu) etc. contain oxalate. These food increase loss of calcium through fecal excretion.
Salty foods increase the sodium-content of the blood. Sodium increases the amount of calcium in urine. This means, calcium is being flushed out rather than being absorbed by the body.
All the listed food items (except for alcohol, may be) are beneficial to our health in some way or the other but not for our bone health. What we need to do is find a balance of what we eat and in what proportion to ensure that while we keep our bones healthy, we don’t miss our on strong muscles or blood immunity etc.
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