It can strike people seemingly out of nowhere. One day they are 50 or so, reassured in how well their lives are going, and the next day, the merest jolt sends them to hospital with a hairline fracture. The loss of bone density, or osteoporosis bone loss, is a scary part of life for most of us, especially those among us who are women. Whether we realize it or not, there are certain diet habits we’ve all learned, that somehow seem to bring us to this point. Let’s line them all up, and possibly shoot them down as well as we can.
There’s been a study done on women who are at the highest risk of bone loss through being at stage in their lives where this is known to happen – menopause. The typical American diet is somewhat partial to high salt content. We use about 50 g of salt every single day in our diet this country, and that’s about twice what we are allowed in a healthy diet. Dietitians will tell you that for each unit of 23 g of salt that you take in, your body melts off about 4 g of calcium. Almost all of the impossible levels of salt we take in every day comes from our french fries, canned meats, pizza and chips. In other words, if you avoided processed store-bought food for the most part, you’d probably come out on top without even noticing a difference in how you ate, come meal time.
So okay, your coffee is the highlight of the morning; and now that you think of it, it’s pretty much the highlight of the rest of your day as well. And that’s just the thing. The caffeine you take in, in a cup of coffee, weighs in at about a gram a cup. And it’s enough to make you lose a fraction of a gram of bone calcium each time around. While that’s not a lot, it certainly can add up to a good quantity of bone loss over the years. Your best bet here, would be to switch to really milky coffee, and to sticked to drinking no more than a cup or two. No more endless refills for you.
Here’s one that you’re never going to believe; you do understand that as a woman nudging 55, that dairy is an important part of your diet. It has calcium, it has Vitamin A; might it be conceivable that you’re getting too much of Vitamin A though? There is such a thing as too heavy a dose of vitamins. Keeping up with your daily recommended dietary intake isn’t difficult in your standard American diet. Add to that the fact that there are lots of foods that come with vitamin fortification, and it could be easy to take in more than the 5000 IUs each day you are allowed. Once you cross the recommended level, vitamin A is capable of making your bones quite brittle through bone loss. Keep an eye on the vitamins in your diet, and you should be set.
You’ve heard stories about Coca-Cola, and how it can melt your bones, haven’t you? This isn’t some improbable conspiracy theory though. Fizzy drinks contain phosphoric acid; and this substance makes your body melt your bones to excrete calcium through your pee. Downing a soft drink is like actually taking a bone loss pill. If you are past menopause, you’d do well to stick with juices fortified with vitamin D.
So there you go – there actually are things you include in your diet that make your bones weaker, thinner. Making a few changes could go a long way; seriously though, how bad could it be to give up a fizzy drink if it could give you stronger bones?