Foods That Are Bad For Your Bones

Foods That Are Bad For Your Bones

No matter your bone health situation – whether preventing osteoporosis from happening or currently having it – it’s crucial that you avoid these three food groups which could harm them.

Diets high in calcium and protein can help your bones. But there are certain foods that could harm them and should be avoided altogether.

Red meat, white flour, and processed salt have all been linked with bone loss and could even interfere with calcium absorption, according to Lisa Ashe, MD, in an email conversation with Bustle.

Sugar is not ideal for bone health since it can raise blood glucose levels excessively. Reducing the amount of sweets consumed daily is one way to promote improved bone health.


An effective way to protect the health of your bones is to avoid too much sugar. Too much sugar can damage bone density, increase the risk for osteoporosis and lead to heart disease – not only damaging but potentially even leading to heart disease.

Sugar consumption also decreases your intake of calcium, magnesium, and other vital bone-building minerals necessary for creating strong, fracture-resistant bones.

Recent research from Clinical Biochemist Review indicates that refined sugar reduces magnesium levels by 89%.

This is because it requires 54 molecules of magnesium per molecule of sugar being processed, meaning you get less magnesium when eating foods with added sugars.

Sugar also contributes to bone problems by raising cortisol levels, often due to stress, which can weaken your bones.

Too much sugar increases cortisol production and depletes calcium and other important minerals for strong and healthy bones.

Phosphoric acid found in some carbonated drinks could also hurt bone health, increasing blood acidity levels and possibly interfering with how your body processes calcium.

If you’re concerned about how sugar impacts your bones, try drinking more water. Also, be sure to review labels to identify exactly how much-added sugar is present in each product – this way, you can pinpoint exactly what foods have hidden sugar content!

Olive oil, soybeans, blueberries, and fatty fish can also help strengthen and protect bones. All three contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve bone density while strengthening them simultaneously.

Consume foods high in zinc, vitamin K, and magnesium to keep your bones strong. These essential play an essential role in forming new bones and regaining existing ones.

Colas and coffee, which contain sugary beverages like sodas and other carbonated drinks such as colas, can also damage bones.

According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, carbonated drinks play an integral part in decreasing bone density and increasing fracture risks.

Carbonated drinks with high levels of phosphoric acid may interfere with your ability to absorb calcium, leading to decreased bone strength and an increased risk for bone fractures.

This could be directly due to their consumption or tendency towards eating unhealthy diets.

Another way you can help combat bone loss and maintain its health is by eating foods rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins. A-K, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts – foods that contain these essential can play an integral part in keeping bones strong and healthy.


Salt is essential in maintaining fluid balance within the body and stimulating muscle contraction and relaxation. Too much salt, however, can lead to high blood pressure, muscle cramps, dehydration, and other related issues.

American Heart Association guidelines recommend not consuming more than 2,300 milligrams (roughly equivalent to one teaspoon of table salt) daily in sodium intake.

You can get enough sodium from fresh foods like meat, vegetables, and dairy products and add some to soups, chili, and salsa dishes.

Problematic is that most Americans consume far too much salt – probably as a result of eating processed food that contains excessive levels of sodium.

Dieting with too much salt causes your body to excrete excess calcium, contributing to bone loss and osteoporosis and increasing your chance of kidney stones that can be painful and damage your kidneys.

Salt can affect more than just calcium absorption; it may make vitamin D harder for your body to absorb and cause kidney stones.

Studies suggest that diets low in salt could help protect against osteoporosis early on; however, more research needs to be completed to confirm this theory.

If you have osteoporosis, it is essential to reduce salt intake and ensure you’re receiving enough calcium and vitamin D; these essential minerals will help ensure strong, healthy bones.

Women should note that diets high in salt may also contribute to menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

Hot flashes are especially prevalent among older women and are linked with osteoporosis; therefore, if you’re currently going through menopause, it may be wise to reduce salt consumption as part of a plan to combat osteoporosis.

Studies have demonstrated that menopausal women who consume less salt may be less likely to break a bone or develop osteoporosis than those consuming more than the recommended levels.

There are various strategies you can employ to reduce your salt intake: switch from processed and canned food items to fresh ones; avoid salty snacks (like chips and pretzels); opt for healthier options that contain less sodium, such as grilled chicken, fish, and cheese as alternatives;

Some individuals may gain the most from choosing Himalayan salt over table salt for its rich 84-mineral composition, including calcium for strengthening bones.

Careful selection and label reading are also effective ways to avoid foods high in salt. Before purchasing anything, always consult the Nutrition Facts label first.

Avoid processed meats that contain too much salt; these contain chemicals that could be hazardous to your health. Instead, seek out meat from local butchers instead of those produced through processing plants.

bone health

Red Meat

Red meat refers to any non-bird mammals’ flesh, such as beef, venison, pork, and lamb. Red meat is generally considered healthy since it’s low in saturated fat content while offering essential nutrition such as proteins, zinc, iron, and selenium.

Studies have demonstrated that eating red meat regularly may pose risks to bone health. This is likely due to its saturated fat content, which increases bad cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of red meat you eat and choosing lean cuts like eye round, bottom round, or top loin beef for cooking with medium heat.

Any visible fat should also be removed before trimming it and cooking it.

However, red meat consumption has been linked with various forms of cancer, such as colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate.

This is because its preparation can release carcinogenic compounds during cooking, potentially creating carcinogenic compounds that cause this damage.

These compounds are created through high heat and the charring of meat and can clog your arteries, raise your blood pressure, and cause your bones to become weak.

Red meat consumption can lead to serious medical conditions, including kidney stones, digestive issues, and cancer.

A balanced diet must include other meat sources like free-range poultry or wild-caught fish.

As part of your efforts to combat bone loss, ensure you’re getting adequate calcium and phosphorous through dairy products, nuts, and , as well as plant-based sources like leafy green vegetables – these will strengthen bones while decreasing your risk for osteoporosis.

White Flour

White flour has long been associated with high-calorie, sugar-laden foods. While there can be beneficial applications of it in certain recipes, too much white flour may harm bones.

White flour’s primary downfall lies in its refinement process, which strips wheat grains of their germ and bran, depriving it of many of its essential vitamins and . As a result, its production can leave us lacking essential fiber, vitamins, and other vital components.

Acidification also renders your environment highly acidic, which isn’t good for your body. A human’s acid-base balance should ideally sit at 7.4 to maintain overall well-being.

Consuming too many acidic foods compromises your immune system and impairs its proper function, leading to chronic inflammation and other illnesses.

If you want to maintain optimal health, it is wiser to switch away from white flour and opt for whole grain options such as whole wheat, spelt, and brown rice flour instead.

White flour lacks fiber and other nutrient-rich components that could contribute to its nutritional value. It contains empty carbs, which cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, among others.

White flour should be avoided because it contains gluten. If you suffer from celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, eating white flour could present many issues for your digestive system and lead to serious digestive problems.

Refining wheat removes much of its dietary fiber, leading to constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhea, increased blood sugar, and increased appetite leading to weight gain.


Soda has long been a popular beverage in the US. Typically composed of carbonated water, sugar, and other ingredients, Americans have long enjoyed soda.

Studies have indicated that sodas could harm bone health, such as weaker bones, reduced calcium intake, and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Soda can have multiple negative impacts on bones, not only due to the sugar and other sweeteners found within but also because it contains phosphoric acid, which may create an imbalance between calcium and phosphorus levels in your body.

Phosphoric acid may alter how your body absorbs calcium, increasing the risk of bone loss. Furthermore, it may decrease vitamin D absorption – which is essential to healthy bone development.

Diets rich in calcium and vitamin D are vital in maintaining strong bones. Unfortunately, many individuals do not consume enough of these vital nutrients, which could harm bone health.

Caffeine may contribute to poor bone health. A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that women who consumed three or more cups of caffeinated soda per day had significantly lower bone densities.

Regular physical activity and eating healthy foods can help strengthen bones, but it’s still best to limit how much soda you drink.


Coffee, the beverage brewed from roasted coffee beans, is a global phenomenon and beloved staple since its introduction into Europe during the 16th century.

Coffee’s distinctive aroma and rich flavors have long made it an integral part of the high society lifestyle.

However, drinking too much coffee can be detrimental to your health if consumed excessively. Caffeine in coffee can compromise bone health by depriving it of calcium.

Consuming 100 milligrams of caffeine causes your bones to shed approximately six milligrams of calcium.

Calcium is essential to bone health, so drinking too much coffee could lead to osteoporosis and increase your risk.

One recent study discovered that heavy coffee drinkers who consume over 300 milligrams of caffeine a day (or about 18 ounces of coffee) experienced more bone loss over three years than women who consumed less caffeine.

Notably, however, is that the effects of too much caffeine on bone health remain unknown; until more research has been completed on this matter, it would be wise to limit yourself to no more than four cups of coffee per day.

Tea is one of many beverages without caffeine known to boost bone health by protecting and strengthening them.

Studies have also indicated that coffee may lower your risk of diabetes by protecting insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, with those drinking six to seven cups daily having a 35% reduced risk than those who consumed less than four. In addition, coffee may help decrease depression and liver disease risks.


Alcohol can have devastating effects on bone health, especially when consumed regularly. Drinking can impair your ability to form new bone, increasing fracture risks and speeding up bone breakdown.

Furthermore, alcohol increases parathyroid hormone levels in your bloodstream, leading to even faster bone degradation.

Calcium deficiency also inhibits your body’s absorption of the mineral necessary to build strong bones. So eating foods high in calcium is recommended as part of an overall strategy for bone health.

While drinking may provide some benefits, its adverse impact on bones should lead you to reconsider your consumption. To maintain optimal health and stay in balance, it may be wise to limit or even eliminate alcohol from your life altogether.

Alcohol’s effect on bones is due to its chemical composition and interaction with certain neurotransmitters in your body, which play an integral role in mood, memory, and reaction times regulation.

Alcohol stimulates neurotransmitters that regulate these processes and trigger various feelings; for some, this could mean feeling relaxed and happy; however, for others, this could mean aggression or impulsive behaviors.

Alcohol can make it harder for you to think clearly and make decisions, while too much could cause you to pass out or stop breathing; therefore, drinking in moderation is recommended.

To prevent the deficiency that can lead to unhealthy bones, consume a meal or snack before drinking alcohol. This will slow the rate at which your body breaks it down and prevent feeling hungover later on.

Take a break from alcohol for several days, weeks, or months at a time as another way of breaking free of it. Get support from friends and family, as this will help keep temptation at bay.

Wheat Bran

Wheat bran offers numerous health advantages and is an invaluable addition to your diet. Packed with dietary fiber, wheat bran has been shown to promote digestive and cardiovascular well-being and is an excellent source of calcium and manganese, which contribute to keeping your body functioning at peak performance.

However, certain foods can impede calcium absorption. Beans and whole grains (especially wheat bran) contain phytates that bind with calcium in your stomach and prevent it from being absorbed by your body – this can leave bones weak.

Other foods that can interfere with calcium absorption in your body include dairy products containing oxalates and some meats such as chicken.

Sugar consumption can lead to the excretion of calcium and other essential minerals from your system, decreasing bone density and increasing your risk for osteoporosis by decreasing vitamin D levels and impeding the production of healthy bone tissue.

Though no definitive studies exist to demonstrate how to mitigate these effects, the American Dietetic Association suggests avoiding food that may interfere with calcium absorption and excessive salt consumption.

Both organizations advise avoiding foods containing phytates or oxalates and excessive sodium consumption.

Consuming too much fat can also have detrimental effects on bone health. A diet low in saturated fat and rich in polyunsaturated may help protect against bone weakening and heart disease, and most fats consumed are beneficial and non-inflammatory.

One effective way of increasing your intake of healthy fats is by including nuts, seeds, and oils in your diet.

These sources contain phytochemicals that have been shown to protect bones while decreasing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

Avoiding red meat may also help strengthen and preserve the health of your bones. Studies have revealed that beef, pork, and lamb contain more oxalic acid than other kinds of meat, which interferes with calcium absorption.

Too much fatty meat consumption increases your risk of prostate cancer. While exact estimates can’t be provided, studies suggest that diets high in saturated fat and low in monounsaturated fat have greater chances of prostate cancer development than those eating healthier diets.

If prostate cancer runs in your family, you must pay close attention to diet and blood pressure/cholesterol.

Adding more nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains and nuts into your daily meals can lower your risk significantly.

Best Vitamins For Bone Health

For maintaining and boosting bone health, several vitamins and minerals are essential.

Here are some of the most vital:

  1. Calcium: This is one of the most crucial nutrients for bone health. Calcium is the primary mineral found in your bones and helps to build strong bones and teeth.
  2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption in the body, which is why it’s imperative for good bone health. It can be obtained through sunlight exposure, food, and supplements.
  3. Vitamin K: This vitamin plays a key role in helping the body regulate calcium levels and promote bone health. It can be found in leafy green vegetables, fermented dairy products, and certain other foods.
  4. Magnesium: About 60% of magnesium in your body is found in bones. This mineral supports bone structure and aids with calcium absorption.
  5. Phosphorus: Next to calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant mineral in the body – much of it stored in your teeth and bones.
  6. Vitamin C: Not only important for immune system functioning, but vitamin C also contributes to collagen production which is a key component of bone tissue.

Always remember that while supplements can help fill nutrient gaps, getting these nutrients from a balanced diet is usually more beneficial due to their complex combination with other nutrients present naturally in food items.

Lastly, although not a vitamin or mineral, regular exercise (especially weight-bearing exercises) alongside a nutrient-rich diet can significantly improve overall bone health.

Please consult with a healthcare professional or dietician before starting any supplement regimen, as individual needs may vary.

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