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What Things Are Bad For Your Bones

9 Bad-For-Your-Bones Foods

When it comes to good bone health you might already know that drinking a glass of milk helps prevent brittle bones, but what about bad bone behaviour? And seeing as most adults need at least 1,000 milligrams of the essential nutrient each day, it's important to know which foods could potentially be robbing you of the much-needed calcium. So in honour of Osteopathy Awareness Week spoke to dietitian and nutritionist, Julie Markoska tells us exactly what we should be avoiding or what we should consume in moderation, plus some of our own tips to keep those, thigh bone's connected to the hip bone. . . 

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Salty Foods

Your body likes to have a certain ratio of sodium to potassium for optimal bone health. Most people have an imbalance of too much sodium and not enough potassium. What you need to do is reduce your sodium intake to no more than 2300mg and eat lots of fruit and veggies to get enough potassium.

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Soft Drinks

Drinking soft drinks increases your risk of osteoporosis. We don't know why this is, but scientists suspects it could be the phosphoric acid and caffeine found in soft drinks. Phosphoric acid can interfere with calcium absorption and caffeine can increase calcium excretion.

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More than 400mg/day can cause calcium to leach from your bones and reduce bone strength. 1 shot of espresso has around 100mg of caffeine, so no need to give up coffee completely! And if you're having enough calcium, then the negative effects of caffeine are minimised.

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Alcohol in excess on an ongoing basis ie more than 2 standard drinks per day every day. Or more than 4 standard drinks on a regular basis, even if not every day.

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This is the case of too much of a good thing. Protein is an important nutrient and your body needs around 1g/ kg of body weight per day. (e.g. 70 kg person would need approx 70g protein each day). However, high protein diets are quite popular at the moment and people are often have much more protein than they need. Excess protein intake cause calcium excretion and lead to weaker bones. The key message here is balance!

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Potatoes as well as tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant and capsicum can lead to osteoporosis. But of course don't avoid them all together, just make sure you're getting enough calcium from other good sources.

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This one might come as a surprise, because even though legumes and beans contain calcium, magnesium and a lot of body-healthy fibre, they also contain a substance called phytates. What does these do? Well, phytates interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the calcium. In order to reduce the phyate level, soak the beans in water for a few hours and then cook them in fresh water.

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Wheat Bran

Wheat bran also contains many phyates, so if you're eating a high-fibre cereal with milk these phyates will rob you of your milk's calcium. Consider drinking extra milk two hours after eating your morning cereal.

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Leafy greens like spinach does contain sneaky calcium (plus many other nutrients), but it also contains oxalates, which can bind up the calcium and make it unavailable to the body. Other foods that feature the substance oxalates are rhubarb, beet greens and certain beans.

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