Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fight osteoporosis with these simple tips.

By Kitty Broihier, MS, RD
August 15, 2008

Getting enough calcium isn't the only nutritional strategy inpreventing osteoporosis. Here are four more ways to fight bone losswith your diet.

1. Cut down on soda pop
Scientists at Creighton University have finally figured outwhy soda consumption is associated with weakened bones. In manypeople's diets, soda pop has displaced milk as the staple beverage,leading to a decreased intake of calcium and vitamin D.

2. Balance your intake of calcium-fortified foods with dairyfoods
Although it's possible to meet your calcium needs withoutconsuming dairy products, according to the National Diary Council,you may still miss out on other bone-friendly nutrients likevitamin D. Remember, dairy products and calcium-fortified foods arenot nutritionally equal in all aspects.

3. Get some phosphorus with your calcium
Creighton University researchers found that a high calciumintake (or taking supplements providing 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg ofcalcium) can bind a substantial amount of bone-building phosphorus,rendering both minerals less useful to bone. Compounding theproblem is the fact that some women (strict vegetarians, those over60 years old and those on weight-reduction programs) may alreadyhave a low intake of phosphorus. The solution: Get your calciumwith phosphorus through dairy products.

4. Steer clear of hydrogenated oils
Vitamin K, widely available in vegetable oil and leafygreens, plays an important role in bone health. But scientists atTuft's University have now found that, unlike regular vitamin K,the K in hydrogenated oils is as ineffective as getting no K atall. Yet another reason to skip the fries and opt for thesalad.

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