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New Strategies for Stronger Bones

Becky Luigart-Stayner
Fight osteoporosis with these simple tips.

Getting enough calcium isn't the only nutritional strategy in preventing osteoporosis. Here are four more ways to fight bone loss with your diet.

1. Cut down on soda pop
Scientists at Creighton University have finally figured out why soda consumption is associated with weakened bones. In many people'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 dairy foods
Although it's possible to meet your calcium needs without consuming dairy products, according to the National Diary Council, you may still miss out on other bone-friendly nutrients like vitamin D. Remember, dairy products and calcium-fortified foods are not nutritionally equal in all aspects.

3. Get some phosphorus with your calcium
Creighton University researchers found that a high calcium intake (or taking supplements providing 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg of calcium) can bind a substantial amount of bone-building phosphorus, rendering both minerals less useful to bone. Compounding the problem is the fact that some women (strict vegetarians, those over 60 years old and those on weight-reduction programs) may already have a low intake of phosphorus. The solution: Get your calcium with phosphorus through dairy products.

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