There are a few thieves which may be raiding your bones without you knowing it:
HIGH SODIUM FOODS - The more salt you eat the more calcium that is excreted out of the body. Medical researchers at the University of Alberta discovered an important link between sodium and calcium. These both appear to be regulated by the same molecule in the body. When sodium intake becomes too high, the body gets rid of sodium via the urine, taking calcium with it, which depletes calcium stores in the body. High levels of calcium in the urine lead to the development of kidney stones, while inadequate levels of calcium in the body lead to thin bones and osteoporosis.
CAFFEINE - Caffeine is also responsible for leaching calcium out of the bones, but this can be overcome by ensuring your diet has adequate calcium intake and limiting your coffee intake.
CARBONATED DRINKS (COLA) - Reaching for a fizzy can of soda may be doing more damage to your bones than you think. Soft drinks are packed with phosphoric acid, which causes an increase in the blood's acidity levels. As a result, the body pulls calcium out of our bones in order to bring the acidity levels back to normal.
ALCOHOL - Alcohol prevents osteoblasts (bone-building cells) from absorbing any bone-friendly minerals, like calcium, which in turn slows down a broken bone's healing process and weakens the bones overall.
EXCESSIVE PROTEIN - The right amount of protein is important for building healthy and strong bones, but there can be too much of a good thing. Women need about 46g of protein a day and men need about 56. Too much protein particularly from red meats, can change the pH balance of our bodies. The more acidic environment can lead to bone loss. Someone who eats a diet heavy on the protein and light on the fruits, vegetables and grains can be particularly out of balance.
INFLAMMATORY FOODS - Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, white potatoes, and eggplant, can cause bone inflammation, which can lead to osteoporosis. However, these vegetables contain other vitamins and minerals that are good for your health so they shouldn’t be totally avoided. As long as you make sure to get enough calcium in your diet.
PROCESSED FOODS/TRANS FATS - Hydrogenated oils are man-made fats produced by contaminating vegetable oils with hydrogen gas under super high pressure—which creates artery-blocking trans fats. This process destroys any naturally-occurring vitamin K in the veggie oils. And since vitamin K is essential for strong bones, we recommend forgoing any foods that contain trans fats completely (think fast food, frozen food, pastries, and some coffee creamers). To ensure your foods aren't contaminated by these foul fats, check the ingredient list (even if the label reads trans fat free!) for any "hydrogenated oils" or "partially hydrogenated oils."
SMOKING - Smoking reduces the amount of calcium your bones absorb. Vitamin D helps bones to absorb calcium, but smoking interferes with how your body uses vitamin D. Less calcium is then available to build strong bones. As a result, your bones start to get brittle.
Smoking lowers oestrogen levels in both men and women. Estrogen is important because it helps the bones to hold calcium and other minerals that make them strong. At menopause, a woman’s body makes much less estrogen, and this puts her naturally at risk for osteoporosis. Smoking increases her risk even more.
To hold calcium, the bones also need help from weight-bearing exercise, such as walking. Smokers, however, tend to get less exercise than non-smokers do. Smoking is also toxic to osteoblasts (bone-forming cells).
STRESS - You may wonder what stress and sleep have to do with bone health? As we know chronic stress and sleep deprivation can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which have been associated with bone loss. Elevated cortisol levels interfere with osteoblast formation and dramatically decrease bone building—resulting in reduced bone density.
MEDICATIONS - A number of medicines can cause bone loss if used over the long term (several years). Some common ones include: