Healthy dietary foods for osteoporosis

The food that you eat can have a positive or negative effect on your bones. Learning about the foods that are important for good bone health will help you make healthier food choices in your everyday diet for osteoporosis.

There are then foods that you should avoid if you have osteoporosis. They are bad for your bone health and can make your bones weak. We have listed them all below.

If your osteoporosis diet is well-balanced and contains plenty of dairy, fish, fruits, and vegetables, you should be okay with your daily need for nutrients. However, otherwise, you may need to additionally take supplements to fulfill your need.

Your diet should include foods that are good sources of bone-friendly nutrients, such as protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins D, C, and K.

  • Proteins sources:
    • Vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts
    • Animal food sources include lean beef, chicken, salmon, and eggs.
    • Dairy products include milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Calcium sources
    • Milk, cheese, and other dairy foods
    • Green leafy vegetables – such as curly kale, okra but not spinach (spinach does contain high levels of calcium but the body cannot digest it all)
    • Soya drinks with added calcium
    • Bread and anything made with fortified flour
  • Zinc sources: Leafy vegetables, legumes, meat, and dark chocolate
  • Magnesium sources: Dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, leafy vegetables, and legumes
  • Vitamin D sources:
    • Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel
    • Red meat
    • Liver
    • Egg yolks
    • Fortified foods
  • Vitamin C sources:
    • Citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice
    • Peppers
    • Strawberries
    • Blackcurrants
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
  • Vitamin K sources:
    • Green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli and spinach
    • Vegetable oils
    • Cereal grains

Foods to avoid in osteoporosis

Besides knowing the best foods suitable for osteoporosis, you should also know what are the worst foods you should avoid and not include in your osteoporosis diet.


Sodium is the main constituent of table salt. It encourages the removal of calcium from the body, which is one of the main minerals required for bone health and strength.

Avoid taking that extra salt on your plate during meals. Stay clear of salty snacks such as chips and crackers, as well as processed foods with salt added to them. Such processed foods include canned vegetables and soups.


Consuming up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day is safe for healthy adults. That is the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, drinking more than three cups of caffeinated coffee or tea a day “may decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss.”

Consuming too much caffeine (800 mg) can double the amount of calcium excreted in the urine and is linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, especially in the elderly.

Cola-type Sodas

Research suggests that carbonated sodas such as colas may contribute to bone loss. Scientists are still not clear exactly how soda may damage bones. The possible cause could be that phosphorus, which is commonly present in sodas, may cause the bone to weaken over time. Some experts, however, feel that phosphorus in soft drinks isn’t likely to have much effect.

Sugary, caffeinated sodas don’t give you any nutrition and may harm your health. It is best to avoid them.

Red meat

Meat protein contains amino acids and high amounts of sulfur. To tackle this, the calcium from the bones is released into the bloodstream.

People with osteoporosis need to preserve all the calcium they have. You should, therefore, minimize your red meat intake and eat more nuts and beans.


According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, moderate intake of wine and beer is associated with increased bone density.

However, excessive alcohol intake causes bone loss. It is, therefore, important for your bone health that you keep your consumption of alcohol within safe limits.

Safe limits are defined as up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, where one drink equals 60 ml.

Wheat Bran

Wheat bran is very healthy and nutritious. It offers you protein, fiber, and antioxidants and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and certain cancers.

However, the phytates in 100% wheat bran interfere with the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc available from other foods and supplements you may be eating at the same time. For instance, wheat bran cereal can reduce the absorption of calcium present in the milk, which you pour on the cereal.

Liver and Fish Liver Oil

You should also avoid fish liver oil and supplements containing retinol, as these may raise the body’s vitamin A stores above the recommended level.

Studies do indicate that excess vitamin A in the body may cause loss of bone mineral density, which increases the risk of osteoporosis.

To summarize:

Sticking to a healthy osteoporosis diet to encourage bone health is highly recommended, which you should do as you age and get older. The suggestions cover a well-balanced diet that can endorse overall health including promotion of metabolic, heart, and intellectual health.

In addition to a healthy diet, you must make the most of bone-building by improving your lifestyle by including a regular exercise plan and good sleep in your daily routine.