Nutrition targeting Osteoporosis

When you have osteoporosis, there are several key nutrients you need to supply your body with to make your bones as strong as possible.

Before planning a diet, you first need to know about the kinds of nutrients your body needs and which foods to avoid.

Nutrients to focus on

This mineral is an important component of bone tissue.

Vitamin D
This is your body’s companion vitamin to calcium. Without enough vitamin D, your body can’t absorb calcium properly.

You need protein to maintain healthy tissues, including muscle tissue. Low protein intake is associated with increased risk for hip fracture. ResearchersTrusted Source recommends eating between 0.8 and 2.0 milligrams (mg) of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C enhances the absorption of calcium. When taken together, they can maximize bone strength and may play a role in preventing osteoporosis. Get plenty of vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables.

This mineral plays a role in building strong bones. However, your body’s ability to absorb magnesium diminishes with age. Eating a variety of healthy foods can help you get enough magnesium daily.

Vitamin K
Researchers have identified a relationship between vitamin K1 and osteoporosis: Women with lower vitamin K intakes were at greater risk for hip fracture. Those who got more than 254 mg per day had a significantly reduced risk for hip fractures.

Your body uses zinc to help the bones stay strong. Low intakes of zinc are associated with poor bone health.



Foods to limit or avoid:

High-salt foods
Excess salt consumption can cause your body to release calcium, which is harmful to your bones. Avoid foods that contain more than 20 percent of the daily recommended value for sodium. Limit your intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day whenever possible.

While a moderate amount of alcohol is considered safe for those with osteoporosis, excess alcohol can lead to bone loss. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, drinks should be limited to about two per day.

While beans have some healthy attributes for women with osteoporosis, they’re also high in phytates. These compounds affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.

However, you can reduce the number of phytates in beans: First, soak them in water for two to three hours before cooking, and then drain the beans and add fresh water for cooking.

Wheat bran
Not only does wheat bran contain high levels of phytates, which can hinder calcium absorption, but 100 percent of wheat bran is the only food that seems to reduce the absorption of calcium in other foods eaten at the same time.

Therefore, if you take calcium supplements, don’t take them within two to three hours of eating 100 percent wheat bran.

Excess vitamin A
Too much of this nutrient is associated with having adverse effects on bone health. This isn’t likely to happen through diet alone.

However, those who take both a multivitamin and fish liver oil supplement — also high in vitamin A — daily may have increased risk for adverse health effects from excess vitamin A consumption.

Caffeine can decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. Drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks all contain varying amounts of caffeine, so choose these beverages in moderation.

Always talk with your doctor before beginning a new meal plan to ensure it doesn’t interfere with any medications or health conditions you may have.

Below is an example of what a 7 day planned diet could consist of:

Day 1

8 oz. orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D
1 cup whole-grain cereal fortified with vitamin D
4 oz. skim milk

2.5 oz. extra-lean ground beef on a whole-grain bun (may add 1 slice nonfat  cheese, 1 lettuce leaf, and 2 red tomato slices)
green salad with 1 hard-boiled egg and 2 tbsp. low-calorie dressing
8 oz. skim milk

1 orange

2.5 oz. chicken breast
1/2 cup broccoli
3/4 cup rice
2 slices French bread with 1 tsp. margarine
1 cup strawberries with 2 tbsp. lite whipped topping

Day 2

1 slice whole-grain toast with peanut butter, avocado, or fruit jam
8 oz. calcium-fortified orange juice or 4 oz. skim milk

vegetarian chili
green salad with 1 hard-boiled egg and 2 tbsp. low-calorie dressing
small serving sorbet with raspberries

low- or nonfat yogurt with sliced fruit or berries

pasta primavera with whole-grain pasta, grilled chicken, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, and cherry tomatoes, dressed in olive oil
cucumber, avocado, and tomato salad
small serving lemon sorbet garnished with berry sauce
Day 3

slow-cooked oatmeal prepared with apples and/or raisins
8 oz. calcium-fortified orange juice

falafel pita sandwich (may add cucumber, lettuce, and tomato)
1 slice watermelon

1 apple, banana, or orange, or 1 serving strawberries

fajita burrito with chicken or lean steak, bell peppers, onions, and quinoa on a whole-grain tortilla
mashed sweet potato

Day 4

scrambled tofu with vegetables, such as bell peppers, sugar snap peas, and spinach
oven-roasted breakfast potatoes (may sprinkle with skim-milk American shredded cheese)

whole-wheat wrap with red pepper hummus, grated carrots, and tomato (may also try black or white bean spreads)
1 apple or banana

fruit smoothie blended with low-fat yogurt or skim milk

grilled chicken sautéed with zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms
corn on the cob

Day 5

whole-grain cereal with sliced strawberries
4 oz. soy milk
1 small banana

Thai soup with noodles, spinach, mushrooms, and corn
carrot and bean dip, with celery and/or carrots for dipping
green salad with tomatoes and basil

chickpea or white bean dip
1 toasted whole-grain pita, sliced into fours for dipping

whole-grain spaghetti with vegetables, such as chopped onions, grated carrots, and diced broccoli
small serving sorbet with berry sauce or fruits

Day 6

whole-grain pancakes topped with applesauce or fruit spread
1 small veggie sausage link
4 oz. milk or calcium-fortified orange juice

vegetable and/or bean-based soup
black bean and corn salad with red peppers
1 apple, banana, or orange

4 cubes of low-fat cheese
whole-grain crackers or crisps

whole-wheat spinach lasagna with low-fat cheese
green salad, with vegetables of your choice

Day 7
omelet or quiche with tomato, spinach, and other desired vegetables
8 oz. calcium-fortified juice or skim milk

4- to 6-oz. salmon burger on a whole-grain bun
mashed potatoes

rice pudding or milk pudding prepared with low-fat milk
1 handful of unsalted almonds

nachos topped with kidney beans, avocado, and low-fat cheese
Greek salad with feta cheese

This meal plan was adopted from recommendations by the American Dietetic Association, the book “Building Bone Vitality: A Revolutionary Diet Plan to Prevent Bone Loss and Reverse Osteoporosis,” and the International Osteoporosis Foundation, which offers many bone-friendly recipes.

4 thoughts on “Nutrition targeting Osteoporosis”

  1. Hello

    As a lady going through menopause with my mother also suffering with osteoarthritis this makes for great reading. It is so essential that we fully understand nutrition and the affects for the better we can have on our own health. The issues we are faced with as we get older is incredible and a way to help us get through is to be healthier. Brilliant article thank you

    • Hi Imelda. Hope you are well. Many thanks for your comments. I am a fellow sufferer which led me to research the article in some depth, and as a coward when it comes to invasive procedures, I will be  conducting a lot more research: Stay safe!

  2. Hi, thanks for publishing such valuable health related article about osteoporosis. You have clearly specify how to produce it on aged person and it’s symptoms and it’s remedies. I am very influence of your this article that how to solve the audience issues with attractive approach with their lifestyle like routine diet plan and useful instructions to follow it.

    • Hi Anjani. I hope you are well. I am very pleased that you found the article useful. When I first began this journey of discovery into Osteoporosis, I had no idea how many people it actually affects. I can only say that it is a life changer. For myself, even though I have always been fit and healthy, I have had to completely change the way I look at supplements, nutrition and exercise. Again thank you and stay safe.


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