HEALTHY LIVING
04/15/2013 08:46 am ET

Bone Health And Your Diet: The Worst Foods For Your Bones

You might think you're doing your best to eat for bone health by pouring some milk over your cereal in the morning. You're not wrong to keep an eye on your calcium intake, since most adults need at least 1,000 milligrams of the essential nutrient a day. But calcium isn't all we require to keep our skeletons strong. We also need adequate vitamin D for optimal calcium absorption, and to subscribe to a number of healthy habits like not smoking and staying physically active. Not to mention that some a.m. milk isn't the only route to your 1,000 milligrams each day.

"It's about a balance of foods," says Joan A. McGowan, Ph.D., director of the NIH's Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases, including balancing the good eats with a few that you might want to avoid.

Like with many health conditions, the foods you choose -- or choose not -- to eat, can play an important role in preventing or managing symptoms. And similarly, the amount to which you're likely to alter your diet to control your symptoms depends on how great your risk is to begin with. Not everyone needs to eliminate the following foods known to hurt your bones, but someone with a family history of osteoporosis might want to consider cutting back, says Heidi Skolnik, M.S., C.D.N, a board member for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Here are a few of the bad-to-the-bone foods you might want to steer clear of.

Worst Foods For Bones

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