What is a bone healthy diet? 

It’s difficult to define a diet in isolation of everything else. Other factors interact with diet and your nutritional status. Lifestyle factors, especially physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking influence bone health. If you have healthy habits, you most like have a healthy diet and the reverse may be true.

In addition, diets are complex. Any food or single nutrient evaluated in isolation may not reflect the whole diet. This may explain the lack of consistent results in research studies.

In general, a balanced diet with protein, vegetables, and fruits is not only a bone healthy but also a good all around diet for your health. Most well balanced diets will provide all the trace minerals required for good health. However, you need to pay attention to ensuring you have adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet.

Food First

Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone. To meet your recommended daily intake of calcium, food should be the primary source. Familiarize yourself with foods that are high in calcium content. If you do not consume dairy, you can choose many other foods that contain calcium. They all add up.

Foods containing vitamin D are limited. Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. The most vitamin D-rich foods are some fishes that are oily, including wild salmon, halibut, herring, and sardines. Other foods are fortified with vitamin D. All milk is fortified with 100 IU per 8-ounce serving. However, not all dairy products contain vitamin D, you need to check the label of yogurts and cheeses.

Try a “menu makeover” to add foods that contain calcium and vitamin D. Then add up how much you are consuming. If your diet does not meet your daily recommended intakes for calcium and vitamin D, then add dietary supplements.