Diet for Bone Health - Acid vs Alkaline vs Calcium/D

Posted by leeosteo @leeosteo, Jan 14 9:04am

Everything I've read re bone health states you need calcium (and vitamin D to absorb the calcium) as well as a diet high in alkaline foods (that allow the absorption of other vitamins/minerals) for the bone remodeling process. Have you read the same? What diet are you following?

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I've read that you need stomach acid in order for calcium to be absorbed.

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I've read about the alkaline/acid balance but I don't really take that into consideration when determining my dietary needs. I just eat whole, healthy foods and try to balance my nutritional needs.
So, all of this is probably a bit out there to many people but I'll share it just in case it might be helpful in some way…
I follow a gluten free/dairy free diet. I am sensitive to dairy so getting my calcium needs filled are a little more challenging. For breakfast I eat cooked collards along with a protein, etc, which gives me over 300 mg to start my day. Some other high calcium foods I include are canned salmon with the bones (they are very soft and can be mixed right in), sardines with bones, tofu (must be coagulated with calcium sulfate) and a tblsp of blackstrap molasses (1 Tblsp has 10%) mixed into my cocoa drink with collagen. I might also take a spoonful of black sesame butter/tahini. It has about 35% of your daily calcium in 2 tblsp so I take what I need like a spoonful of medicine. It is high in calories and fat (good fats) but I'd rather take food than a pill. I drink some herbal teas that are high in mineral content like nettles, peppermint, red clover, horsetail. I also enter my daily food intake on cronometer.com so that I can track my nutrition and make sure I've met my needs all around. I've done it for so long that I generally don't need to do it daily anymore. When I fall short of meeting my calcium intake, I take a supplement as needed. So overall, that's the diet I follow. I'm sure these choices are not for everyone but I I really enjoy eating healthfully and knowing I'm doing all I can naturally in conjunction with whatever I need to do medically.

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My doctor recommends grass fed dairy products – butter, milk, half and half can be found in most grocery stores and are far better than these products coming from cows that are raised with hormones, fed grains, etc. and also digest better from my experience. Along with this recommendation, you are spot on in eating salmon, sardines, anchovies too with bones – the bones in these products are very soft and not difficult to chew or swallow. I also sprinkle sesame seeds onto my avocado toast, salads, oatmeal, etc.

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@teb

I've read about the alkaline/acid balance but I don't really take that into consideration when determining my dietary needs. I just eat whole, healthy foods and try to balance my nutritional needs.
So, all of this is probably a bit out there to many people but I'll share it just in case it might be helpful in some way…
I follow a gluten free/dairy free diet. I am sensitive to dairy so getting my calcium needs filled are a little more challenging. For breakfast I eat cooked collards along with a protein, etc, which gives me over 300 mg to start my day. Some other high calcium foods I include are canned salmon with the bones (they are very soft and can be mixed right in), sardines with bones, tofu (must be coagulated with calcium sulfate) and a tblsp of blackstrap molasses (1 Tblsp has 10%) mixed into my cocoa drink with collagen. I might also take a spoonful of black sesame butter/tahini. It has about 35% of your daily calcium in 2 tblsp so I take what I need like a spoonful of medicine. It is high in calories and fat (good fats) but I'd rather take food than a pill. I drink some herbal teas that are high in mineral content like nettles, peppermint, red clover, horsetail. I also enter my daily food intake on cronometer.com so that I can track my nutrition and make sure I've met my needs all around. I've done it for so long that I generally don't need to do it daily anymore. When I fall short of meeting my calcium intake, I take a supplement as needed. So overall, that's the diet I follow. I'm sure these choices are not for everyone but I I really enjoy eating healthfully and knowing I'm doing all I can naturally in conjunction with whatever I need to do medically.

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This has been helpful. Right now I struggle with what to eat for breakfast and a basic salad. Your very creative. I like your use of cronometer.com also.

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@gigi4

My doctor recommends grass fed dairy products – butter, milk, half and half can be found in most grocery stores and are far better than these products coming from cows that are raised with hormones, fed grains, etc. and also digest better from my experience. Along with this recommendation, you are spot on in eating salmon, sardines, anchovies too with bones – the bones in these products are very soft and not difficult to chew or swallow. I also sprinkle sesame seeds onto my avocado toast, salads, oatmeal, etc.

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Thank you for your input. I've been putting pumpkin seeds on most items. I'll look into sesame seeds along with canned salmon/sardines/anchovies.

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@teb

I've read about the alkaline/acid balance but I don't really take that into consideration when determining my dietary needs. I just eat whole, healthy foods and try to balance my nutritional needs.
So, all of this is probably a bit out there to many people but I'll share it just in case it might be helpful in some way…
I follow a gluten free/dairy free diet. I am sensitive to dairy so getting my calcium needs filled are a little more challenging. For breakfast I eat cooked collards along with a protein, etc, which gives me over 300 mg to start my day. Some other high calcium foods I include are canned salmon with the bones (they are very soft and can be mixed right in), sardines with bones, tofu (must be coagulated with calcium sulfate) and a tblsp of blackstrap molasses (1 Tblsp has 10%) mixed into my cocoa drink with collagen. I might also take a spoonful of black sesame butter/tahini. It has about 35% of your daily calcium in 2 tblsp so I take what I need like a spoonful of medicine. It is high in calories and fat (good fats) but I'd rather take food than a pill. I drink some herbal teas that are high in mineral content like nettles, peppermint, red clover, horsetail. I also enter my daily food intake on cronometer.com so that I can track my nutrition and make sure I've met my needs all around. I've done it for so long that I generally don't need to do it daily anymore. When I fall short of meeting my calcium intake, I take a supplement as needed. So overall, that's the diet I follow. I'm sure these choices are not for everyone but I I really enjoy eating healthfully and knowing I'm doing all I can naturally in conjunction with whatever I need to do medically.

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This is extremely helpful! I have been told to forego calcium supplements because of heart issues, so have been very worried about how to get enough, especially as most dairy needs to be avoided as well (UC and other issues). I already am on a gf diet, so can easily follow your regimen. Thanks so much!

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@teb

I've read about the alkaline/acid balance but I don't really take that into consideration when determining my dietary needs. I just eat whole, healthy foods and try to balance my nutritional needs.
So, all of this is probably a bit out there to many people but I'll share it just in case it might be helpful in some way…
I follow a gluten free/dairy free diet. I am sensitive to dairy so getting my calcium needs filled are a little more challenging. For breakfast I eat cooked collards along with a protein, etc, which gives me over 300 mg to start my day. Some other high calcium foods I include are canned salmon with the bones (they are very soft and can be mixed right in), sardines with bones, tofu (must be coagulated with calcium sulfate) and a tblsp of blackstrap molasses (1 Tblsp has 10%) mixed into my cocoa drink with collagen. I might also take a spoonful of black sesame butter/tahini. It has about 35% of your daily calcium in 2 tblsp so I take what I need like a spoonful of medicine. It is high in calories and fat (good fats) but I'd rather take food than a pill. I drink some herbal teas that are high in mineral content like nettles, peppermint, red clover, horsetail. I also enter my daily food intake on cronometer.com so that I can track my nutrition and make sure I've met my needs all around. I've done it for so long that I generally don't need to do it daily anymore. When I fall short of meeting my calcium intake, I take a supplement as needed. So overall, that's the diet I follow. I'm sure these choices are not for everyone but I I really enjoy eating healthfully and knowing I'm doing all I can naturally in conjunction with whatever I need to do medically.

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P.S. What brand of black tahini do you buy? Is it salted or unsalted?

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@bayhorse

P.S. What brand of black tahini do you buy? Is it salted or unsalted?

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I'm so glad you find it helpful! I buy Eden or Kevala brands, Eden preferred as it has slightly more calcium then Kevala (2 Tblsp at 35% as compared to 31%). I think they are unsalted. They do have a very strong flavor but as I said, I take it like a spoon full of medicine so it doesn't bother me. If you need to sweeten it, you can use the blackstrap molasses which also adds some calcium. But that's another strong flavor not to everyone's liking. You can also drizzle it over some non-dairy yogurt and berries to mask the taste if you need to. I stock up on the molasses and tahini from Vitacost when they have their 15% off sales.
Some other non-dairy calcium sources I use a lot are almonds, white beans, chia seeds (I make crackers), figs (spread with black tahini 🙂 ), oranges, carrots, other dark greens like broccoli, kale and bok choy though collards pack the most punch so I make sure to have those at the start of every day.

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@teb

I'm so glad you find it helpful! I buy Eden or Kevala brands, Eden preferred as it has slightly more calcium then Kevala (2 Tblsp at 35% as compared to 31%). I think they are unsalted. They do have a very strong flavor but as I said, I take it like a spoon full of medicine so it doesn't bother me. If you need to sweeten it, you can use the blackstrap molasses which also adds some calcium. But that's another strong flavor not to everyone's liking. You can also drizzle it over some non-dairy yogurt and berries to mask the taste if you need to. I stock up on the molasses and tahini from Vitacost when they have their 15% off sales.
Some other non-dairy calcium sources I use a lot are almonds, white beans, chia seeds (I make crackers), figs (spread with black tahini 🙂 ), oranges, carrots, other dark greens like broccoli, kale and bok choy though collards pack the most punch so I make sure to have those at the start of every day.

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Ten, great info. How did you figure out your diet? I'm struggling with fortified milk and oj. And are you taking an osteoporosis med with this diet?

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@leeosteo

Ten, great info. How did you figure out your diet? I'm struggling with fortified milk and oj. And are you taking an osteoporosis med with this diet?

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I've always been health conscious and a bit of a nutrition nerd so I just reconfigured my diet to include all the nutrient rich foods that would be helpful. As mentioned in my previous post, the website cronometer.com was helpful in that I could plug in my daily foods and see if I fell short and needed any supplementation. When I was diagnosed with osteoporosis, it was especially shocking because I had always been health conscious and exercised daily. For 2 years, I worked diligently to improve my bones naturally through increased exercise and diet but I ultimately had to go on Forteo and I'm really glad I did. I had no side effects and gained slightly in my spine which is where all of my loss had been. I really struggled to figure out what to go on after Forteo (as you need to immediately move onto the next med or you will lose your gains). After weighing all of my options, I decided to go on HRT. At 63 (at the time), I was at the tail end of the window for taking it. I felt like it was the lesser of all evils. I have been stable since but I am due for a dexa and am concerned that there may be additional loss as the last few years have been particularly stressful and they've taken a physical toll. All that said, I think we have to embrace all options and figure out what's best for us personally using all of the tools available to us; diet, exercise and meds when necessary.

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