When it comes to your health, one of the best attitudes to take is the Buddhist idea of “everything in moderation.” If your diet is balanced and you exercise correctly, the chances of a catastrophic illness or heart disease are greatly reduced. But sometimes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Did you know that even certain healthy foods can negatively affect the way your body absorbs calcium?
Calcium, the all-important bone builder, is essential to strengthening your body’s framework. We all know that foods like milk and yogurt are great for getting calcium into your diet but here are a few dietary choices that might affect your body’s ability to use that calcium.
High fiber cereal
We all see the ads for high fiber cereal and the benefits of a high fiber diet; fiber is an essential aspect of your diet for digestion, it has been shown to help lower the “bad” LDL blood cholesterol, it can help those with diabetes maintain their blood sugar and also reduce the risk of heart disease. However, fiber can also prevent the absorption of calcium when the two are eaten together. This means that the milk you eat with your high fiber cereal might not do as much good as you were hoping.
Now, this doesn’t mean that high fiber cereal with milk is an unhealthy breakfast choice, far from it. However if you are trying to increase your calcium intake or are taking a calcium supplement, it’s best to ingest calcium those several hours after a high-fiber meal, or just be sure to drink up extra on the milk after you’ve finished your bowl of cereal.
Beans might not be the magical fruit
You might be looking to cut some meat out of your diet and have turned to legumes to get some much-needed protein. They’re high in fiber and protein, low in fat and a great alternative to meat, but just like fiber, beans can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Legumes contain phytates, which are shown to slow absorption of some minerals including calcium.
Again, this doesn’t mean beans are bad, but if you have low calcium and take supplements to help with your bone density, wait a few hours after eating legumes before you take them.
High sodium diets
This should come as no surprise at all, but a high sodium diet is bad for you. Beyond general issues with a high sodium diet like high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease, too much sodium can affect your kidneys, a key aspect of your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Try to cut out canned and processed foods in your diet and you can cut down your sodium intake greatly.
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