University of Illinois Extension

What Is a Bone Healthy Diet?

In general, a bone healthy diet is consuming enough calories for adequate weight, and the optimal amounts of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Consuming the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables (2 ½ cups vegetables and 2 cups of fruit for a 2,000 calorie intake), and following the recommendation of no more than 1,500 milligrams (1.5 grams) of sodium per day also contribute to a bone healthy diet.

To maintain bone health, it is important to consume a variety of foods in amounts recommended for your age, gender, height, and level of physical activity. To begin with, individuals need to find a weight that they are comfortable with and that falls within reasonable limits for their body type .

To find your recommended weight and food intake level, go to www.supertracker.usda.gov. At this site you can type in your age, gender, height, and current weight - the website will calculate how much food from each of the food groups is right for you.

Being at the right weight is important to bone health. Those who are too thin are at increased risk for osteoporosis. Thin people usually have a smaller frame. Their bones are smaller, so any change in density will have a big effect.

On the other hand, individuals who are overweight usually have denser bones. This may not be the best for your overall health. Staying active, having good balance and flexibility, and a healthy diet are the best approach to bone health.

You should eat foods from each food group for good health. Let's take a look at the food groups and what each group contributes to our health, particularly as it relates to osteoporosis and bone health.