Healthy Weight Loss that maintains Strong Bones for later years

15 nutrients involved, which makes a varied weight-loss diet critically important for Bone Health

I did a paper on Rheumatoid Arthritis in college and was blown away at the amount of nutrients involved in Bone Health. Most people think of just Calcium and Vitamin D.

Bone contains inorganic calcium and magnesium phosphates and these 3 minerals come from your daily food. Bone cells are constantly breaking down and rebuilding back. They are a living thing!

Top Calcium Foods

You need 1000mg a day of calcium. Calcium provides the hardness to bone, the matrix provides the flexibility. Magnesium helps to convert vitamin D into its active form and works with Vitamin D to regulate the absorption of calcium into the bone. So let’s start with Calcium food sources

Leafy Greens – Swiss chard, Kale, Spring Greens and Watercress have about 250mg of calcium per 100g. I lightly steam these greens and add olive oil, salt, black pepper and sometimes chilli and enjoy them with fish, steak or bacon. Vegetable shops rather than supermarkets are more likely to stock them.

Other greens such as Spinach (170mg, Okra 120mg) are also good whereas the less leafy greens, – broccoli, asparagus, and brussel sprouts have less calcium at 30mg to 50mg per 100g.  I enjoy greens with fish, steak and bacon. Include a green at lunch and dinner or aim for 2 at dinner. Vegetables will contribute about 500mg + per day

Dairy produce is probably the best known source of calcium as the dairy industry has advertised it over the years. Cheese, milk, yoghurt are all good calcium sources as the cow eats so much green! Depending on your diet, you can choose lower fat dairy e.g. cottage cheese has 90-100mg calcium per 100g but if you are eating a high fat diet, I still advise portion-size caution on high fat cheese. Cheddar has 750mg Calcium per 100g and my portion guidance is 20g (150mg calcium) to 40g for weight-loss adult clients. You can add natural yoghurt, cream or cream cheese to soups and curries.

Nuts & Seeds-. Almonds are a top calcium source, 234mg per 100g along with Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans. My nutty granola is a top calcium breakfast. Nuts are an excellent snack regardless of what weight-loss plan you are following as you can portion them. They provide a bundle of key nutrients like zinc, selenium, magnesium and manganese.

Herbs – Parsley and green herbs are a great source of minerals like calcium – 234mg per 100g. I developed the salsa verde recipe with fish to ensure a maximum intake of herbs in a dish as we usually only take a dusting of herbs.

Bone Broths are another clever source of calcium.

Olives, Tinned fish, Fortified cereals and flour, Hard water & mineral waters, Beans, Lentils will top up your daily diet.


Excess Bodyweight puts tremendous ‘force’ on hips, knees and ankles

If you weigh 90kg, when you walk on the level, a force of 135kg goes through your knee, absorbed by cartilage and the fluid surrounding the knee joint. When you squat to tie your lace or bend down, this force can be up to 5 times your body weight. Daily force on the joints causes ‘wear & tear’ as you can see on the right hand side of the image above. The risk of arthritis and osteoarthritis is up to 7 times higher in people over a BMI of 30, the Obese category.

There are specialist pilates classes that concentrate on bone health. I do Charlotte’s class at Tuma Yoga and she has a ‘Strong Bones’ whereby stomping sends signals to the bone to clear and re-build. You can easily do this at home.

When dieting or looking to lose weight, it is critical to not eat too little and too narrow a range of food and compromise your bone for later years.


The other 14 nutrients involved in Healthy Bones

  • Vitamin K – Activates the proteins made by the bone cells – osteocalcin, matrix GL and Protein S . Food Sources include meat, green vegetables, kelp, alfalfa, green tea, milk, yoghurt, oils, cheese and natto
  • Vitamin C – A cofactor in collagen synthesis, the main protein in joint tissue and bone. Food Sources include Fresh fruit – berries, citrus and green & red vegetables
  • Vitamin E – plays an anti-oxidant protective role. Found in Oils, nuts, seeds, green vegetables, berries, wholegrains
  • B6, B3, B12 – Required to build the proteins – collagen & elastin. Required for energy production for regeneration and repair of cartilage, bone, tendons and ligaments . Found in Whole grains, meats, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, egg, milk
  • Vitamin D – Assists the uptake of calcium from the gut promoting bone mineralisation. Maintains normal heart action, normal blood clotting (important as bones richly supplied by nerves and blood). Found in cold water fish (salmon, herring mackerel, sardines, anchovies) butter, cod liver oil, egg yolks and summer sunshine.
  • Magnesiumfound in – green vegetables, beans, nuts, lentils, potato, oats, yoghurt, wholegrains seafood and meat.
  • Manganese – Required for the glycosylation of hydroxylysine – to increase the glucosamine polymers. These form the matrix in bones. Found in Nuts, seeds, wholegrains, legumes, pineapple
  • Boron and Molybdenum – Boron helps the efficient absorption and regulation of Calcium Molybdenum is an enzyme catalyst . Found in Boron – Nuts, seeds fruits, vegetables, Molydbenum-wholegrains nuts, seeds vegetables wholegrains grown in Molybdenum rich soils
  • Silicon – Increases the strength & density of bone . Found in oats, oat bran, fruit, vegetables like green beans and cucumber and wholegrains.
  • Copper and Zinc – Builds bone proteins. Found in Zinc- organ meats, oysters, meats, beans, nuts, wholegrains, seeds Copper- shellfish, nuts, beans, wholegrains, avocados, artichokes, radishes, mushrooms, organ meats, yeast, dark bitter chocolate

When you glance through the food sources, you will quickly realise that a low fruit and vegetable diet, with few healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, and a regular and high junk food content, not containing beans, meats, fish can in the long-term lead to poor bone health.


My food plans both involve eating Real Food. If you would like help to lose Weight healthily, contact me.

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