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Like exercise, a diet plan for osteoporosis is key to improving bone health. Lets cover this and provide you a 12 point osteoporosis eating plan.

A Diet Plan for Osteoporosis

So what exactly is a diet plan for osteoporosis? A bone healthy diet is about more than getting enough calcium and vitamin D.

While calcium and vitamin D are essential to healthy bones, strong bones require other nutrients and diet modifications as well. Let’s cover a 12 point osteoporosis eating plan.

Osteoporosis Eating Plan in 12 Points

Here are the 12 basic principles of an osteoporosis eating plan:

diet plan for osteoporosis MelioGuide
  • Includes nine or more servings per day of fruits and vegetables with two thirds of those being vegetables.
  • Includes 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal (3 meals per day). Meets protein needs for strength training as well.
  • Is adequate in calcium with an emphasis on getting calcium from food. If that is not possible then only supplements at the level needed beyond what is not obtained from food. Avoids over supplementing with calcium.
  • Includes good food sources of vitamin D and a supplement when necessary. Does not over supplement with vitamin D.
  • Severely limits or eliminates the use of processed foods, especially those with phosphorus containing additives. While phosphorus is an essential building block for bone, too much phosphorus resulting from a high intake of processed foods containing phosphorus food additives, can result in reduced calcium absorption.
  • Is a varied diet that regularly includes seeds, nuts, legumes and whole grains, with very few to no refined grains.
  • Meat and dairy products come from grass fed animals, when possible. Meat and dairy from grass fed animals are higher in Vitamin K2 than their grain fed counterparts. K2 is key to the body’s process of drawing calcium into the bones and incorporating it into the bone matrix.
  • Includes good food sources of vitamin B12 and a supplement if needed.
  • Limits alcohol consumption to moderate use and only if not contraindicated for other health reasons.
  • Avoids excessive salt intake. Eliminates or significantly limits the amount of processed and high sodium restaurant foods eaten.
  • Avoids drinking sodas, especially cola drinks.
  • Includes consumption of adequate fluids.

The added bonus is that when you eat bone healthy meals you are also eating a diet that reduces the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and some cancers.

Enjoy healthy eating – learn to cook delicious vegetables and even try growing some of your own so you enjoy the benefits of truly fresh veggies.

Osteoporosis Guidelines

For more information, check out my Osteoporosis Guidelines.


February 17, 2015 at 6:32pm

Carole Farmerie

Hi Nancy!

I get the melio emails and low and behold when I was checking out some of the links I found your article. Nicely done!!!!

Hope you are having fun!

March 18, 2015 at 6:32pm

Bea Alt

What do you consider to be a serving of vegetable. Thanks

March 19, 2015 at 12:30pm

Nancy Robinson

A serving of vegetable is either 1 cup of raw greens or 1/2 cup of other vegetables. For example 1 cup of broccoli would be considered 2 servings of vegetables. A salad with 2 cups raw greens, 1/2 cup tomato and 1/2 cup carrots would be 4 servings. A serving of fruit is generally 1 medium size fruit or 1/2 cup fruit. Hope that helps.

April 1, 2015 at 11:42am

Diana Blend

Your insight matches much of what I have learned as a plant based eater and cook. I too have a history of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Does your program have a plan for those of us who tend to be vegan and must be gluten free?

April 1, 2015 at 4:15pm

Nancy Robinson

Yes, plant based eating shares many of the same concepts. While my program includes lots of vegetarian meals, at this time my Food 4 Osteoporosis Eating plan is not vegan or gluten free. Some of the muffin recipes are gluten free but not all. Maybe someday I can expand the program to include a vegan and gluten free option as well. You might want to take a look at the free demo of one weeks menus on my website to get a better idea of the menus and recipes offered. Thanks for your comments.

April 4, 2015 at 11:09am


Yes, I 2nd Diana's comments. I'm interested in a vegan, gluten-free menu, too.

February 17, 2020 at 5:51pm


The advice I received from my naturopath was to limit dairy to 0-1 serving per day and s-1-2 servings per day of grains. essentially she said avoid these foods. but what I see in your info is that my diet should be rich in both of those. I am confused, can you help me?

February 17, 2020 at 9:28pm

Nancy Robinson RDN replies

As a general recommendation, I do encourage whole grains and fermented dairy in my diet plans. I can understand why you are confused if you feel you are being given conflicting advice. Without more detail re your Naturopath’s recommendations, your specific health needs and situation, I’m unable to help with your confusion. I would be happy to schedule an individualized consult with you to assist you with your diet. You can contact me at to schedule an appointment.

November 28, 2021 at 10:36pm

Renee Wright

Hi, do you think you can be vegan and meet bone health requirements? I have osteoporosis in my spine and want to improve. Are beans with the phytates bad? I have been planar based a couple of years and have listened to so many podcast about dangers of dairy for breast health etc! So confusing

November 28, 2021 at 10:52pm

Nancy Robinson RDN replies

Yes, you can be vegan and meet nutrient needs for bone health but it can be challenging, and may require some use of nutritional supplements. You have to plan very carefully. I have worked with vegan clients on individualized plans to meet their needs. Beans are a great food for bones, and as long as they are adequately cooked are not a concern in my opinion.

March 21, 2022 at 12:29pm


What's your opinion of whole wheat? Is this an okay ingredient for people with osteoporosis, assuming they've been tested for celiac disease? Do you have concerns about gluten sensitivity and absorption? I actually find it rather difficult to avoid all wheat and wonder if it's necessary to completely avoid it. Thank you.

March 21, 2022 at 1:32pm

Nancy Robinson RDN replies

As long as you are not gluten intolerant, whole wheat is fine to include in the osteoporosis diet. A variety of whole grains should be included in a healthy diet.