These 6 Foods Are The Worst For Your Kidneys And Cause Bone Loss - Save Our Bones

When I first started researching drug-free ways to prevent and reverse osteoporosis, balancing the pH emerged as a crucial element in bone health. It’s so important to preserve and increase bone density, that I based the Osteoporosis Reversal Program on this concept.

At the center of the pH balancing act are the kidneys, and today we’ll discuss six foods that you’ll want to avoid to keep these organs healthy, and how that plays into preventing bone loss.

A Brief Overview Of The Kidneys’ Role In Preventing Bone Loss

As your kidneys filter out toxins and excess acid from the blood, they also put a buffer or acid neutralizer back into the bloodstream in the form of bicarbonate. This shows how crucial it is for your system to be alkaline, and it’s also why the kidneys get overworked when, for example, you take a lot of medications (which are acidic) and/or eat an acid-forming diet.

And just as there are certain foods that help cleanse and alkalize the body and ease the load on the kidneys, there are also foods that are not only acidic, but actually damage these important organs.

6 Foods To Avoid

Remember, no food is strictly off-limits on the Osteoporosis Reversal Program. So when I mention “avoiding” a food or foods, it’s more about raising awareness of how these foods act in your body so you can make informed choices and limit their consumption.

The following 6 foods (and food components) can actually harm your bones or your kidneys (especially when consumed in large quantities) and some of them may surprise you.

1. Animal Protein (Meat and Dairy)

When my doctor announced I had osteoporosis, he also told me to “drink plenty of milk.” I’m sure that many of you in our community got the same advice, but fortunately, by now you know that most doctors have it all wrong about milk. Here’s a brief refresher why.

For one thing, milk contains animal protein. This protein is highly acidifying, whether it comes from a goat, sheep, or cow. This is why the consumption of milk and other dairy products increases calcium secretion in the urine – the body must take calcium from the bones to neutralize the acid in your system before your kidneys get bombarded with the excess protein.

And as you might suspect, this puts a tremendous amount of stress on your kidneys and “ages” your bones by depleting them of calcium. In fact, research from Harvard Medical School clearly shows that drinking milk does nothing to prevent fractures, and in fact may increase fracture risk.

Meat is, of course, straight animal protein, and a 2003 study shows that meat-rich diets increase the risk of uric acid kidney stones.1 This is direct evidence that animal protein harms your kidneys.

“…a balanced vegetarian diet with a moderate animal protein … and a high alkali-load with fruits and vegetables results in the lowest risk of uric acid crystallization compared to the omnivorous diets,”1 the study concludes.

The good news is that the pH-balanced nutrition of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is low in animal proteins and rich in fruits and vegetables, so you’re doing more than building and rejuvenating your bones. You’re also protecting your kidneys!

2. Caffeine

I know how easy it is to become caffeine dependent. But while this stimulant may make you feel more energy temporarily, it ultimately makes you feel older and more tired.

The problem with caffeine is the very thing we like about it: it’s a stimulant, and if your kidneys are already taxed, long-term caffeine use can increase your risk of renal failure.2 Even brief caffeine consumption increases your risk of developing kidney stones, especially on an empty stomach. A 2002 study analyzed the immediate effects of drinking caffeine after 14 hours of fasting. The results showed greater calcium excretion in the urine and a higher risk of kidney stone formation.3

So have caffeine in moderation. Here’s a trick I use for my morning coffee: I brew half regular and half naturally decaf coffee to reduce the amount of caffeine.

3. Synthetic Sweeteners (Aspartame, Saccharine, etc.)

While it’s true that sugar is bad for your bones, the “fake stuff” will rapidly decrease your kidney function. The fact is, these artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals that are toxic and acidifying.

The heaviest consumption of these chemicals is from drinking diet colas. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that just two cans of diet soda cause a decline in renal function.4

So use plant-derived stevia instead of the toxic artificial sweeteners.

Speaking of carbonated beverages…

4. Sodas

These bubbly beverages rob your bones of their youthful vitality in other ways besides crippling your kidneys. They literally melt your bones because of the enormous amount of caustic phosphoric acid they contain. This acid dissolves calcium, making it just about impossible to prevent bone loss.

Like the study above involving two or more cans of cola a day, another study showed that this same amount of carbonated beverages – regardless of the kind of sweetener they contained – increased the risk of chronic kidney disease.5

With their high concentration of sugar or artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and phosphoric acid, such beverages are best avoided if you want to prevent your bones from losing density. Instead, drink plenty of distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice, and feel free to indulge in the occasional homemade soda alternative.

5. Salt

Table salt contains sodium chloride (NaCl), anti-caking agents, and often dextrose. It’s also bleached and processed for uniform color and crystal size.

Plus table salt, which contains 40% sodium, is devoid of other trace minerals or healthful components, thus bombarding your kidneys with excessive amounts of a single element. For example, a high sodium diet that’s low in potassium has been linked to heart attack and, startlingly enough, death from any cause.5

Americans tend to consume far too much table salt and sodium. The kidneys must try to keep up with the resulting salt levels in the blood, increasing the need for water to keep intercellular fluids balanced. The body then holds the water as it tries to correct for the excess salt, creating excessive blood volume. The cardiovascular and renal systems must work very hard under this pressure.

There’s more bad news for sodium lovers – salt robs your bones of the calcium they need to be resilient and strong. Urinary output of calcium increases greatly when excess sodium is ingested, accelerating the aging process and damaging bones.6

Savers know that the Program recommends using sea salt instead of table salt. Plus when you follow the Program, you’re eating a potassium-rich diet, which counteracts the damaging effects of excessive sodium.

6. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

The artificial introduction of foreign genetic material into foods is a relatively new science, but research is emerging with ominous implications about this practice.

Some very common foods like corn, canola, and soy are almost always genetically modified these days, while evidence mounts that these foods cause kidney damage. When GM corn was tested on rats, the researchers concluded as follows:

…our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity. This can be due to the new pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) present specifically in each type of GM maize, although unintended metabolic effects due to the mutagenic properties of the GM transformation process cannot be excluded.”7

Clearly, these foreign “invaders” overwhelm your kidneys and liver, detoxification organs that are crucial for preventing bone weakening and preserving youthful bones.

Take Action To Ensure Your Kidneys Are Functioning Properly

Besides just avoiding the above foods whenever you can, there are many cleansing, kidney-friendly foods you can eat to reverse the loss of bone density associated with age. The good news is, there are far more healthful, detoxifying foods than the six culprits listed above.

You’ll find a comprehensive list of these age-defying, kidney-cleansing foods and beverages in the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse: The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator.

Even if you’ve been doing “all the right things,” it’s a great idea to give your kidneys a “tune-up” so they’ll function better and more efficiently.

The Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse flushes out the toxins that speed up the aging process, essentially “turning back the clock” on renal function. The a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse helps give new life to these crucial organs that play such an important role in maintaining the pH balance.

So if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to learn more about the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse: The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator.

Here’s to healthy kidneys and younger bones!


1 Siener, Dr. Roswitha and Hesse, Albrecht. “The effect of a vegetarian and different omnivorous diets on urinary risk factors for uric acid stone formation.” European Journal of Nutrition. December 2003, Vol 42, Iss 6, pp 332-337. Web.

2 Tofovic, Stevan P., et al. “Long-term caffeine consumption exacerbates renal failure in obese, diabetic, ZSF1 (fa-facp) rats.” Kidney International. 2002. 61, 1433–1444; doi:10.1046/j.1523-1755.2002.00278.x. Web.

3 Massey,LK and Sutton, RA. “Acute caffeine effects on urine composition and calcium kidney stone risk in calcium stone formers.” The Journal of Urology. August 2004. 172(2):555-8. Web.

4 Lin, Julie and Curhan, Gary C. “Associations of Sugar and Artificially Sweetened Soda with Albuminuria and Kidney Function Decline in Women.” Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. January 2011. vol. 6 no. 1 160-166. Web.

5 Saldana, TM, et al. “Carbonated beverages and chronic kidney disease.” Epidemiology. July 2007. 18(4): 501-6. Web.

6 Yang Q, Liu T, Kuklina EV, et al. “Sodium and potassium intake and mortality among US adults: prospective data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:1183-91.

7 Devine A, Criddle RA, Dick IM, Kerr DA, Prince RL. “ longitudinal study of the effect of sodium and calcium intakes on regional bone density in postmenopausal women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;62:740-5.

The Top 14 Things You’re Doing That Are Damaging Your Bones... And More!

  • Stop The Bone Thieves! report
  • Email course on how to prevent and reverse bone loss
  • Free vital osteoporosis news and updates.
Get It Free Now

Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Scott McDaniel

    Straight bourbon whiskey

  2. james

    I gained more calories once I completed low carb diet, I’d suggest only trying it for a couple of weeks at most and then transferring to a longer-term, lower-fat diet that includes a wide range of foods, including carbs

  3. christian

    Thanks for ur word.Pls what can some one eat to keep his kidney functioning properly?nd food to stay away frm

  4. Wilma

    I have been researching the use of calcium and have found that taking calcium to increase bone mass will not help unless you supplement it with Vitamins K2 and D3. If you take too much calcium the excess will collect in your arteries. The K2 and D3 is used by the body to direct the calcium to your bones and not your arteries. Hope this is helpful to calcium users.

  5. Sulfikar

    Thanks to all of you for your valuable creatine serum level is on border level.kindly plz advice me some foods which can regenerate my kidneys? I mean the food which are good for the kidneys?

  6. charity Dutman

    Things to take to keep your kidney healthy

    • Linda

      I would also like to know what
      supplements will help the kidneys.

      • Scott McDaniel

        Straight bourbon whiskey one fifth per hour after two hrs no kidney problems

  7. charity Dutman

    I want to know if one can be taking vinegar as kidney cleanser

  8. Princess Kakani

    Well I really liked studying it. This post offered by you is very effective for proper planning.

  9. Ahmed

    Hello Vivian,thanks for such a wonderful and brilliant information you’ve putten across.i read molecular biology and biotechnology which gave me a deepest depth in relation to things like this(GMO,DNA) your article,you spoke about GMO foods,saying it can lead to kidney disorder which I find it a bit hard to agree with you because, during my time in school and the research have made so far till date,there has never been a single person or a group of person who have come out and to say,after consuming a product made from GMO i fell sick or it has caused mutation or anything like what you said above,in more than 35 years since GMo was introduced into the system.there is an independent body made of professionals who understand what these things are,their advantages and disadvanteges and ontop of that,they are trained scientist from well and recognized institution all over the world who look into this like before it been allowed to come out or implemented and these things are carried out in a sophisticated labs with field trials please,it good you educating us but Vivian,I will plead with you to have much information and also do a lot of research before posting because you have a lot of follows on here.thanks

    • Randy

      Just because eating a GMO food doesn’t instantly make you feel bad doesn’t mean that it’s safe.

      Since you claim to be a scientist you would realize such a thing. Some damage could be long term. Such as the damage done to human organs by the very drugs prescribed by doctors that are suppose to help us.

  10. Yumi Guimba

    Hi Vivian! i want to know what kind of vitamins should i take. I have type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.Also is it ok to take Osteo cleanse if i have diabetes and high blood pressure? Thank you.

    • HD

      Go vegan.. watch this Netflix documentary “What the Health”.. but should consult your doctor first. good luck.

  11. Lyne Westbrook

    Thank you so much for the information. Do you have any solutions on cyst on kidneys? What causes them? could they be harmful to your kidneys?What can you do rid your body from cyst? What kind of physician do you recommend?

  12. Gerald M

    i have learnt.. but i want to learn more coz i have kidneys promblem. i want to food to eat and not to eat. what are quick medicin?

  13. Belief

    Thanx.Can I from Zimbabwe,an African country get the Osteo cleansing order,how?Got kidney problem, painful joints and chest.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Yes, OsteoCleanse is in digital format (PDF), and can be delivered anywhere in the world where there’s an internet connection.

      • Zenaida Ando

        Where i can buy this osteocleanse?and price please,i feel that i have kidney problem..

  14. Belief

    I want to be part of save our bone program

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Welcome, Belief! Your username is very appropriate. 🙂 Since you’re here, you’re clearly interested in taking control of your own bone health, and you’re probably seeking drug-free ways to do that. You’re already a “Saver” in that regard! If you have any questions about the Program specifically, please feel free to e-mail Customer Support.

  15. Jason Edward Frame


    If you have kidney problems or have a family member with kidney problems please read this. I had renal failure before and the only thing that will help is magnesium and
    astragalus. If you have back pain from bad kidneys, take about 30 grams of astragalus per day until you do not have pain anymore. astragalus can regenerate kidneys.
    Also, be careful of the kind of magnesium you take. Magnesium oxide and Magnesium Sulfate will go right through your body with
    minimal absorption. Try to order “chelated magnesium” from puritans or amazon. Your body will absorb the chelated electrolyte much more efficiently. God Bless.


    Comment hi Vivian tankyou fr yet another informative article….thanks so much God bless yu

  17. Kim Schultz

    Quick question: I’m planning to start the Osteo Cleanse next week and I’m rereading everything to prepare. Would eating legumes and pulses be okay for protein or is it best not to?

  18. martha

    I,AM TRYING TO FIND OUT IF COMSUMING PINK HIMALAYAN SALT HARMFUL FOR PEOPLE WITH STAGE 2 OR 3 KIDNEY DISEASE?. cAN YOU PLEASE GIVE ME A LIST OF FOODS BY NAME, IN VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND DESERTS TO CONSUME FOR A PERSON WITH KIDNEY DISEASE, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, AND DIABETES, I GUESS FISH IS THE ONLY MEAT ONE CAN CONSUME. Is organic apple cider vinegar good to consume?what type of water is best to drink on a daily basis?WHAT VITAMINS ,minerals and herbal products that is harmful to consume? if you see i left out something very important that one should know please feel free to include that imformation, Thank you all very much, martha and family.

  19. Jorae1954@gmail davenport

    So if fermenting of yogurt makes it alkine how is buttermilk

  20. haroon rashid

    Sir i have UTI(urinary track infaction) so give me some advice how it can be prevent.

  21. Dale

    Is strontium good or not?

    • I.S.Swinburne

      Strontium is a trace mineral, it’s essential for a few biological processes in at least mammals. What might be found naturally in plants is the right amount, and you’ll sweat and urinate out anything unneeded. Strontium pollution by humans is another issue, because trace minerals should only be present in the body in trace amounts.

  22. Helen S.

    Thank you for including GMOs and actual wording of researchers. It clears up info-fog on the subject once and for all.

  23. Donna Thomas

    Dear Vivian,
    I’ve had your book for three years and have been taking AlgaeCal Plus for about that long thinking it had the right kind of calcium plus the other needed supplements to help my bones. I was always careful NOT to take the Strontium supplement since it hardens the bones in an negative way. Now I am hearing about True Osteo Calcium and am completely confused. How is this new calcium different….and is the original recommentdation no longer such? I do get and appreciate your computer newsletters but I am so confused about the calcium supplement that I must have missed something somewhere.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Don’t worry, Donna! The Save Our Bones recommendations for calcium have not changed. The first choice is organic marine calcium, and second choice is amino acid chelated calcium. If you’re happy with your current supplement, there is no need to switch to TrueOsteo unless you want to. 🙂

  24. Maria

    I am a member of your community and am on the SAVE OUR BONES PROGRAM.
    I have severe osteoporosis and I am using the TRUE OSTEO CALCIUM. Is it ok to add STRONTIUM R. WITH ULTRA BONE UP CALCIUM to my list?? I also take a supplement for bone and joint as I have arthritis, I just hope I am not overdosing on these supplements. Thank you Vivian for all the good advice you gave us.

  25. birdshot

    I have osteoporosis and have had spinal fractures. What I don’t understand is why my husband and a lot of other people who loves milk and coffee like I do and eats meat has strong bones and no trouble whatsoever and are perfectly healthy? How does that work?

  26. Marlene Villar

    Good afternoon Vivian,
    Thank you very much Vivian for sharing this article
    especially, re: drinking cow’s milk. I truly appreciate
    everything what I’ve been learning through your
    book as well as from your e-mails.
    Have a wonderful day and take care always.

    • Lyne Westbrook

      I have heard , (and I am currently consuming) Almond Unsweetened Milk. is a better choice than cow’s milk. Any suggestions? comments?

  27. Linda

    It’s no wonder why I have osteoporosis. I have been eating all the wrong foods. One I read Vivian’s book, I threw away my forteo prescription & began eating healthy. I enjoy reading all the emails as I always learn something new. Hopefully my dexa scan will eventually improve. Thanks for everything!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Good for you, Linda! Isn’t it amazing how knowledge is so simple but so powerful?

  28. Catherine Sweeney

    Vivian, Thank You for yet another informative article. I do have heart diease, & kidney disease along with my severe osteoporosis. I know too much salt is not good. You suggest Sea Salt. What about Pink Himalayan Salt? This is the salt that I primarily use. I’d like to know your opinion of this salt. Thanks so much & God Bless You.

  29. shula


  30. Em

    Another good sweetener is STEVIA. See .

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I agree, Em! Stevia is my sweetener of choice. 🙂 If you search this site, you’ll find many articles I’ve written about this plant-based sweetener.

      • Marian

        I have been using Truvia which is an artificial sweetener with no after-taste. I was told it is safe to use.

        • Brian

          It is very safe but some people are allergic to erythritol in it very rare but best to be careful. So if you get and rashes or sores stop using it but if that doesn’t happen your good to go.

  31. Bev

    Raw milk is included in In your list of alkalizing foods in the Save Our
    Bones book. If I drink milk, it is only raw milk. Isn’t that OK?

  32. Diane

    I understand completely about dairy being acidic and needing to be neutralized I just don’t understand why the calcium in dairy doesn’t do that and why the body needs to take it out of the bones? What about the calcium in the dairy what happens to it, does our body use it? I don’t usually have dairy more than once a week but I’m never sure whether to count the calcium for my daily total..

    Thanks Vivian!

  33. eve

    i thought yogurt is a dairy product. isnt all dairy products, from any mammal, detrimental? pls explain. thank you.

    • Is yogurt bad for kidneys

      I was tolg that yogurt was good to clean out bad bacteria

      • Is yogurt bad for kidneys

        I was told that yogurt is good for you. Please let me know if I should continue eating it

  34. Connie

    Vivian, Your weekly newsletters are just perfect for keeping me on track. The book gives so much information at one time, it is easy to forget –or push aside — specifics. Thank you. Question: Is Himalayan pink salt as preferable as sea salt?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Connie,
      I understand – sometimes it’s nice to receive information in increments! 🙂 And yes, Himalayan pink salt is also rich in healthful trace minerals, and a healthier alternative to table salt.

  35. Trudy

    Hi Vivian
    I know that milk is not good for our bones, but believed that natural yogurt (Greek yogurt) is OK, also whey. I eat it nearly every day.
    Please advise.
    Many thanks, Trudy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are right, Trudy! Thanks to the fermentation process, yogurt is alkalizing and good for your bones…as long as it’s plain, unsweetened, and organic. 🙂

      • smart

        Iam currently taking strontium R.with ultra-bone up calcium which l ordered recently from Amazon and l hv started sleeping well although the pain is still there in my waist bt l with time it will finally stop. Thank u vivian 4ds your wonderful site through which l began to develope hope and finally @ the peak of getn well again. Thanks onces again.

  36. Lala

    How can you be so sure? Thousands of people grow up consuming these things and never have any problems with their health (like me). Wouldn’t it be safer to say that it depends on the person?

Get Started With Your FREE
Natural Bone Building Kit.

Get a free copy of our ‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ eBook, exclusive content that you can’t find anywhere else, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.

Get It Free

Get Your Free Bone-Building Kit


‘Stop The Bone Thieves’ guide, exclusive info, plus vital osteoporosis news and updates.