Could certain foods that damage your bones also make you look older and tired? The answer is yes – and research confirms it.

The good news is that by cutting down on these five bone-damaging foods, you’ll notice that dark circles or bags under your eyes, dull-looking skin, and wrinkles that make you look older become less prominent or even disappear.

Today, you’ll discover the beauty and bone health connection as we explore this fascinating topic.

It’s All About Balance

First, I’d like to clarify that you don’t have to completely eliminate these acidifying foods from your diet. It’s all about moderation! If you’re following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you already know that acidifying foods can be included, but in a smaller proportion to alkalizing foods.

Now let’s delve into the top five…

Foods That Add Years To Your Appearance And Weaken Your Bones

1. Sugar and simple carbohydrates (including refined grains) are popular midday pick-me-ups, but ultimately these foods make you look exhausted. Here’s why: sugar harms collagen, a key component in youthful, healthy skin. Collagen also makes up part of the bone matrix that gives your skeleton a strong, flexible framework.

Sugar promotes the formation of AGEs (Advanced Glycogen End products) that weaken collagen. This leads to sagging skin and fragile bones.

2. Drinking too much alcohol is another culprit in causing an aged look, and it it also detrimental to your bones. It does this in several ways.

First, alcohol dries out your skin because of its diuretic effect. It suppresses your body’s ADH, or anti-diuretic hormone, and your kidneys then kick in to remove excess water from your body. This dehydration affects all your organs, including the largest one in your body: your skin. Dry, dehydrated skin is more prone to wrinkles and dullness.

And let’s not forget that dehydration negatively affects your bones, too. Not only do your bones need water in order for healthy remodeling to take place, but when you’re in a dehydrated state, your body produces stress hormones that actually accelerate bone loss.

Next, excessive alcohol consumption exacerbates rosacea and causes red spots by dilating capillaries in your face. These swollen capillaries may even burst, creating permanent discoloration.

Liver damage is a relatively well-known effect of alcohol consumption. When you drink too much alcohol, it produces a substance called acetaldehyde, which is responsible for damage to the mitochondria in human cells. Liver cells are especially susceptible to this type of damage.
Without a properly functioning liver, the skin can look yellow and sickly.

Given that detoxification is vital to bone health and your liver is your primary detoxification organ, it’s especially important o keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.

Not All Alcohol Is The Same

It’s worth pointing out that beer and wine actually have some health benefits. For example, beer is high in the bone-building mineral silicon, and resveratrol, found in red wine, helps decrease inflammation, protect neural cells from damage, and actually improves balance (unless you drink too much!). 

While the occasional glass of beer or wine is not going to harm your bones or make you look older and tired, I do not recommend relying on any form of alcohol as a major source of silicon or resveratrol. Silicon is found in many delicious, alkalizing Foundation Foods like cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, cherries, carrots, beets, and many others. And red grapes, blueberries, peanuts, bilberries, and cranberries are rich sources of resveratrol.

In fact, research shows that resveratrol is best absorbed from foods – the resveratrol found in red wine is minimally bioavailable, so you’d have to drink a great deal to obtain enough of this compound to make a difference in your bone health. And that completely defeats the purpose!

Speaking of balance, a rather obvious way that alcohol can damage your bones is by affecting your balance and coordination, leaving you susceptible to bone-breaking falls.

3. Trans fats are formed when liquid (or liquefied) fats are infused with hydrogen atoms in a process known as hydrogenation. This converts the healthful fatty acids into trans fatty acids, and you’ll see them listed as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils in ingredient lists.

Unhealthy fats harm your skin by forming DNA-damaging free radicals which speed up the aging process, promote the formation of wrinkles, and decrease elasticity.

Your skin’s natural oil, or sebum, is composed of saturated and mono-unsaturated fats. Sebum’s fatty acid profile is nothing like trans fats, so when you eat unhealthy fats, your skin is missing the building blocks for its natural oil. The result? Dry, dull, wrinkled skin that can make you look older than your age.

Additionally, trans fats cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation harms bones by reducing bone density to the point that osteoporosis can result.

Instead, use bone-healthy, inflammation-reducing oils such as olive oil. If you use olive oil for cooking, it will not form trans fats when heated; but it will lose some of its nutritional value and undergo other undesirable changes if it’s heated past its smoke point.

4. Processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, cold cuts, and so forth typically contain two harmful substances: toxic preservatives and loads of sodium.

The preservatives commonly found in processed meats are sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate. (The difference between the two is an oxygen molecule – sodium nitrite’s chemical formula is NaNO2; sodium nitrate’s is NaNO3.) The two are used interchangeably in preserving meat.

According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, “high intakes of red meat and of processed meat were associated with an increased risk for pancreatic cancer… The strongest risk factor was processed meat consumption; those in the fifth quintile of processed meat intake had an almost 70% higher risk than those in the first quintile.”1

Additionally, the Linus Pauling Institute points to nitrates as the culprit behind increased rates of leukemia and tumors in the brain, nose, and throat. These harmful preservatives obviously increase the toxic load and create a highly acidic environment in the body. Honestly, if you often eat foods that contain nitrites, looking older and tired should be the least of your concerns!

Preserved meats also contain high levels of sodium, which we’re going to discuss next.

5. Salt has been much maligned and misunderstood in recent years. In fact, the problem is multi-pronged: too much table salt is highly acidifying. The typical Western diet is high in sodium and low in potassium. It’s this skewed ratio that causes calcium loss via the urine, obviously weakening your bones.

Excessive salt consumption, especially in the absence of adequate potassium levels, dehydrates your body and skin, giving your face a dry, tired look. Plus eventually, a protective mechanism kicks in: your body retains water, which in turn makes your face (and body!) bloat.

As mentioned above, besides using salt in moderation, it’s important to balance the sodium/potassium ratio in order to avoid the calcium-depleting effect of sodium. Good levels of potassium can be found in Foundation Foods such as bananas, sweet potatoes, lima beans, plain yogurt, and winter squash.

As explained in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, stay away from table salt as much as possible, since it’s composed of calcium chloride which is bleached and processed with man-made, chemical anti-caking agents. Some table salt even contains dextrose.

In contrast, sun-dried sea salt is naturally rich in potassium and other alkalizing minerals like calcium, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iodine and zinc. Many of these are actually Foundation Supplements that help build bone. Still, use it in moderation.

Now You Know: There Is A Beauty And Bone Health Connection!

When you follow the pH balanced diet of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program you’re doing more than just building and nourishing your bones. You’ll also look better and younger because your skin will have a smooth and youthful glow. Don’t be surprised if people ask to know your secret!

Till next time,


1 Nothlings, Ute, et al. “Meat and Fat Intake as Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer: The Multiethnic Cohort Study.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute. August 8, 2005. PDF.

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36 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Maria June 10, 2014, 2:48 pm

    Where do I buy “sun dried sea salt?”

  2. Rowena May 23, 2014, 7:15 am

    Hi Vivian love your program living it everyday could you tell me if it’s ok to mix my powdered magnesium with whey protein powder and have them as a drink together
    Thanks rowena

    • ChloeBelle February 9, 2015, 11:40 am

      Thank YOU for your beautifully designed website jam-packed with so much important information. I have a quick question:

      I like to eat organic, gluten-free brown rice and quinoa pasta.

      It’s very hard for me to resist pasta and this is the only type that causes no issues with digestion. I don’t consume any forms of bread or other types of pasta. Once in a while, I’ll have organic rice and lentils. I’ll also eat organic garbanzo beans to relieve carb cravings. I also love having lots of starchy, roasted vegetables like beets, turnips and squash. Although, it’s the pasta I will crave mostly if I don’t have it frequently.

      Would brown rice and quinoa pasta also be considered a “simple” carbohydrate?

      I have to admit, I do always feel better and have a flatter stomach if I eliminate grains all together…. so, maybe I’m answering my own question.

      Something tells me your answer will contain the word “moderation”…..oh no, Italians girls like me don’t usually understand that word.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 23, 2014, 10:30 am

      That’s a great idea, Rowena! Lots of folks like to whirl supplements into smoothies. It’s very helpful for those who do not like (or can’t) swallow tablets or capsules.

      • ChloeBelle February 9, 2015, 11:43 am

        Thank YOU for your beautifully designed website jam-packed with so much important information. I have a quick question:

        I like to eat organic, gluten-free brown rice and quinoa pasta.

        It’s very hard for me to resist pasta and this is the only type that causes no issues with digestion. I don’t consume any forms of bread or other types of pasta. Once in a while, I’ll have organic rice and lentils. I’ll also eat organic garbanzo beans to relieve carb cravings. I also love having lots of starchy, roasted vegetables like beets, turnips and squash. Although, it’s the pasta I will crave mostly if I don’t have it frequently.

        Would brown rice and quinoa pasta also be considered a “simple” carbohydrate?

        I have to admit, I do always feel better and have a flatter stomach if I eliminate grains all together…. so, maybe I’m answering my own question.

        Something tells me your answer will contain the word “moderation”…..oh no, Italians girls like me don’t usually understand that word.


        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 9, 2015, 12:34 pm

          Those are whole-grain pastas, Chloe, so they are complex carbohydrates. 🙂 And I am so glad you are enjoying the website!

  3. Pamela Thompson May 5, 2014, 4:10 am

    Hi Vivian,
    Thank you for all your advice.
    I have osteoporosis and have had two hip replacements due to avascular necrosis which was as the result of being given steroids when I had an over-active thyroid gland.

  4. catherine April 16, 2014, 3:35 pm

    Hi Vivian, many thanks for your reply. I hope my sisters story gives hope to many Save our Bones followers. My Sister lives in France and has been following Vivian’s program for some years now, she is unable to take calcium in pill form because it makes her physically sick so its been entirely from the Program Vivian has recommended, fresh food that France can produce, her doc prescribing high doses of vit D in phial form that has made my sisters T scores go up during this time (she has had 3 scans) from being over -5 in lower spine and over -2 in some other parts, they have all improved and in some parts have even gone to Osteopenia level. (she is 66 has had a lot of medication antibiotics, pain killers, cortisol injections and has Fibromyalgia) Hope this gives encouragement to all. warm wishes catherine

  5. Annie Dekermendjian April 15, 2014, 2:34 pm

    Hello Viviane, thank you for the info, i myself have osteoporosis at the age of only 34, i will do everything not to take drugs, i am doing research myself on the internet, if it interests you i would be glad to share the info with you. Tnx again for your precious time
    Annie from Lebanon

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 16, 2014, 8:17 am

      We’d love for you to share your research with us, Annie! I’m glad you’ve found the Save Our Bones community. 🙂

  6. Lisa April 14, 2014, 5:26 pm

    This is off the subject of food, but would an injection to ease the chronic pain of tendinitis cause the body to become acidic for an extended period of time? My doc suggests getting the shot since I have had tendinitis since December. Please let me know. Thanks!

  7. Sue April 14, 2014, 2:04 pm

    Are dried fruits considered simple carbohydrates? I put raisins on my oatmeal every morning and chopped dates, figs or prunes on my Greek yogurt for lunch. Also eat a banana, kiwi, apple each day. Am I eating too much fruit/sugar? I am good with the other four foods to avoid.

    • Sue April 14, 2014, 2:44 pm

      Oh, I forgot about more fruit I put on my yogurt … strawberries, melon too! Should I be cutting down? Dark chocolate for dessert after dinner too!

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 14, 2014, 7:44 pm

        I wouldn’t worry, Sue! There’s a lot more to fruit than natural sugar. 🙂 You’re getting all kinds of excellent nutrients and fiber with your fruit intake. If you’re concerned, you can occasionally switch out the banana, kiwi, and apple for raw veggies and dip or steamed veggies. 🙂

        • Kathleen Riley February 9, 2015, 10:49 am

          Vivilan, you mention dip above with raw veggies I have been eating hummus with my veggies but read that is acidic even though it is made with tahini which is made with sesame seeds. What do you suggest instead ?

          • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 9, 2015, 11:42 am

            Hi Kathleen,

            Hummus is acidifying, but eating it with raw veggies makes a pH-balanced snack. In Bone Appetit, I include a delicious recipe for hummus that is 100% alkalizing. 🙂

  8. karrie April 14, 2014, 12:48 pm

    Have you heard about diatomaceous earth and it’s benefits? Or have you heard of any harmful affects from this form of silica?

  9. Marlene April 14, 2014, 12:46 pm

    Hello Vivian,
    Thank you very much for this excellent information regarding five foods that damage your bones and make
    you look older and tired. Also,from the book(SaveourBONESProgram) RE: DO’S and DON’TS,
    #24 DON’T USE SUN BLOCK LOTIONS. This is also an
    excellent info. A lot of facial moisturizer has an SPF on it. Is there any product that you may recommend for
    facial moisturizer that has no SPF.
    How about organic,virgin,cold-pressed coconut oil
    for facial moisturizer? Would you recommend this product? Hoping to hear from you. Thank you.
    Take care always, Marlene

  10. regina loke April 14, 2014, 12:35 pm

    thanks vivian , for all your informative e mails. can you tell us if palm oil is beneficial or harmful to our health ? is it alkaline or acidic ?

  11. Paula Beck April 14, 2014, 12:19 pm

    Hi Vivian,

    Health experts extol the heart-health benefits of drinking 5oz. of red wine daily for women…do you feel the cons outweigh the benefits? Thank-you!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 14, 2014, 7:41 pm

      The occasional glass of red wine does have health benefits! But I would not recommend drinking it daily. It’s always a good idea to get nutrients from various sources, and wine is acidifying. 🙂

  12. Ms. L. Carmel April 14, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Good Afternoon Vivian,

    Thank You Very Much For Telling Us About The Top 5 Foods That Can Harm Our Bones, And Make Us Look Older And Tired!
    My Main Fault Is I Love Chocolate Devil’s Food Cookies. I Eat Two A Day, For An After Dinner Dessert.

    Until Next Time – Take Care And Stay Well.


  13. Margot Palmer April 14, 2014, 11:26 am

    Which type magnesium should I take – chelated?
    Right now the I am taking calcium citrate & Vit D3
    I am a healthy senior in my eighties.
    Thank you Vivian

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 14, 2014, 12:02 pm

      Hi Margot,

      Yes, amino acid chelated magnesium is a good choice. 🙂

  14. catherine April 14, 2014, 11:18 am

    Hi Vivian, many thanks for all the information you keep giving to us, I eagerly look forward to reading your emails each day to see what next. I managed to obtain your Cook book as soon as you released it (its brilliant just what we needed), but just a question have you managed to work out the phone chat I haven’t heard anything? warm regards Catherine

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 14, 2014, 12:00 pm

      Thanks Catherine – I will let everyone via e-mail know when we can do the chat! 🙂

  15. Connie April 14, 2014, 7:56 am

    Vivian, what do you think of Himalayan pink salt, in place of sun dried sea salt?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 14, 2014, 8:25 am

      Himalayan pink salt also has many alkalizing minerals in it. 🙂 It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use different types of natural salt so you get a variety of minerals and flavors! The key is to avoid processed table salt. 🙂

  16. Crete Sham April 14, 2014, 5:19 am

    Hi Vivian! Thanks for reminding me about the value of a proper diet. I’ ve been trying to keep to those habits for many years (with a few lapses!) and it certainly does make a difference to my complexion in comparison with others of the same age I just wish I had the knowledge to have started sooner!

  17. susan April 14, 2014, 5:07 am

    I noticed the same about the face but I “let it go” knowing that an example may involve permissions to use, etc. I do know of some so I know it’s true. I really liked the article and learned alot and that is what is most important to me. Thanks Vivian!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 14, 2014, 8:32 am

      I am glad you enjoyed the content of the article, Susan! 🙂

  18. Cate April 14, 2014, 4:23 am

    Whilst what you say is valid, I think it outrageous that you should use a model with no make-up on to illustrate the tired/aged face!!! Far too simplistic and stereotyped – shame on you!

    • Pearl April 14, 2014, 4:59 am

      I think that picture is photoshopped, it’s not really makeup.

  19. Virginia Lloyd-Tait April 14, 2014, 3:42 am

    Hi Vivian,
    I have your books and I read your comments and do take note however using a picture on this article showing one side of a woman’s face with make-up on and the other side no make-up is silly and really degrades the content of the article.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 14, 2014, 8:31 am

      Thanks for your feedback, Virginia and Cate! I am sorry you find the picture offensive. It’s intended to illustrate the dramatic difference between looking tired and looking healthful. 🙂

      • Ann April 14, 2014, 12:40 pm

        As far as the picture at the beginning of this article, of course one side will look better than the other. She has makeup on in the right side of the picture. It seems like people forget that makeup does WONDERS and not necessarily is it always what we choose to eat that makes us look great!!

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