Getting enough Calcium

Foods Containing Calcium - Getting enough Calcium -

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From a nutrition standpoint, many people think of dairy products being rich in calcium and vitamin D.  Yes, that is true, but you still always want to check the label of percentage daily values of these nutrients to make sure in fact your dairy selection is high in those nutrients. Wait, let’s back up, why do we care about calcium? Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates. National nutrition surveys have shown that most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones.

When looking at daily value (DV), 5% of a nutrient is considered low in that particular nutrient and 20% or higher is considered high in that particular nutrient.  I always remind people to check their yogurts, especially for vitamin D.  Many have vitamin D, but most of them only have a little bit.  Be sure to read those labels and check out the percentage daily value section of the nutrition facts panel.  Also, be sure to choose low fat options as dairy products can be very high in saturated fat, the not so good fat, the fat we want to limit each day.  It is recommended to consume no more than 20 grams per day according to the FDA, however if you have heart disease or another condition it is most likely lower.

Dairy products are a great way to get calcium, but what if someone is lactose intolerant, on a special diet, or just doesn’t care for dairy products, what are some other food choices rich in calcium, you ask? Well here is a list of different food items and their amounts of calcium.  I have also included a chart below that shows how much calcium you should be taking in each day!

Keep in mind, if you don’t have lactose intolerance, dairy is a great food group to include each day. And did you know that all of those alternative milks like almond milk and coconut milk are not necessarily better for us.  Check out last month’s blog to learn more!

Calcium Contents - Getting Enough Calcium -

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