***Today’s guest post is courtesy of Kristin, a registered dietetic intern. Thanks Kristin for sharing your knowledge with us!***
Did you know that 10 million Americans have Osteoporosis and 18 million have low bone mass putting them at an increased risk to develop the disease?
Did you also know that this disease can be prevented via a diet of calcium rich foods like milk, dairy and leafy green veggies?
Think of your bones as a bank account: You deposit and save calcium so you’ll have enough to draw on later in life. So make the investment now, it’s almost impossible to make up for it later!
Use this chart to figure out how much Calcium is recommended for your age group and how many milk group servings that equivocates to.
|Age||Recommended Daily Calcium Intakes (mg)||Milk Group Servings|
|1-3||500 mg||3 *(serving size of milk is 6 oz)|
It is important to remember that a milk serving provides about 300 mg of Calcium (amount in 1 cup of milk).
Non fat yogurt (8oz) provides about 300 mg Ca or 1 milk serving, but if you only eat 6 oz (common portion size), that only counts for ¾ of a milk serving!
These foods are calcium rich and count as 1 cup in the milk group:
- Skim milk (1 cup)
- Non fat yogurt/low fat (8 oz)
- Mozzarella , Swiss, and Cheddar cheeses (1.5 oz)
- Ricotta cheese (1/2 cup)
- Cottage Cheese (2 cups)
- Fat Free Pudding (1 cup)
- Frozen Yogurt (1 cup)
- Ice cream (1.5 cups)
Notice that the portions listed aren’t necessarily the serving size for these products, but they are the amount needed to equal the amount of calcium in 1 cup of milk. (Ex. 3 servings of ice cream or 1.5 cups are needed to equal 1 cup of milk.)
However there are several other foods that are rich in calcium that aren’t even dairy products:
- Sesame Seeds
- Chick peas (hummus)
- Baked beans
Ways to Sneak Calcium into other foods
- Make fluffier scrambled eggs with milk. Whisk about 2 Tablespoons of milk into egg batter and add lowfat shredded cheese
- Mix fresh or frozen berries, a banana and lowfat vanilla yogurt into a blender for a cool smoothie
- Instead of water…….use milk in foods such as oatmeal, or when making rice and instant potatoes.
So gang, are you protecting your bones?