Nutrition and Bone Health Nutrition and Bone Health
National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease
Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General highlighted calcium’s major contributions to bone health regardless of an individual’s age. Yet most Americans do not get the recommended amounts of calcium they need every day to promote strong bones. The following tools were excerpted from the Surgeon General’s report in an effort to help individuals achieve their daily calcium goals.
"Your Body Needs Calcium" – an age-based chart that reminds us of how much calcium we and our family members need each day. "Calcium Calculator" – a list of common foods and the amount of calcium they contain. This tool also includes a scoring system to help keep track of your daily calcium intake. "A Guide to Calculate Calcium Intake" – a guide on how to compare your daily calcium intake to the recommended amounts. "How to Use the Nutrition Facts Panel on Food Labels for Calcium" – a tool to help you read a nutrition label and identify foods that are high in calcium. Bone Up on Your Diet Calcium
To keep your bones strong, eat foods rich in calcium. Some people have trouble digesting the lactose found in milk and other dairy foods, including cheese and yogurt. Most supermarkets sell lactose-reduced dairy foods. Many nondairy foods are also calcium-rich.
Your body needs calcium. If this is your age, then you need this much calcium
each day (mg). 0 to 6 months 210 6 to 12 months 270 1 to 3 years 500 4 to 8 years 800 9 to 18 years 1,300 18 to 50 years 1,000 Over 50 years 1,200
(A cup of milk or fortified orange juice has about 300 mg of calcium)
Excerpted from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004, page 12.
Help your bones. Choose foods that are high in calcium. Here are some examples.
Food Calcium (mg) Points Fortified oatmeal, 1 packet 350 3 Sardines, canned in oil, with edible bones, 3 oz. 324 3 Cheddar cheese, 1½ oz. shredded 306 3 Milk, nonfat, 1 cup 302 3 Milkshake, 1 cup 300 3 Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 1 cup 300 3 Soybeans, cooked, 1 cup 261 3 Tofu, firm, with calcium, ½ cup 204 2 Orange juice, fortified with calcium, 6 oz. 200-260 (varies) 2-3 Salmon, canned, with edible bones, 3 oz. 181 2 Pudding, instant, (chocolate, banana, etc.) made with 2% milk, ½ cup 153 2 Baked beans, 1 cup 142 1 Cottage cheese, 1% milk fat, 1 cup 138 1 Spaghetti, lasagna, 1 cup 125 1 Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft-serve, ½ cup 103 1 Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with calcium, 1 cup 100-1000 (varies) 1-10 Cheese pizza, 1 slice 100 1 Fortified waffles, 2 100 1 Turnip greens, boiled, ½ cup 99 1 Broccoli, raw, 1 cup 90 1 Ice cream, vanilla, ½ cup 85 1 Soy or rice milk, fortified with calcium, 1 cup 80-500 (varies) 1-5 Your total today
Points Needed: Age Points babies/toddlers (ages 0-3) need 2-5 children (ages 4-8) need 8 teens need 13 adults under 50 need 10 adults over 50 need 12
Fast Fact: Lack of calcium has been singled out as a major public health concern because it is critically important to bone health. The average American consumes far less than the amount recommended.
Excerpted from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General,