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Get Enough Calcium!. And Help Prevent Osteoporosis. Some slides adapted from University of Nebraska Lincoln ( and Project Sponsors. USDA project funded through the Food Stamp Program. School District of Philadelphia.

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Get Enough


And Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Some slides adapted from University of Nebraska Lincoln ( and


Project Sponsors

  • USDA project funded through the Food Stamp Program
  • School District of Philadelphia
  • Nutrition Center, Department of Biology Drexel University
why worry about calcium
Why Worry About Calcium?
  • Helps control muscle contraction
  • Need to build and maintain strong bone throughout life
bones are living organs
Bones are living organs
  • Calcium is deposited and withdrawn from bones daily.
  • Half of the adult skeleton is formed during adolescence.
  • We need to build up a healthy bone “account” while young and continue to make “deposits” with age.

** Get as much calcium as you can now to prevent weak bones



Bone Mass

  • After mid-30’s, you begin to slowly lose bone mass. Women lose bone mass faster after menopause, but it happens to men too.
  • Bones can weaken early in life without a healthy diet and regular physical weight bear activities.

Source: The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis:What It Means to You at


Osteoporosis Overview

  • Osteoporosis causes weak bones
  • In this common disease, bones lose minerals like calcium
  • The bones become fragile and can break easily
  • Osteoporosis can strike at any age female or male



Bone with


Source: The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You at

risk factors
Risk factors

“Red flags” that you could be at high risk for weak bones

  • You are older than 65
  • You smoke
  • You are underweight for your height
  • You have never gotten enough calcium
  • You are not active
  • Poor daily nutrition
  • Low bone density-Osteopenia

*Remember: Prevention is the Key!

Source: The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis:What It Means to You at

what is osteopenia
What is Osteopenia?
  • Loss or decrease of bone mineral density (BMD) that can progress to osteoporosis
  • BMD is the measurement of levels of minerals in the bone
    • Indicates strength and density
  • When BMD is very low compared to normal, it is called osteoporosis

Adapted from:

risk factors1
Risk Factors
  • Being of Caucasian or Asian decent
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Family history
  • Being underweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Tobacco use
  • Diet deficient in Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Decrease in bone density

Adapted from:

the problem in america
The problem in America
  • 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture
  • Hip fractures account for 300,000 hospitalization annually
  • 1 in 5 people with a hip fracture end up in a nursing home within a year
  • Less than ½ of teens get recommended amount of Calcium they need for the day.

Source: and National Osteoporosis Foundation Web site; retrieved July 2005 at


The most common breaks

Breaks usually occur in the wrist, spine, and hip.

Source: The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis:What It Means to You at

the good news osteoporosis and osteopenia are preventable for most people
The good news: Osteoporosis and Osteopenia are preventable for most people!
  • Start building healthy bones while young.
  • Healthy diet and lifestyle are important for BOTH men and women.
simple prevention steps
Simple Prevention Steps
  • Get the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D
  • Get regular weight bearing exercise
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
calcium requirements vary by age
Calcium requirements vary by age


Source: The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis:What It Means to You at

food and supplement labels
Food and supplement labels
  • Percent Daily Value is used to show how much calcium is in a food

100% DV for calcium = 1000 milligrams (mg)

So, for this label there is 30% DV of Calcium

How many mg would that be?

Do the math:

300 mg  1000 mg = 30%

eating calcium at every meal

Granola bar and 6oz. calcium fortified 100% juice


Turkey, lettuce, tomato and cheese on whole wheat roll

Low-fat chocolate milk


Grilled chicken, ½ c spinach salad and ¾ c macaroni and cheese


Orange juice 300mg

Granola bar 150mg


Cheese 300mg

Chocolate milk 300mg


Spinach 123mg

Mac and cheese 300mg

Eating Calcium at Every Meal
is it enough calcium
Is it Enough Calcium?
  • Breakfast
    • Orange juice 300mg
    • Granola bar 150mg
  • Lunch
    • Cheese 300mg
    • Chocolate milk 300mg
  • Dinner
    • Spinach 123mg
    • Mac and cheese +300mg

Total Calcium:1473mg

milligrams mg and dv of calcium in common foods
Milligrams (mg) and %DV of calcium in common foods

Approximate % DV for foods based in part on The 2004 Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means to You at

calcium sources milk group
Calcium Sources: Milk group
  • Yogurt1 cup (8 oz.) = 300mg (30% DV)
  • Milk1 cup = 300mg (30% DV)
  • Cheese1 ½ oz. natural/2 oz. processed = 300mg (30% DV)
  • Milk pudding1/2 cup = 150mg (15% DV)
  • Frozen yogurt, vanilla, soft serve½ cup = 100mg (10% DV)
  • Ice cream, vanilla½cup = 80mg (8% DV)
  • Soy or rice milk, calcium-fortified1 cup = varies—check label

Choose fat-free or low fat most often

calcium sources grain products group
Calcium Sources: Grain products group
  • Cereal, calcium- fortifiedServing size and amount of calcium varies—check label


calcium sources vegetable group
Calcium Sources: Vegetable group
  • Broccoli, raw1 cup = 90mg (9% DV)
  • Collard greens, cooked1/2 cup = 200mg (20% DV)
  • Turnip greens, boiled1/2 cup = 100mg (10% DV)
calcium sources fruit group
Calcium Sources: Fruit group
  • Orange juice and other calcium-fortified beverages6 oz. = 200mg to 300mg (20-30% DV, varies—check label)

Look for 100% juice

calcium sources meat beans group
Calcium Sources: Meat & Beans Group
  • Baked beans1 cup= 140mg (14% DV)
  • Salmon, canned, with edible bones3 oz. = 180mg (18% DV)
  • Sardines, canned, in oil, with edible bones3 oz. = 320mg (32% DV)
  • Soybeans, cooked1 cup = 260mg (26% DV)
  • Tofu, firm, with calcium ½ cup = 200mg (20mg% DV); check label
why do i need vitamin d
Why Do I Need Vitamin D?
  • Helps the body more easily absorb calcium in the digestive tract.
  • Promotes bone formation and mineralization
  • Works with calcium to build a stronger more intact bone

Source: Vitamin D Overview

you need more vitamin d as you age

600 IU



400 IU


200 IU





up to 50


over 70

You need more vitamin D as you age

Daily vitamin D needs inInternational Units (IU)


what about vitamin d
What about Vitamin D?

Main dietary sources of vitamin D are:

  • Fortified milk (400 IU per quart)
  • Some fortified cereals
  • Cold saltwater fish (Example: salmon, halibut, herring, tuna, oysters and shrimp)
  • Some calcium and vitamin/mineral supplements
vitamin d from sunlight exposure
Vitamin D from sunlight exposure
  • Vitamin D is manufactured in your skin following direct exposure to sun.
  • Amount varies with time of day, season, latitude and skin pigmentation.
  • 10–15 minutes exposure of hands, arms and face 2–3 times/week may be sufficient (depending on skin sensitivity).
  • Clothing, sunscreen, window glass and pollution reduce amount produced.

Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation Web site; retrieved July 2005 at

are you lactose intolerant
Are You Lactose-intolerant?

Some people lack the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose (milk sugar).

Here are some tips which may help people obtain calcium from dairy products…

tips for lactose intolerance
Tips for Lactose Intolerance
  • Start with smaller portions
  • Eat dairy in combination with meals
  • Try dairy foods other than milk:
    • Hard cheeses have less lactose than milk:

(ex: cheddar, Swiss, parmesan)

    • Yogurt contains predigested lactose
  • Try products like: Lactaid and soy milks and cheeses

Some ideas

Add milk to coffee

Make oatmeal and cream-type soups with milk instead of water

Add powdered milk to food(1 tablespoon = 50 mg calcium)


Some more ideas

Serve milk-based desserts (puddings, tapioca, frozen yogurt, custard, ice cream). Limit fat and sugar.

Try chocolate milk.

  • 8-oz. has only 2 - 7 mg caffeine.
  • Average glass provides only 60 more calories than unflavored milk.

Make instant hot cocoa with milk, not water.


Even more ideas

Top baked potatoes with plain yogurt; sprinkle with chives

Enjoy plain or flavored low fat yogurt

Use flavored yogurt as a fruit salad dressing; experiment with substituting plain yogurt for some or all of the sour cream in vegetable salad dressings

have it your way smoothie serves 2
Have It YOUR Way Smoothie(serves 2)
  • 1 cup unsweetened, frozen raspberries or frozen fruit of choice
  • 1/2 cup 100% calcium fortified orange
  • 3/4 cup fruit-flavored, low- or non-fat yogurt

Blend all ingredients well in blender. Enjoy!

Calcium per serving: 243 mg.

fantastic fruit parfait
Fantastic Fruit Parfait

Layer yogurt, low-fat granola and fruit in whatever proportions you’d like.

Add some nuts and you’ve included a 4th food group.

what about a supplement

500 mg

What about a supplement?
  • Take no more than 500mg at a time
  • Calcium citrate is recommended over calcium carbonate
remember to follow the prevention steps
Remember to follow the prevention steps …
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of foods high in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Engage in regular exercise.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.

Support your bones. They support you!