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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 Calcium!

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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?

  • Helps control muscle contraction

  • Need to build and maintain strong bone throughout life

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  • Calcium is deposited and withdrawn from bones daily.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

“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?

  • 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 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

  • 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!

  • Start building healthy bones while young.

  • Healthy diet and lifestyle are important for BOTH men and women.

Simple Prevention Steps

  • Get the recommended amount of calcium and vitamin D

  • Get regular weight bearing exercise

  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol

What’s the recommendation for calcium?


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

  • 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%


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



Chocolate milk300mg


Spinach 123mg

Mac and cheese300mg

Eating Calcium at Every Meal

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

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

  • 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

  • Cereal, calcium- fortifiedServing size and amount of calcium varies—check label


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

  • 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

  • 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

What’s the recommendation for vitamin D?

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

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?

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 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?

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

  • 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

I just don’t like milk

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)

  • 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

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

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

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 …

  • 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!

Questions ??

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