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Home > Health Archive > Dairy Foods & Calcium

Dairy Foods & Calcium

Dairy Foods & Calcium
Dairy Foods & Calcium

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What are cookies without milk?
What is pizza without cheese?
What is a birthday without ice cream?
Don't dairy foods add to the fun in life?

Milk, cheese and ice cream - the foods you loved as a kid - are important to adults, too. So if you think dairy foods are kid stuff, time to bone up on dairy foods and calcium.

Calcium Helps...

  • Children build strong bones.
  • Adolescents and young adults achieve peak bone mass.
  • Older adults minimize the normal loss of bone calcium.
  • People of all ages maintain normal blood pressure.

How About You?

| Who's Not Getting Their Recommended Level of Calcium? |

Getting Enough Calcium

Made with wholesome milk, dairy products are primary food sources of calcium. And you need calcium throughout your entire life. How much do you need? Take a look.

| Recommended Calcium Levels for Optimal Health |

Q: How do I convert calcium information on food labels from % Daily Value to milligrams calcium?
A: Simply replace the % sign with a zero. For example, if a food contains 10% DV for calcium, this is about 100 milligrams of calcium per serving. The recommended daily value (DV) for calcium used as the basis for nutrition labeling is 1,000 milligrams per day.

Choose Foods with Calcium

Calcium-filled dairy foods can be enjoyed at every meal. And if keeping tabs on calories and fat has you cutting back on dairy foods, try the many lower fat and fat free varieties of cheese, yogurt and other milk products

Remember too, that nondairy foods can deliver calcium. For example, tofu, dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, mustard greens, turnip greens), almonds and tortillas (made from lime-processed corn).

Sensible Ideas for Lactose-Sensitive People:

  • Eat smaller servings of dairy products with a meal, rather than on an empty stomach.
  • Choose fermented milk products, such as yogurt, which contain live and active cultures that break down lactose.
  • Choose aged natural cheeses, such as cheddar and Colby, which have almost no lactose.
  • Read ingredient lists on food labels.
  • Ask a physician or dietitian to help determine the amount of lactose per meal that is acceptable for you.

Learn About Label Terms for Calcium

Here's what food product labels tell you about calcium:

Good Source/Provides/Contains Calcium At least 10% of the daily value for calcium per serving.
High/Rich/Excellent Source of Calcium 20% or more of the daily value for calcium per serving.


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