Calcium Calculator for Bone Health

Pam Flores @phflores Health Guide
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      Many of us are trying to get most, if not all, of our calcium from diet, but sometimes this can be hard to do and keep track of.  If you use a calculator you can easily total your food consumption as you go.  Once you have a total from the foods you eat, you’ll know if you need to supplement with calcium tablets to make up your daily allowance.

     

    Calcium is one of the necessary nutrients for healthy bones, and obtaining our calcium from food is preferable to taking supplements since calcium-rich foods have less side effects.

     

    Dividing our daily allowance of calcium into several servings of 500 milligrams (mgs) or less throughout the day is best for optimal absorption since our bodies can’t assimilate more than 500 mgs of calcium at-a-time.  When you eat more than 500 mgs of calcium at once, you lose the milligrams in excess of 500 through your urine, so don’t waste the nutrients you eat, put them to good use.

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    If you don’t know how much calcium is in the fruits and vegies you eat, look it up at USDA nutrient database and start calculating using the chart below to get you started each day in keeping track of your intake.   You can also use online calculators or those available through applications on your smart phone, to make it easy to keep a daily running total.

     

    According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation we need 1,200 mgs of calcium a day for those over 50 and 1,000 mgs if you are between the ages of 19 and 49.

     

    Calcium-rich foods help maintain a healthy skeleton, but taking too much may increase the risk of heart disease, arterial plaque calcification and in some, hypercalcemia  which is a high level of blood calcium.  For this reason, it’s important to have a good idea of your calcium totals, at each meal and snack, so you don’t over-do a good thing.

     

    Product

    Servings

    Calcium Serving

    Calcium in mg

    Milk (1 cup)

     

    X  300

    =

    Yogurt (1 cup)

     

    X  400

    =

    Cheese (1 oz.)

     

    X  200

    =

    Fortified foods

     

    X  80-1000

    =

    Other foods

     

     

    =

    Total daily calcium

     

     

    =

     

    Try the calculator above to simplify your records and to see how close you are in the recommended daily allowance.  If you find you aren’t getting enough calcium from the foods you eat, add a supplement to make up the difference for your daily goal.

     

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Published On: August 03, 2013