STATEWIDE OSTEOPOROSIS RESOURCE CENTER
 

Eating the Bone Healthy Way

 

THE NUTRITION FORMULA FOR STRONG BONES FOR LIFE

Eat a varied, healthy diet including the calcium you need:

AGE
CALCIUM
(mg* a day)
Men 19 – 70
1,000
Women 19 – 50
1,000
Women 51– 70
1,200
Men and Women 71+
1,200
   
Get the vitamin D recommended:
AGE
VITAMIN D
(IU* a day)
1 to 70
600
71 and older
800
Your health care provider may recommend more vitamin D then the above amounts.
* mg = milligrams, IU = international units
(Source : National Academy of Sciences, Institute
of Medicine, 2010)

 

Calcium From Food First

The best way to get calcium is from the food you eat. Foods rich in calcium are often packed with other bone-healthy nutrients, too!
If you include a calcium rich food or beverage at each meal, you are likely to get all of the calcium you need. If not, speak to your health care provider to find out if a calcium supplement is right for you.

SOURCES OF CALCIUM:


Dairy foods:

  • Milk (any type)
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese

Heart-smart dairy choices: Low fat (1% or less) dairy foods provide all of the calcium and vitamin D without the fat.

Non-dairy foods:

  • Canned salmon or sardines (eaten with bones)
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (collards, mustard and turnip greens, edamame, kale, bok choy)
  • Dried figs
  • Nuts (almonds, roasted soy nuts)
  • Beans (rinse well)

Fortified foods:

Always check nutrition labels to be sure calcium has been added.

  • Non-dairy milk alternatives (almond, coconut, flax, hemp, oat, rice, and soy beverages)
  • Juices
  • Tofu
  • Grains (cereals, waffles, nutrition bars)
  • Soy Cheeses

     

SOURCES OF VITAMIN D

Natural Sources:

  • Fish: catfish, eel, flounder, halibut, mackerel, salmon, sardines, sea bass, swordfish, trout, tuna (light)
  • Mushrooms, treated with ultraviolet light
  • Eggs (with yolk)

Fortified foods:

Always check nutrition labels to be sure vitamin D has been added.

  • Milk (with or without lactose)
  • Non dairy milk alternatives
  • Juice
  • Yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Grains (cereals, nutrition bars)

It is important that you get the recommended amount of vitamin D. To determine if you need a vitamin D supplement, first consider how much vitamin D you get from the food you eat. If you take a multivitamin or calcium supplement, check to see if it also contains vitamin D.

Reading Nutrition Labels for Calcium & Vitamin D


To find the calcium content (mg per serving):

  1. Find the serving size
  2. Read the calcium %
  3. Replace the % with a “0”

Example: One 8 ounce serving contains calcium 35% = 350 mg calcium

To find the vitamin D content (IU per serving):

  1. Find the serving size
  2. Read the vitamin D %
  3. Drop the %
  4. Multiply by 4

Example: One 8 ounce serving contains vitamin D 25% = 25 x 4 = 100 IU vitamin D

BUILD A BONE HEALTHY PLATE


Choose portion sizes wisely. The right amount of calories from the foods that you eat should be balanced by your daily exercise.

Fill your plate with:

  • A variety of deeply colored vegetables and fruit: ½ of your plate
  • Whole grains: ¼ of your plate
  • Lean protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, soy foods, nuts, nut butters and/or seeds): ¼ of your plate
  • A calcium rich food and/or a calcium rich beverage (e.g. dairy) at each meal

The information contained in this brochure should NOT be considered medical advice. Speak to your health care provider about your individual nutrition needs for strong bones.