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An Easy Way to Get Enough Calcium

May 22, 1986

An easy way for women to ensure adequate calcium intake is to count their daily servings of calcium before cooking dinner and adjust as necessary, said Gloria Johnson, a registered dietitian with the Dairy Council of California.

According to studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, two out of three women ages 18 to 30 receive less than the recommended three daily servings of calcium. Calcium intake is critical because bone mass continues to develop until menopause. Women low in calcium increase their risk for the bone-debilitating disease osteoporosis.

Scientists, researchers and most dietitians recommend a daily calcium intake of 1,000 milligrams (about three servings) for most adults; 1,200 milligrams for teens younger than 14 (four daily servings), and 1,500 milligrams for women who are pregnant, lactating or post-menopausal (four daily servings).

Johnson said the standard measure for one serving of calcium is an eight-ounce glass of milk. The following shows one-serving (300-milligram) equivalents:

Low-fat milk: 1 cup.

Blackstrap molasses: 3 tablespoons.

Tofu: 1 cup.

Low-fat yogurt (plain): 6 ounces.

Broccoli (cooked): 2.7 cups.

Raw oysters: 10 ounces.

Sardines (with bones): 2 ounces.

Shrimp: 16 ounces.

Swiss cheese: 1.2 ounces.

Low-fat cottage cheese: 2 cups.

Cheddar cheese: 1.3 ounces.

Mozzarella cheese: 1.5 ounces.

Canned salmon (with bones): 6 ounces.

Collard greens: 1 cup.

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