Your Guide to a Bone Healthy Diet
Estimate Your Calcium Intake
Follow the simple steps below to help determine how much calcium you are consuming on a daily basis and if you are meeting the recommended daily allowance or need to supplement your calcium intake.
Estimate the number of servings you have on a typical day for each type of food. One serving is equal to approximately:
- 8 oz. or one cup of low-fat or fat-free milk
- 6 oz. of low-fat or fat-free yogurt
- 1.5 oz. of low-fat cheese
The amount of calcium in fortified foods and juices ranges from 80-1,000 mg. Read the label to find out how much calcium is in each serving. Examples are juices, soy milk, almond milk and cereals.
List the estimated number of servings of each food item under the Calcium Calculator’s “Servings per Day” column.
Multiply the number of “Servings per Day” by the number of milligrams (mg) under “Calcium.” So, if you have about two servings of milk per day, multiply 2 x 300 to get a total of 600 mg of calcium from milk.
After you have calculated the total amount of calcium for each product, add these totals in the right-hand column to get your Total Daily Calcium Intake. Make sure to include 250 mg for “estimated total from other foods.” If you know you’re getting more than 250 mg of calcium from other foods each day, increase this number. See the calcium-rich vegetables list.
To find out how much additional calcium you need, subtract your Total Daily Calcium Intake from the amount of calcium recommended for your gender and age.
This number is the remainder of the total calcium you need for the day. You can get this amount by having another serving of a calcium-rich food or by taking a calcium supplement for the shortfall.
Note: Most people get about 250 mg of calcium from fruits, vegetables and other foods. Add this amount when calculating your total daily calcium intake.
Estimated calcium per cup (cooked)
Collard greens 256mg
Brocolli rabe 200mg
Turnip greens 200mg
Soy beans (mature) 175mg
Bok choy 160mg
Dandelion greens 150mg
Mustard greens 120mg