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Campus Health

Health Education


Choose calcium-rich foods

Calcium is needed for the heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. It is an essential mineral used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone mass. Sufficient calcium intake before peak bone mass is reached (usually around 30 years of age) can help to prevent the development of osteoporosis later in life. Both men and women develop osteoporosis; but women are four times more likely than men to develop the disease. Caucasian and Asian women are also at increased risk of developing osteoporosis, as are any women with small frames.

Calcium has another benefitóresearch has shown that a calcium intake of 3 to 4 eight-ounce servings a day, along with a reduced calorie diet, can aid in weight loss and decrease waist measurements.

The Institute of Medicine recommends the following daily calcium intakes for men and women:

Recommended Daily Calcium Intake for Males and Females
Age Males Females Pregnancy Lactating
14-18 years 1300mg 1300mg 1300mg 1300mg
19-30 years 1000mg 1000mg 1000mg 1000mg
31-50 years 1000mg 1000mg 1000mg 1000mg
51-70 years 1200mg 1200mg    
70+ years 1200mg 1200mg    
Tips for reaching your calcium goals
  1. Drink fat-free or skim milk with your meals.
  2. When you visit a coffee shop, ask that your drink be made with skim milk.
  3. Use skim or low-fat milk instead of water to oatmeal and condensed cream soups.
  4. Fat-free or low-fat yogurt makes a great snack and can be easily carried with you.
  5. Top casseroles, soups, stews, or vegetables with low-fat cheese.
  6. For dessert, make instant pudding with skim or low-fat milk.
  7. Choose calcium-fortified products while grocery shopping. There are many calcium-fortified juices, cereals, breads, soy beverages, or rice beverages.*
  8. Canned fish (sardines, salmon with bones), soybeans and other soy products, some dried beans, and some leafy greens (spinach, collard and turnip greens, kale, bok choy) contain calcium.*

*For a listing of additional non-dairy sources of calcium, visit

How to include calcium in your on-campus diet
  1. Most Chartwells locations and the hospital cafeterias all have milk available as a drink choice.
  2. Most Chartwells locations, The Patio (Riley Hospital Outpatient Center), and the hospital cafeterias typically have yogurt cups available.
  3. Ask for cheese on your sandwich or wrap. Low-fat cheese is typically not an option, however.
  4. Bring a salad from home with lots of leafy greens with calcium.
  5. Bring a snack-sized sandwich bag of dry cereal fortified with calcium for an easy snack.
  6. Skim or low-fat string cheese also makes a great carry-along snack!