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Men: Get your calcium from food, not pills

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Women are told to take a calcium supplement following menopause to stave off rapid bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis. Men lose bone as they age too, but most don’t need to take a calcium supplement because their bone loss is much less rapid. A number of studies suggest that too much calcium intake by men can increase their risk of prostate cancer.  On the flip side a calcium deficiency can elevate the risk of colon cancer, so it’s still important to get the right balance.

According to guidelines published by the National Academy of Sciences, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium for men 19 - 70 years old is 1,000 mg a day and 1,200 mg for men 71 years and older.  Rather than popping a supplement most men can meet their daily requirement for calcium through a diet rich in dairy products.  

Tips for boosting calcium intake:

• Use milk instead of water when cooking hot cereal

• Add low-fat shredded cheese to salads, egg white omelets and pasta dishes or add a slice of low-fat cheese to your sandwiches

• Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream on your baked potato

• For a snack, try a piece of string cheese with some nuts

• Opt for low-fat ice cream, frozen yogurt or pudding for dessert instead of cake or cookies

Foods high in calcium Calcium (mg)
Yogurt, plain, low fat (1 cup) 400
Milk, skim (1 cup) 305
Figs, dried (10) 269
Pudding, (1 cup) 266
Tofu, raw, firm (1/2 cup) 258
Salmon (3 oz.) 181
Mozzarella - part skim (1 oz.) 183
Ice cream, low fat (1cup) 176
Edamame (1 cup) 175
Calcium fortified orange juice (1/2 cup) 166
Navy Beans (1 cup) 128
Broccoli (1/2 cup) 89
Almonds (1 oz.) 80

For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the bestselling author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber as well as the F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and register for new weekly newsletter by visiting her website Ffactor.com.