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Osteoporosis: How I Fit in My Calcium

Abby Slutsky treats her osteoporosis with a combination of increasing her calcium intake, taking medication, and physician monitoring.

Here the percentage is 30%, but the manufacturer also states 450 milligrams. Note the manufacturer is basing this on a 2000 calorie daily food intake.

Here the percentage is 30%, but the manufacturer also states 450 milligrams. Note the manufacturer is basing this on a 2000 calorie daily food intake.

Here Is What Helped Me Create My Osteoporosis Diet

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. It is a bone disease that affects many women. It can be treated with medication, but an osteoporosis calcium diet can also help improve the condition. I was the first of many friends to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, so I became the go-to person.

Initially, I made an appointment with a nutritionist because I wanted to learn what calcium-rich foods were best for strengthening bones. She gave me an osteoporosis diet food list and indicated that I could take calcium supplements. She also told me that my body would absorb calcium nutrients from food better than supplements. Interestingly enough, the body can also only absorb a maximum of 500 milligrams of calcium every four hours, so it is not possible to eat all your calcium at once and be done for the day.

Following my appointment with the nutritionist, I saw an endocrinologist. My endocrinologist suggested calcium supplements and vitamin D tablets. I questioned her about the calcium supplements, and she agreed that eating calcium-rich foods was better and encouraged me to try. However, she also cautioned that many of her patients did not consume the allotted amount. She recommended consuming between 1,000 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily, but you should check with your physician as to what is recommended for you.

What is interesting is that food does not usually list calcium in milligrams. You are more likely to see the percentage of calcium per serving. Add a zero to the percentage and that will give you a rough estimate number of milligrams. (If a glass of milk says 30% recommended of calcium, it is roughly 300 milligrams. However, be aware that your estimate is only an approximation because your daily intake of calories is a factor too. Usually, the product will list the calorie quantity it is using if it lists actual milligrams too.)

I knew I was not eating a lot of calcium when I was diagnosed, so changing my diet to eat calcium was going to be a little challenging. Four years later, I am a pro at doing it, and I have become a non-medical consultant to my friends. I thought I would share some of the foods that help me eat my recommended calcium intake.

TopicWhat I Learned

Calcium Schedule

Your body cannot absorb more than 500 milligrams every four hours.

Food Versus Calcium Supplement

Your body absorbs calcium in food more easily than calcium from supplements.

Figuring Out How Much Calcium You're Eating Your Eating'

Read labels. Make sure you add a zero to the number next to the percentage of recommended daily calcium. (15% equals roughly 150 milligrams. However, manufacturers that list milligrams base it on a specific caloric intake.)

Unsweetened Almond Milk: My Morning Calcium

I do not really love the taste of unsweetened almond milk, but many brands are fortified with more calcium than regular milk, so I drink a serving daily. It has become an essential part of my osteoporosis calcium diet. I have become adept at disguising it in smoothies, cappuccino, and hot chocolate.

If you do not have a cappuccino maker, no worries. Here is an easy way to make cappuccino with a blender.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of decaf brewed coffee (caffeine is not recommended if you have osteoporosis.)
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • Cinnamon or cocoa, as needed.

Instructions

  1. Make coffee.
  2. While coffee is brewing, warm the almond milk on the stove until it looks hot (about four minutes, edges may bubble).
  3. Pour the almond milk in a blender, and turn it on high for two minutes.
  4. Using a spoon to prevent the froth from coming out first, pour the milk into the coffee. Push the foam on top. (If you have too much almond milk, pour some into a second cup.)
  5. Dust some cocoa or cinnamon on top.
  6. After you take a few sips, pour the excess milk into your cup.
It will be easier to determine the amount of calcium in packages of cheese as opposed to sliced cheese from the deli.

It will be easier to determine the amount of calcium in packages of cheese as opposed to sliced cheese from the deli.

Cheese or Cheese Food

I will usually have a sandwich with cheese or a cheese omelette for lunch. If you prefer cheese food, which melts nicely and is available in non-fat varieties, one slice of certain brands contains 15-30% of your daily recommended allowance of calcium. Check packaged cheese carefully by reading the labels.

If you get sliced cheese at the deli counter, it will be harder to estimate the calcium allotment per slice. This list offers some guidance for cheese and other food. Remember, it is only a guide, there is no substitution for label reading.

Salmon

I also usually have salmon twice a week, but the canned variety with bones has more calcium than the salmon at the fish counter. This primer on calcium in salmon can help you determine your calcium intake when you eat it, so you choose the best nutritional option for your osteoporosis.

Other Favorite Calcium Rich Foods

Other favorite foods for eating calcium for osteoporosis are:

  • certain vegetables
  • almonds
  • oranges
  • yogurt
  • fortified waffles.

Brands of any food can vary, so if you are looking for the most calcium, it is worthwhile to read labels.

All of these items on this osteoporosis diet food list can make a big difference in your calcium intake, but it is important to cognizant of how much you are eating. Remember, if you do not eat the recommended amount, you will be getting less calcium than estimated. For information on vegetables that have calcium, here is a helpful list.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Abby Slutsky

Comments

Sp Greaney from Ireland on August 06, 2020:

I like the idea of trying to find foods with extra calcium. Also your sugggestion of reading the labels is a good idea to find out more information on the calcium content.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 04, 2020:

This is a very good article about the calcium in various foods. i take a calcium supplement with a vitamin D and K. I can't drink milk but I do eat cheese. I am allergic to almonds also, so I use unsweetened coconut milk. I take medication also as I was getting bone fractures. Thanks for this excellent dietary information.

Danny from India on August 04, 2020:

A topic essential to all women.Thanks, Abby for sharing the article. Although it relates to women, men also suffer from it.

I will also try the listed foods :)

Abby Slutsky (author) from LAFAYETTE HL on August 04, 2020:

Thanks for reading.

Ankita B on August 03, 2020:

Very informative. Thank you for sharing this important article.

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