Eating After 50: 10 Sneaky Ways to Get More Calcium
Try these smart and clever ways to boost calcium in your diet.
Keeping your bones strong is key to preventing osteoporosis, the bone loss that leads to poor posture, back pain, hip fracture, and many of the other problems that can sideline us as we age. Here, some sneaky tricks for working calcium into your diet and routine.
Calcium boosters #1 - #4: dairy, treats, cheese, fortification
1. Don't skimp on dairy.
As we get older, many of us forego milk. That's a big mistake, experts say. Unless you're lactose intolerant or vegan, including dairy in your diet is still the best way to maintain your calcium intake. The good news: The fat phobia many people associate with dairy products is misplaced. Nonfat and 2 percent milk actually contain more calcium than full-fat milk. And milk haters, don't despair -- yogurt, cheese, butter, and ice cream are all good calcium sources, too.
2. Cheat with treats.
Want a big surprise? Check the calcium content of that tasty frozen yogurt at your local shop. Typically, even commercially processed frozen yogurt contains 200 to 300 milligrams per cup -- less than regular yogurt (300 to 400 milligrams) but still impressive. An even more unexpected way to cheat: Make a cake, pudding, fudge, or other dessert using evaporated milk; one cup contains a whopping 660 milligrams of calcium.
3. Make some cheesy main dishes.
Don't limit your thinking to standard deli cheeses like jack, cheddar, and Swiss. Mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan -- all of which are easy add to casseroles, pasta, and other main dishes -- are excellent sources of calcium. Start your day by slipping some cheese into an omelette or scramble; end it right by sprinkling some on a frozen pizza just before taking it out of the oven.
4. Focus on fortification.
Calcium is such a key nutrient that many foods are now fortified to help boost calcium intake. Orange juice, breakfast cereals, soy milk, and any food labeled "calcium fortified" provide great ways to sneak calcium into your diet unnoticed.