Calcium

Learn to make healthier food choices by using the Nutrition Facts table on prepackaged foods. Calcium is found in the Nutrition Facts table.

What is calcium?

Calcium is a mineral that is important for your health. Calcium plays many roles in the body:

  • Forms the structure of your bones and teeth.
  • Helps muscles work.

Where can you find calcium?

Calcium can be found in:

  • Milk and milk alternatives such as yogurt, cheese and fortified soy beverage
  • Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach
  • Salmon or sardines canned with bones

Did you know?

A healthy diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, and regular physical activity, help to achieve strong bones and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Learn more about health claims.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Look for foods with vitamin D such as milk, fortified soy beverage, and fish like herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout.

How can you make a healthier choice?

  • Use the % Daily Value (% DV) in the Nutrition Facts table.
  • Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot for all nutrients.
  • Calcium is a nutrient you may want more of.

Helpful hints at the grocery store:

  • Always look at the Nutrition Facts table to choose and compare foods.
  • Choose low-fat cheese most often.
  • Select skim, 1% or 2% milk.
  • Try new dark green vegetables - maybe turnip greens or rapini.
  • If you don't drink milk, use fortified soy beverages.
  • Buy low-fat yogurt and make fruit smoothies.
  • Buy canned salmon or sardines with bones.

How is the % DV for calcium calculated?

The Daily Value used in nutrition labelling is based on 1100 mg of calcium for a reference diet.

For example, if a food product has 300 mg of calcium, the product would have a % Daily Value for calcium of 27%.
(300 mg ÷ 1100 mg) × 100 = 27%.

Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot for all nutrients.

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