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
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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