Diet Information
Calcium in Lactose-Free Foods

Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

Diet Information

Lactose-Free Calcium Foods

The mineral calcium helps to build strong teeth and bones, and helps regulate muscle function, nerve transmission, neurological activity and blood-clotting. Lack of calcium deficiency typically leads to weak bones (osteoporosis in women after menopause), unhealthy teeth and a risk of high blood pressure. Calcium present in bone mass helps to maintain the calcium level in the blood in the event of calcium deficiency in the diet. Good food sources of calcium include dairy food, leafy green vegetables, salmon, canned sardines and tofu. While dairy products are traditionally the main source of dietary calcium, there are other healthy ways to get calcium than from milk and cheese, which can contain a lot of saturated fat. The saturated fat content of 3 glasses of whole milk, for example, is the same as 13 strips of cooked bacon. If you don't like dairy products, choose from the foods below or take a calcium supplement - an easy and inexpensive way to obtain your daily calcium. See also Calcium in Dairy Foods.

Table 1. Lactose-Free Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium

See below for Non-Dairy Food Sources of Calcium ranked by milligrams of calcium per standard amount. The bioavailability may vary. Both calcium content and bioavailability should be considered when selecting dietary sources of calcium. Some plant foods have calcium that is well absorbed, but the large quantity of plant foods that would be needed to provide as much calcium as in a glass of milk may be unachievable for many. Note: Calcium Adequate Intake (AI) for adults 19-50, is 1,000 mg/day.

Food (Serving Size) Calcium Content
Fortified ready-to-eat cereals (various), 1 oz 236-1043 mg
Soy drink, calcium fortified, 1 cup 368 mg
Sardines, in oil, drained, 3 oz 325 mg
Tofu, firm, ½ cup 253 mg
Pink salmon, canned, with bone, 3 oz 181 mg
Collard greens, cooked from frozen, ½ cup 178 mg
Molasses, blackstrap, 1 Tbsp 172 mg
Spinach, cooked from frozen, ½ cup 146 mg
Turnip greens, cooked from frozen, ½ cup 124 mg
Oatmeal, plain/flavored, instant, fortified, 1 packet prepared 99-110 mg
White beans, canned, ½ cup 96 mg
Kale, cooked from frozen, ½ cup 90 mg
Soybeans, cooked, ½ cup 88 mg
Blue crab, canned, 3 oz 86 mg
Beet greens, cooked from fresh, ½ cup 82 mg
Clams, canned, 3 oz 78 mg

Source: Nutrient values from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17.

Nutrition Resources About Calcium

How Much Calcium Needed in Diet
Food Sources
Health & Weight Benefits of Calcium

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