Are you getting enough dairy?

This week is Healthy Bones  Action Week and I thought what better week to do a post about dairy, calcium and vitamin D than now!

Poor bone health affects 2 in 3 Australians over 50 years and osteoporosis remains a poorly understood and underdiagnosed condition.

Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones loose their strength and dexterity, this results in fragile bones that tend to break more easily. It’s common in post-menopausal women but can also occur in men.

This condition can be easily prevented by insuring we:

1. Do regular weight bearing physical activity

2. Have our recommended serves of calcium each day this can be found in dairy foods, sardines, spinach and almonds

3.  Ensure we get enough vitamin D this can be found in sunlight, oily fish, eggs and fortified foods for example cereal and margarines

So how many serves of dairy do we need to have to ensure we are getting enough calcium?

Adults need about 2 1/2 serves of calcium each day increasing to 4 for women over the age of 50.

What is a serve?

1 cup (250ml) of milk

3/4 cup (200g tub) of yoghurt

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

2 slices of hard cheese

What about non- dairy milks?

1 cup (250ml) of non-dairy milks e.g. rice or soy milk need to have at least 100mg of added calcium per 100ml to be classed as an adequate serve. So always check the label before purchasing.

Non-dairy sources such as spinach contain calcium but it is not well absorbed in the body. You need to have very large amounts of these foods to get the same benefit as you would from a slice of cheese or a glass of milk.

So if you are someone who might not get enough calcium, its never too late too start…how does a smoothie sound for breakfast?

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