Calories and Calcium in Standard Portions

It is important for retirees and older people to get an adequate amount of calcium to prevent the development of osteoporosis and other conditions. Studies found that those in retirement tend to take in less calcium because appetite decreases as people age. Ideally in-take of food should be the primary source of calcium as opposed to supplement pills.

From the USDA/USDHHS Guidelines: “Adequate calcium status is important for optimal bone health. In addition, calcium serves vital roles in nerve transmission, constriction and dilation of blood vessels, and muscle contraction. A significant number of Americans have low bone mass, a risk factor for osteoporosis, which places them at risk of bone fractures. Age groups of particular concern due to low calcium intake from food include children ages 9 years and older, adolescent girls, adult women, as well as adults ages 51 years and older. All ages are encouraged to meet their Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium.”

“Milk and milk products contribute substantially to calcium intake by Americans. Calcium recommenda-tions may be achieved by consuming recommended levels of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products and/or consuming alternative calcium sources. Removing milk and milk products from the diet requires careful replacement with other food sources of calcium, including fortified foods. Calcium in some plant foods is well absorbed, but consuming enough plant foods to achieve the RDA may be unrealistic for many.”

Full USDA/USDHHS guidelines can be found here.