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High Calcium Diet


Recently it has been found that the RDA level defined for calcium at 800 milligrams may not be sufficient to prevent bone loss in certain target groups such as post-menopausal women. Given this, scientific studies have been undertaken to better our understanding of what level of calcium intake is adequate. The results suggest that 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams per day is optimal. Therefore at the higher level of requirement of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams, there would be far greater percentage of individuals displaying suboptimal calcium intake. The High Calcium Diet is designed for those individuals who want to get 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams in their daily diet. In the absence of dairy product consumption, meeting this objective is very difficult and a calcium supplement may be required. Those people eating a low protein diet may require less calcium, and therefore their needs would be reduced.

A High Calcium Diet should be avoided by those individuals who are hyperabsorbers of calcium and have a family and personal history of calcium stone of the kidney.

The major sources of calcium in the diet are dairy products. The relative calcium content of foods is shown on the following page:

Food Calcium Content

Low-fat yogurt 415 mg Sardines, drained, 3 oz. 372 mg
Skim milk (1 cup) 350 mg Low-fat cheese (1.5 oz.) 300 mg
Tofu (4 oz.) 154 mg Broccoli (1 cup) 90 mg
Cottage Cheese 2% (1/2 cup) 77 mg Beans (1/2 cup) 40 mg



1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
2 tablespoons raisins 2 slices whole wheat bread (toasted)
1 cup skim milk


1/2 cup apple juice 3 ounces sliced turkey breast
1/2 cup steamed carrots 1 apple
1/3 cup cooked corn 1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup ricotta cheese 2 slices whole wheat bread, sliced lettuce and tomato for sandwich


1/2 cup grapefruit juice 4 ounces broiled halibut
1 cup brown rice 1 cup steamed broccoli
2 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing 2 slices whole wheat bread
2 teaspoons ricotta cheese 1 banana
1 cup skim milk 1 cup salad: romaine or Boston lettuce, sliced carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, green pepper, celery

Evening Snack

1/2 cup low-fat yogurt 2 soya cakes
1 tablespoon peanut butter 1 small pear
1 small apple

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Nutrient Content:

Calories: 2400

Protein: 18%

Carbohydrates: 57%

Fat: 25%

Cholesterol: 280 mg

Fiber: 12 g


Bread and Cereal Exchange List:

12 servings per day


• Whole wheat bread • White bread (enriched) • Cereals

• Pastas • Potatoes • Sweet potato

• Beans (dried) • Green peas • Lentils


• Refined fiber-free breads and cereals • Sugar coated cereals

• Baked goods containing large amounts of fats and sugar such as:

• Doughnuts

• Sweet rolls

Fat Exchange List:

7 servings per day


• Enriched margarine • Butter

• Polyunsaturated salad oils such as:

• Corn oil

• Safflower oil


• Saturated fats such as:

• Lard • Saturated oils • Coconut oil

Fruit Exchange List:

9 servings per day

Recommended: • Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits both whole and juice

Avoid: • Fruits canned in syrup pack

Meat and Meat Substitute Exchange List:

4 servings per day


• Lean meats and poultry • Fish and shellfish

• Eggs • Low fat cheeses such as:

• Cottage cheese • Mozzarella


• Sausages and luncheon meats

• Fatty cheeses such as cream cheese

Milk Exchange List:

6 servings per day


• Skim milk • Milk (2% fat)

• Yogurt made from skim milk or milk (2% fat) • Evaporated skim milk

• Buttermilk made from skim milk or milk (2% fat) • Soy milk


• Whole milk or whole milk products

• Ice cream (see Full Liquid Diet and Clear Liquid Diet substitutions for exceptions)

Vegetable Exchange List:

3 servings per day

Recommended: • Fresh or frozen vegetables, whole or juice

Avoid: • None

Miscellaneous Exchange List

Recommended: • Homemade, fat-free soups and broths

Avoid: • Refined and processed sweets, such as candy


Be sure to include six to eight cups of fluids, such as water, per day.

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