Bone-Building Food Swaps

Eating for bone health doesn't mean giving up taste.

Health Monitor Staff
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Try replacing some of your favorite foods and drinks with the items below—your bones will benefit!

Plain yogurt instead of sour cream

Not only do you save calories and fat, but the plain yogurt also supplies more calcium. Some manufacturers are considering fortifying plain yogurt with vitamin D.

"Plus" nonfat instead of regular nonfat milk
While we didn't call for it in our meal plan, some people prefer "plus" milk for its richer consistency and one-third more calcium.

Milk instead of water in soups and hot cereals
Slip in up to a cup of milk by substituting milk for water in cream of tomato and other cream soups. A bonus benefit? Oatmeal and other cooked cereals are thicker and creamier when prepared with milk.

Firm tofu instead of soft
Extra calcium "salts" help form firm curd. Extra-firm tofu often has less calcium, however, because it is set with a combination of calcium and magnesium compounds.

Fortified breakfast cereal instead of non-fortified
Fortified breakfast cereals often supply extra calcium and vitamin D. Check the label of your favorite cereals, and compare them to other varieties and brands to determine whether they have been fortified.

Salmon canned with bones instead of boneless salmon
The bones in canned salmon supply extra calcium and are so soft that they break down when the salmon is mixed with other ingredients. With or without bones, salmon provides vitamin D.

Reduced-fat cheese instead of regular
You'll get similar amounts of calcium with fewer calories. Reduced-fat and low-fat cheeses generally taste and melt better than fat-free cheese.

Raw spinach instead of other types of salad greens
Although not as well absorbed as the calcium from dairy and other foods, spinach does contain more calcium than most other salad greens.

September 2012