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Posts tagged ‘nutrition’


by Logan

Health Benefits From Eating Dinner Together

Eating at a table, surrounded by your family may seem as something as foreign to you as aliens. But it also might be something you are already doing.  But studies are showing that there is a developmental and health benefit to having family dinner a few times a week.

As a teenager, I hated eating a meal with my parents. That was usually the time that I got in trouble about my poor grades or something that I did wrong. But, I also remember getting praised for the good things that I did and our family even solved some family crisis around the dinner table. fo

Also, when sitting around the dinner table, I was much more likely to get a better meal. When my parents cooked, I was getting some meat, vegetables, breads, milks, and other necessary daily vitamins. Eating around the table really provided a good baseline for nutrition.

Now, was every meal a perfectly balanced nutritional masterpiece?  Of course not.  But you are allowed a few indulges every once in a while.

While nutritional benefits are great, the social and relationships advantages are immense. Really, a family that eats together, is far better off than a family that doesn’t. Of course this isn’t an across the board statement. There are plenty of good families that don’t eat together and they survive. There are plenty of families that eat together all the time, that don’t survive. But, on average, it is a great things.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits

1.)     Forms a connection

When you take time to listen to your family, you form a strong bond with them. This is a great time to learn how everyone’s day went. A connection is especially important between spouses and children and parents. Both sides want the other side to listen and give feed back.  Plans are made and goals can be set.  Then, at a later time, they can be reevaluated and changes can be made.  A sense of security and love can be formed.

2.)     Helps you relax

After a long day of work, or school, or watching the kids, or whatever…this time can help you relax. You sit back and enjoy each other’s company.  You learn something and are others are listening to you. You can discuss the day and sort of release some bent up tension.

3.)     Solves problems

Problems arise in families all the time. Dinner time can be a moment to identify the problem and make solutions. Skipping this moment can have lasting effects. A problem that could have been solved early in the process, no may take days and weeks to solve.

4.)     A great teaching moment

This moment can provide time to discuss things like manners and behavior around the dinner table. Open discussion can happen on expectations and what worked and didn’t about a specific incident or moment.  Often we are busy with sports, homework, television, or something else. Eating time provides a few moments where important things can happen.

5.)     A great time to have some fun

Dinner time is a great time to laugh and enjoy what others are saying. Jokes and fun times are routine around the dinner table. My own children love to hear my work stories and the awesome things that happen. More than once, I’ve had milk pouring from my nose on the funny things that they have said.

 

Overall, eating together provides both mental and nutritional well being. It can be overstated the importance of that time that is spent. Often, if used in a good way, then more than just a good meal can occur. Opportunities to try new food and get input from your children is priceless. Eating together is such a good boost to your health.  Don’t miss this chance.


by Logan

The Health Facts Behind the Calorie?

The Law of Thermodynamics states in general terms: That energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

Everything that we see comes from an energy source. That energy source is transferred but not created. Energy from the sun and the soil helps create a plant. There isn’t anything that creates something from nothing.

Energy can be seen in several different things or forms such as: Temperature (heat), force, substance, and others. If you can grasp this concept, it becomes  easier to understand that food, when consumed, releases energy.

Food energy is essentially what a Calorie is. In the Unites states, a calorie is a label used to quantify energy. In the United Kingdom it is called Kcal. Another measurement used in this energy word pool is kilojoules. Joules are used to describe energy of lights and are also a unit of measurement to describe energy or work.

With that said, when you measure the energy in a piece of food, you come to calorie. Food products such as: Fats, Proteins, Carbohydrates, fiber, molecules, and several other compounds are all broken down, or released into energy. Oxygen itself is important in the process of creating energy from food particles. As oxygen reacts with these nutrients, energy is released.

ATP or Adenosine -5’-triphosphate is the transporter of energy in the body. Every cell has ATP. Through several cellular biochemical responses, ATP becomes “charged” and when it releases its charge, energy has caused something to happen. Sometimes, energy is lost in the form of heat and other times energy is lost in the process of creating more energy.

A breakdown of several important Food sources is below:

–   Fats have a large amount of energy released, almost 9 kcal/g.

–   Ethanol, a molecule consumed produces 7 kcal/g.

–   Protein produces 4 kcal/g

–   Carbohydrates produce 4 kcal/g

–   Polyols [including sugar alcohols] produce less than 4 kcal/g

–   Organic acids produce less than 4 kcal/g

–   Fiber produces much less

–   Lactose produces much less as well.

In the late 19th century, it became mandatory for the labeling of food products. This helped to both identify what was being put into your foods, and helped define a calorie number for consumers to see what they were eating or drinking. How does a food item obtain a calorie number? This is a very scientific process. Needless to say, a piece of food is dried and burnt, the energy it releases is measured and a number is given. Calories on food labels are done in a slightly different way. Chemical tests and a process to analyze known ingredients within a food source are done. Through this process, they can estimate a product’s calorie value.

A Caloric daily value has been identified

In the United States, 2500 calorie for men and 2000 calorie for women is recommended.

How to burn Calories during the day?

The amount of calories that burn for a man sitting on the couch is surprisingly high. The body, even when at rest is active. Breathing, heart pumping, brain activity and more are done each and every day. But in addition, exercise can burn calories. But remember…oxygen is essential.

Exercise with good oxygen consumption is referred to as Aerobic. This typically is a light-to moderate intensity. Larger calorie burn can be seen. Anaerobic exercises still use energy but in a different manner and at a different rate. This builds muscle and strength. The energy used is still very intense.

Understanding a calorie, that energy is transferred, and that each food item differs in calories will help you understand the needs and the process of weight loss, proper nutrition, and body mechanics.


by Christel Swasey

The Heart-Healthy Meal Makeover

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death on earth.

That means that we more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than from any other killer.

Although exercise and diet can truly prevent or delay cardiovascular disease, many people live in a state of denial, neither exercising nor eating a heart-healthy diet.  It’s crazy.  It’s like someone ran screaming into the room, shouting “Fire!” and most of us just stayed seated.

More people would live a heart-healthy lifestyle if they just knew how easy it can be.  With so many confusing and conflicting diets and health advisors, what’s a person to believe?  Is it necessary to buy the latest diet fad cookbook each year?  Is it necessary to learn every detail about the chemistry of the body and the nutritional values of individual edibles?

Nope.

What you do need is to learn how to think, which will be outside your own usual comfort food cooking box.  You can easily make over your own favorite cuisine without needing to read anyone else’s best guesses.

Just use common sense.  In countries with extremely low rates of heart disease, like Japan, France, or the Republic of Kiribati, cooks work and think a bit differently than most North American cooks do.

Meat is a complement.

To these healthier cooks, meat is a complement, not a centerpiece, of a meal. (Bye, bye cholesterol!)  And unprocessed, unrefined grains, fruits and vegetables form the core of what is cooked.  Heart healthy oils are used rather than lardy bad fats.  And that is IT.  Nothing is complicated here.

I thought of a little mind game to play with yourself, to outsmart the society you live in.  Ignore the diet sellers.  Forget about counting calories.  Pretend you live on a glorious island, and when you enter your grocery store, you become blind to aisles that offer processed, refined items.  Because they don’t exist on your healthy, green island.

White bread?  Can’t see it.  The soda pop aisle?  Gone.  The crackers and chips aisle?  Invisible.  All you see are colorful fruits, luscious berries, vivacious vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil, whole grains, and fresh fish or a small amount of other meat.

You are as one living off the resources of a green island in the middle of a blue sea.  Your protein will be from the fish you caught fresh from your canoe.  Your dessert will be from the pineapple or coconut that you harvested yourself.  (Climbing the coconut tree counts for the exercise portion.)  Your carbohydrates come from breadfruit, bananas, and whole grain rice.  See?  It is not hard to live like a native, to treat your heart royally, and to entertain nothing but the freshest, least man-made, most healthful foods.

Just let yourself “oooh” and “ahhh” over the healthy, unrefined island fantasy, and let those sludge-in-your-arteries, toxins-for-your-headache aisles of the grocery store stay invisible, and totally unimportant to you.  The insanity of stores’ pushing candy bars on human beings as they stand in line to pay for their groceries is unbelievable.  The “ca-ching” of the cash register adding up a few more pennies matters more to the grocery store than your health.  They are not on your side nor will they weep at your funeral.  Ignore the call of that colorfully wrapped, charmingly titled extra helping of cholesterol and sugar (read, heart disease and diabetes) that your grocer wants you to add to your bill.  Just pretend you are on the island, where candy bars do not grow!

(This is true:  In the little Republic of Kiribati, a country of 32 islands, only 11 people out of 100,000 die of coronary heart disease.  Think about it.)

Since we are so prone to disease and health issues, it is important that we get cheap health insurance to protect our family. The form at the top of the page will allow you to compare health insurance quotes.


by Christel Swasey

New Year’s Resolutions: Two Healthy Weeks of Family Dinners

It’s not easy to make a New Year’s resolution happen.  Yet, every year, we try.  This year’s no different.

One of my resolutions is to speed walk for thirty minutes, four days a week.  (Today the weather was so nice, and the baby fell asleep in his stroller, so I ended up speedwalking for an hour and a half.  So far, so good!)

Another resolution I’ve set for this year is to cook and eat for heart health.  I want to decrease the amount of high-cholesterol (meat-based) and high-sugar (not whole-grain-based) cooking that I do.  I want to start by leaving all the sludge-for-our-arteries kinds of foods at the grocery store where they belong, not in our refrigerator or in our pantry, where they will end up in our bodies.  I think that if I buy it for guests or for the kids, I will end up ingesting it myself.  So:

I have made a list of meals for the first two weeks of 2012.  My criteria include quick preparation time, as few ingredients as possible, no highly expensive ingredients, lower sugar content, high fiber and nutrient content, no white flour content, and low-or-no meat content.  I also want to offer the family dessert every day, but a healthier style of desserts that we’ve been practicing in the past.

Here’s what I have come up with.  And, just so you know, I’m really doing this; I have my actual shopping list written for the ingredients I don’t already have at home.

Here it is:

 

  • Asparagus and Parmesan Risotto — with fruit and berry salad for dessert
  • Whole wheat pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce — poached vanilla apples for dessert
  • Corn tortilla enchiladas (bean and cheese) — hot fruit soup for dessert
  • Homemade salsa and whole wheat quesadillas — grapes and nuts for dessert
  • Fat-free shake-n-bake chicken, and baked potatoes with chive sauce  –sugarfree jello for dessert
  • Black bean wraps with the leftover salsa on top –fruit and nut salad for dessert
  • Zucchini, Leek, and egg-whites quiche  — sugarfree rootbeer floats for dessert
  • Roasted stuffed red peppers  —grapes and low fat cheese for dessert
  • Pasta primavera with whole wheat pasta and fresh herbs —  chocolate covered raisins and dried berries for dessert
  • Minestrone with homemade 100% whole wheat rolls  — baked pears with cinnamon sauce for dessert
  • Pineapple and mandarin chicken stir fry  — frozen chocolate covered bananas for dessert
  • Sweet potato waffles with berries  — no dessert
  • Spinach mushroom omelettes  — fresh berries with fat free cream for dessert
  • Lentil chili and cornbread  — 100% fruit- fruit leather for dessert

Doesn’t that sound good?

I am determined not to get discouraged if I don’t perfectly fulfill my resolutions.   If we end up with sugared up, high-cholesterol restaurant pizza one day because I don’t have time to cook, it’s okay.  We are aiming for improvement, and not immediate perfection.  The more we learn about health, and the more we attempt to put into actual practice our new knowledge of what changes actually prevent disease and create well-being, the better off our families will eventually be.

Our families are the most important thing to us. Protect them with family health insurance.


by Christel Swasey

The Distracted Diet Is Not Healthy

“He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.”

I’m thinking about that quote from Thomas Fuller, the 17th-century historian, in terms of my beliefs about health.  I’m thinking about it in terms of being a slightly repentant, very easily diet-distracted, health hypocrite.

For example, I know that oats lower cholesterol, so I have oats most mornings for breakfast.  But I often also have a high-cholesterol cookie (or two, or three if they are really good)  by 8 a.m., during the packing-lunch event for my third grader.

Another great example is in salad making.  Although I love the baby argula, the cherry tomatoes and sprouts, all of which are fantastic for my health, I like to add a high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt dressing to it.  I am not all that certain the salad qualifies as health food after it’s totally drenched in sugar and oil.

Or I’ll work on portion control, by taking only half an enchilada and filling up on mostly the side veggies.  But by the end of the meal and the dish duty, I’ve finished not only the veggies and my half of an enchilada, but also the other half of my enchilada –and most of the enchilada that my daughter left on her plate.

I call this distracted dieting.

But at its core, I think it’s about beliefs.  If I truly believed the experts who say that a little overweight, combined with too little exercise, creates a path toward heart disease and death, would I ever get distracted?  (I mean, do people get distracted on their way out of a burning building, or do they find the door directly?)

I think I must not believe the experts.  I think that I might believe that I am somehow above the rules.  In my case, a high-sugar diet won’t lead to diabetes; a high-cholesterol diet won’t lead to heart failure; a little cheating, as long as I can still fit into my cute jeans, is okay.   You can hide the jiggling tummy under a cute blouse, anyway, right?

Maybe our collective obsession with beauty and thinness has obscured the importance of health above beauty.  We all know that there are some very unhealthy beauties out there, as well as some very healthy ones.  Sometimes an individual’s health, or lack of it, isn’t obvious from appearance only.  But do we believe that health is visible ?  Do we believe that if we just fit into our smallest jeans, we must be not only beautiful but also healthy?

Studies on exercise have found that obese individuals, if they are consistent exercisers, will outlive equally obese individuals who do not exercise.   And people who follow fast crash diets (such as high protein, low carb diets) run the risk of diseases caused by too much protein.  And then there are the anorexics and the bulemics, who might look fine, but are killing themseles gradually. So, who really wants to be picture perfect, and ill?  Really.

I guess it comes down to honesty with myself, and long-term kindness:  do I really want to be alive and energetic for the future grandkids, or not?  Where do today’s exercise and diet choices lead me?

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by Christel Swasey

Are Twinkies Healthier Than Popular Children’s Cereals?

Nutrition news flash:  it’s smart to switch from Honey Nut Cheerios to Chips Ahoy, for breakfast.

The kids will be ecstatic!

I read a study yesterday that was done on 84 popular children’s cereals, by a group called Environmental Working Group (EWG).  The group did what we all should be doing.  They actually read the nutrition information on the back of the package, and thought about what it really meant.

The study found that many cereals fail to meet the federal governments “proposed voluntary guidelines” on sugar content, by a long shot.  These cereals are more sugary than most desserts— literally.  There’s more sugar in a Twinkie than in a cup of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks.  There’s more sugar in a cup of Honey Nut Cheerios than in three Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies.

Who would have guessed such a thing?  I’ll be letting the kids know that we’ll be serving twinkies from now on, rather than Honey Smacks (or its generic store brand twin).

Seriously, this is breakfast.  Do we not fear sugar addiction, dental disasters, diabetes or other diseases in our children –or in ourselves?

The very worst cereal in the study was Honey Smacks.  You know the one– it’s puffed wheat, which seems healthy.  It features a cute frog on the Kellogg’s packaging.  But it’s the worst offender for sugar– worse than Froot Loops or  Cap’n Crunch.

Honey Smacks is 56% sugar.  That means that when we eat this “puffed wheat,” we are actually eating mostly sugar, not mostly wheat.  Gross.

The EWG suggested serving cereals that not only contain less sugar, but also contain no artificial sweeteners (like sucralose or aspartame) and also no artificial colors and flavors.

BEST CHOICES

The best choices are usually lesser-known brands that not all stores carry, but if consumers ask our grocers to carry them, they usually will.  (Examples:  Laughing Giraffe, Nature’s Path Organic, Kaia, Go Raw, Ambrosial Granola) The EWG also gave out a list of better choices for big-name cereals, but with a caution that these big name cereals on the list, while lower in sugar and free of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, may not be pesticide-free.  (Examples:  original Cheerios, Kellogg’s mini-wheats, Post Grape Nuts Flakes,  Post Shredded Wheat)

Many nutritionists suggest looking for cereals that feature a short ingredient list,  have a high fiber content (this means the factory hasn’t removed most of the healthy portions of the grains), and contain few sugars, including corn sweeteners, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high- fructose corn syrup and malt syrup, honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, and brown sugar.

Oddly, cereals that are healthier are usually found on the top shelves of the cereal aisles, where they are not at kids’ or even adults’ eye level.

WORST CHOICES

Top cereals to avoid, unless you are serving them for dessert:

1 Kellogg’s Honey Smacks 55.6%
2 Post Golden Crisp 51.9%
3 Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow 48.3%
4 Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries 46.9%
5 Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original 44.4%
6 Quaker Oats Oh!s 44.4%
7 Kellogg’s Smorz 43.3%
8 Kellogg’s Apple Jacks 42.9%
9 Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries 42.3%
10 Kellogg’s Froot Loops Original 41.4%

by Christel Swasey

Yes, You Do Have Time To Eat Healthy

Yes, You Do Have Time To Eat Right

Fast food seems like a good deal:  cheap, tasty, efficient, convenient. Right?

Well, maybe.  But it’s also true that people die from the habit of eating high-calorie, high-sugar, high-fat, low-nutrition junk food.

The term “fast food” might trick us into believing we’ll be happily sped along in our daily race against time.  But  habitually consuming “fast food” can truly slow us down, so much that we become utterly clogged up, overweight, undernourished, very tired, and prematurely dead.

Have you seen the movie “Super Size Me?”  What a fascinating documentary.  Starring the filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, it shows what happens to a man who eats nothing but McDonald’s food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for 30 days.  Spurlock’s “before,” “during,” and “after” medical exams show absolutely horrific changes to his body systems.  Ugh!

That documentary blew my mind and turned me off, way off, fast food.

I never was a fast food lover, to tell you the truth.  Yet my culinary weakness, European gourmet “slow” food, is no less artery-clogging or any more disease-defying.  Whether it’s fast food or slow food, unhealthy food kills.  This much we know.

So why, why do we still imbibe?  Maybe we are juggling so many priorities that we forget that actually staying alive should remain close to the top of our lists.

In our superspeedy lifestyles, the priority of healthy cooking and eating often squirms at the bottom of the priority list, weighed under the time crunch.  Some of us get overwhelmed thinking of the cost of buying so much fresh, nutritious food.  Some of us sigh at the idea of finding the energy to prepare the food.  Some of us get distracted by the fun factor of junk food.  And we do not want to spend our precious time to buy, wash, dice, cook, serve, and clean up the life-saving food.

So because we don’t make it a priority now, then later, (too late) we lie in a hospital bed with a heart attack, stroke or diabetes.  It’s a proven fact; habitual junk food eating leads to disease and death.

We don’t want to live with remorse.  It’s worth trying. I am here to remind us that we do have time to eat right, now.  Otherwise, we’ll find the time when we are lying in the hospital bed.

The fact is, we don’t have to cook like the people on the t.v. healthy-cooking shows to cook disease-and death-defying masterpieces.  We don’t have to have one hundred and thirty eight ingredients in the soup.  We don’t need to make healthy cooking so expensive, time consuming, and complicated.

Expensive and complicated can taste great– but not always!  Sometimes the simplest, easiest meals are the cheap and fast!

I have a large and hungry family. Tonight I am serving up potato soup in bread bowls, because potatoes are extremely cheap and very healthy.

How I did it:  I diced and threw the following in a pot:   9 potatoes, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, a bunch of scallions, some water, 2 cans of low-sodium chicken stock (no MSG added; MSG gives my husband headaches).  It’s simmering all day.   Later, just before dinnertime, I’ll add a little cream, a cup of cheese, some salt and pepper, and I’ll serve it in whole wheat bread bowls.  It took me less than ten minutes to wash and dice the veggies.  It was easy and so cheap.  I estimate that the ingredients I used for this meal, which will serve six, cost me about $7 max.  That’s $1.16 per person.  And it can be done in a crock pot or a regular pot, easily.

The potatoes that make up the bulk of tonight’s dinner contain:

  • twice as much potassium as a banana or an avocado
  • no fat
  • 45% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C (!)
  • 15% of the daily fiber requirement
  • lots of minerals and vitamins, including magnesium and B6.

So, instead of thinking about “fast food” as the cheap stuff to drive-through for, think of it as the stuff that speeds you along the fast track to disease and death.

And think of creating your own, new and improved, completely different type of good fast food that you make yourself, to create longevity and a fatter wallet for your family.

Find affordable health insurance by using the free online form at the top of the page. Its easy to fill out and will save you that money you need for other things!


by Christel Swasey

How Much Calcium Should I Eat Today to be Healthy?

How Much Calcium Should I Eat Today?

We want to live long, healthy lives. We realize that if we follow the recommendations of doctors, nutritionists, the Institute of Medicine and the USDA, we will avoid diseases, hospitalization, and will live longer, healthier lives.

But who reads makes sense of the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture?  The typical American worker bee, who barely has time to drive through the “drive-thru” on her way home from work, slamming sacks of fast food down on the dining table on her way to the laundry, haircuts, homework, PTA meetings, and everything else?  No way.

But today, I took the time. I’m on brand new quest to learn just how deficient the average family (mine) might be, so I manufactured some willpower and read some of the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and of the Institute of Medicine.

I chose to learn about calcium today, because I’ve actually heard of it (unlike most of the other 18 elements listed on the USDA table. What the heck’s valadium?  Or manganese? Or molybdenum?) –And I chose calcium also, I confess, because I am seeking evidence that I need more ice cream in my diet.

I learned that calcium deficiencies are common in the average American diet; in fact, there  is a direct link between the disease osteoporosis and not getting enough calcium (and vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium) as well as not getting enough exercise– which strengthens bones even
in mild amounts.

Osteoporosis actually means “porous bones.” It is a silent, stalker disease. It causes bones to become brittle without ever sending pain-warnings ahead of time like any other respectable disease.  So bones, weakened when an individual has lowered levels of calcium and other minerals over time, experience a mild stress –like a fall or a bad cough, and fracture!

Some important facts to remember about calcium and osteoporosis:

  • Half of women and a quarter of all men will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin D is absolutely needed to absorb calcium.
  • A body can’t absorb more than 500 mg of calcium at a time, but needs over 1,000 mg. per day.  Translation:  you must spread out calcium intake –and supplements– throughout the day.
  • If you hate milk, that’s okay.  Calcium-fortified orange juice counts.  So do sardines, cheese, and calcium-plus-vitamin-D supplements.
    Get about 300-400 calcium mgs. per meal.  This equals a 2 inch cube of cheese, a cup of milk or a cup of calcium-fortified orange juice at each meal.  And many breakfast cereals–  even the sugary “junk food” cereals, are plentifully fortified with calcium.
  • Best news yet: if you eat four cups of ice cream, you will get about as much calcium as if you drink one cup of milk.
    This is definitely my favorite research finding of the day, despite the fact that with our calcium, we also get a ton of calories and fat.

Yep, we need calcium.  And people don’t realize that they should have been upping their calcium intake until they fracture bones in old age,
when it is very difficult to rebuild the house, so to speak.

Men, women and children over four years of age need at least 1,000 mg. of calcium per day!   Teens need at least 1,300.

So, here’s an easy math moment:  When you read that your milk has 30% of the recommended daily intake of calcium per cup, it means that there are 300 mg. of calcium in that cup of milk.  It makes the math easy– just add a zero to the percentage, and you’ve got your milligram count.

Calcium is a breakfast star, because there’s calcium in milk, fortified orange juice, and fortified cereal. Plan to get a jump on your recommended daily calcium at breakfast time every day.  It’s just harder later, unless you use supplements.

For example:

  • 1 cup of 1% milk  =30%
  • 1 cup of fortified cereal = 10%
  • 1 cup of calcium-fortified orange juice = 35%

That would put you at 75% of your RDA for calcium in a day.  But remember– if you don’t have another glass of milk, or a can of sardines, or a cup of turnip greens for lunch or dinner that day, you will stay in the deficient category, despite that good breakfast.

A cup of raw broccoli or kale has 90 mg.  A cup of turnip greens has 200 mg.  A 3-oz. can of sardines has over 300 mgs.  (But keep in mind, friends: a cup of ice cream has 80 mg!!)

Unless you’re eating tons of calcium-rich foods very regularly, the easiest way to make it to the daily calcium requirement goal is to just add in an extra glass of milk, calcium fortified O.J., calcium-fortified almond milk, or an ounce or two of cheddar to dinner, lunch, or snack time.  Each of these would have about 20-30%, (200- 300 mg., a good chunk of the 1000 mg. you need each day.  Or get bag of those chewable calcium bites
that they sell nowadays at the grocery store.
They taste only slightly worse than tootsie rolls and they’ve got 500 mg. of calcium a pop.

And how much is too much?

Getting too much calcium is very rare, and getting too little is very common, unless you are taking calcium supplements.  If you worry about overdoing it, here’s a tip:  the upper limit, for most people, is around 2,500 mg. per day!  That is a lot.

Most of us won’t be running the risk of too much calcium unless we were to in more than 2,500 mgs. per day –on a regular basis.

That’s so unusual that maybe we really should use it as an excuse to have another scoop of ice cream.

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