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Test Your Bone-Health Diet Knowledge

What does your body need to build strong bones?

The correct answer is all of the above. Your body needs calcium to keep bones strong. Too little calcium and bones become brittle and break easily. Vitamin D helps the body take in calcium. Eating foods with the right amounts of calcium, vitamin D, and protein gives your body the building blocks to make and keep strong bones.

How much calcium should adults under age 50 have each day?

The correct answer is 1,000 mg. Women who are 51 or older should have 1,200 mg of calcium daily. To help the body use calcium, adults should also have approximately 800 IU of vitamin D every day.

Dairy products are the best source of calcium.

The correct answer is fact. Milk and dairy products -- such as yogurt, cheeses, and buttermilk -- contain a form of calcium your body can take in easily. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products. They have the same amount of calcium with less fat.

If you have lactose intolerance, you can't get enough calcium.

The correct answer is false. People with lactose intolerance have trouble digesting lactose, a type of sugar in milk. There are products you can buy to make it easier to digest lactose. Most grocery stores carry lactose-free milk. If you are lactose intolerant, talk with your doctor about taking a calcium supplement.

Dairy products are the only foods that are rich in calcium.

The correct answer is myth. Calcium is found in many types of vegetables, fish, and nuts. It's also added to some brands of orange juice, soy milk, tofu, cereal, and bread. Read food labels to check for added calcium.

Which vegetable is not a good source of calcium?

The correct answer is spinach. Spinach and rhubarb can prevent the body from absorbing calcium from other foods. Wheat bran can also keep your body from absorbing calcium. Avoid eating these items at the same time as calcium-rich foods.

Which fish is a good source of calcium?

The correct answer is canned salmon or sardines. When these fish are canned with their soft, edible bones, they provide a bounty of calcium. A 2-ounce serving of sardines with bones has 240 mg of calcium. Fish prepared without bones, such as fillets or nuggets, are generally low in calcium.

You should cook vegetables thoroughly to make calcium easy to absorb.

The correct answer is myth. Cook high-calcium vegetables in a small amount of water for the shortest possible time. They will keep more calcium this way.

Which snack is high in calcium?

The correct answer is all of the above. A 3-ounce serving of almonds has 210 mg of calcium, so it's easy to fit in extra calcium at snack time.

It is difficult to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone.

The correct answer is fact. The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed directly to the sun. But you may not be able to get enough this way, and few foods contain vitamin D -- mainly dairy products, some cereals, and salt-water fish. If you can't get enough calcium or vitamin D naturally, talk to your doctor about taking extra calcium.

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