Reading Food Labels for Calcium Content
The calcium content of food varies widely depending upon growing conditions
(fruits, vegetables and legumes), brand and the amount of calcium added
to fortified foods. Reading the food label is an easy way to find out
how much calcium is in one serving of food. It can help you choose
foods that contain the calcium you need.
The food label does not list calcium in milligrams (mg). Instead,
the label lists % Daily Value (%DV) for calcium in each serving. 100%
of the DV for calcium is equal to 1000 mg of calcium per day.
To find the calcium content (mg per serving) from %Daily Value (%DV):
- Read the %DV for calcium per serving. For example: 1 serving
(1 ounce) lowfat cheese contains 20% Calcium.
- Determine the calcium in each serving (mg/serving): Simply replace
the % from the DV with a "0." For example: 20% Calcium = 200 mg calcium.
Calcium claims on food labels
Many food packages include a claim about the calcium content. Understanding
these claims on the label will help you select calcium rich foods.
For more guidance on how to understand and use the nutrition facts
panel on food labels, see: U.S.Food and Drug Administration.