Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Top Non-Dairy Sources Of Calcium

Calcium is a very important nutrient.  We all know that it is pivotal to the maintenance of our bones.  Calcium also serves several other important functions, including the regulation of the hearts rhythm, the transmission of nerve impulses, and even plays a role in blood clotting.   The best sources of calcium are dairy products.  However, many people are lactose intolerant or have other, less dramatic sensitivities to dairy.  For many of these people, daily consumption of dairy products is not an option. 

I figured I’d use this post to list out some of the healthiest non-dairy sources of calcium.
This information was found in Appendix B of the Dietary Guidelines For Americans (Reference 1)

 1) Calcium Fortified Almond Milk: 1 cup has 457 mg of calcium.

 2) Calcium Fortified Soy Milk: 1 cup has 368 mg of calcium.

 3) Sardines, in oil:  3 oz has 325 mg of calcium.

 4) Pink Salmon, canned, with bone:  3 oz has 181 mg of calcium.
 5) Collard Greens: ½ cup has 178 mg of calcium.

 6) Spinach: ½ cup has 146 mg of calcium.

 7) Soybeans, green: ½ cup has 130 mg of calcium.

 8) Turnip Greens: ½ cup has 124 mg of calcium.

 9) Ocean Perch, Atlantic: 3 oz has 116 mg of calcium.

 10) White Beans: ½ cup has 96 mg of calcium.

 11) Kale: ½ cup has 90 mg of calcium.

 12) Okra: ½ cup has 88 mg of calcium.

 13) Blue Crab: 3 oz has 86 mg of calcium.

 14) Clams: 3 oz has 78 mg of calcium.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Research Update: New Research On Beverages And Health

Coffee consumption and risk of chronic disease in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)- Germany study.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012; 95:901-908.

This study of 42,659 men and women from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort examined the association between coffee consumption and risk of chronic disease, including stroke, cancer, myocardial infarction, and type 2 diabetes.  After approximately 9 years of follow up, subjects consuming 4 or more cups of coffee per day had no increased risk of any disease when compared to those consuming less than 1 cup a day.  In fact, they had a 23% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Take Home Message: Coffee drinking has long been vilified as an unhealthy vice.  However, the research is beginning to mount that at the very least it is not harmful and may even be beneficial to our health.  So if you like a cup of coffee or two in the morning, there is no reason to stop. 

Soda consumption and the risk of stroke in men and women.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012; 95:1190-1199.

This study takes a look at the association between soda consumption and risk of stroke in a very large group of subjects.  Two cohorts were included in this study: the Nurses’ Health Study (n=84,085) and the Health Professional Follow-up Study (n=43,371).  The women were followed for 28 years and the men were followed for 22 years.  Consuming one of more sodas per day was associated with a 16% higher risk of stroke compared to those who did not drink soda.

Take Home Message: Add stroke to the long list of chronic diseases that are associated with sugar sweetened beverage consumption.  We’ve also seen increases in risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease in heavy soda drinkers.  This is not an ideal beverage choice, to say the least.