I'm pregnant but I'm lactose intolerant. What should I eat for calcium?
Calcium is very important during pregnancy because it not only helps keep your bones healthy, it also helps with your baby's bone development. When you don't get enough calcium during pregnancy, your body robs your bones of calcium to supply the baby's needs, putting you at higher risk for osteoporosis in the future. I recommend that pregnant women eat between 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium each day, but remember: most prenatal vitamins only contain approximately 200 to 300 milligrams of calcium.
Lactose intolerance can be an obstacle to getting enough calcium. Fortunately, there are alternatives to regular milk. Lactose-free milk or fortified soy milk are lactose-free. Yogurt is low in lactose, so may be tolerated in some lactose-intolerant individuals. If not, try soy yogurt and soy yogurt smoothies. Eating other types of soy foods such as tofu and soybeans is a great way to get more calcium in your diet. Dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach, turnip greens and broccoli, plus some seafood such as sardines, canned salmon, oysters and clams, are also good sources of calcium. In addition, many foods like orange juice and cereal are calcium-fortified, which makes it easier to get what you need.
The following shows you how much calcium you'll get in common non-dairy foods:
One cup lowfat yogurt: 345 mg
One cup frozen yogurt: 240 mg
One-half cup frozen cooked spinach: 138 mg
One-half cup tofu: 130 mg