Calcium

Dietary guidelines for calcium

Maintain your calcium intake

Calcium graphic

Calcium from food can help reduce oxalate levels in your body. Why? Because dietary calcium binds with oxalate in the digestive tract before it can reach the kidneys.

For most adults, the established Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for calcium is between 1000 and 1200 mg daily. Just remember that the best source of calcium is food, such as dairy products (see table below). If you need to supplement with calcium, it is recommended that you first determine how much calcium you are getting from your daily diet, then use calcium supplements only to reach the DRI goal. For guidance on your specific calcium needs, talk to your doctor.

CALCIUM-RICH FOODS1
FOOD ITEM SERVING SIZE CALCIUM
CONTENT
(mg/serving)
Low-fat yogurt 1 cup (8 oz) 415†
Milkshake 1 cup (8 oz) 362
Pizza, cheese* 1/2 of 10-inch pizza 355
Eggnog, nonalcoholic 1 cup (8 oz) 330
Low-fat yogurt with fruit 1 cup (8 oz) 314†
Sardines, canned 1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz) 303
Calcium-fortified beverages including orange juice, soy milk, and rice milk 1 cup (8 oz) 300
Milk (whole, low-fat, skim,
or chocolate)
1 cup (8 oz) 300
Soups made with milk* 1 cup 150-290
Swiss cheese* 1 slice (1 oz) 272
Red salmon 1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz) 259
Ricotta* 1 ounce 257
Soft-serve ice milk 1 cup 236
Provolone* 1 ounce 214
Cheddar cheese* 1 slice (1 oz) 204
Pink salmon 1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz) 196
Cheese sauce, homemade* 1/4 cup 178
Ice cream or ice milk 1 cup 176
American cheese* 1 slice (1 oz) 174
Mozzarella* 1 ounce 147
Custard or pudding 1/2 cup 145
Mustard greens, cooked 1/2 cup 138
Cream pie 1 piece (1/8 pie) 137
Cottage cheese, creamed* 1 cup (8 oz) 136
*These foods have higher sodium content and may not be the best sources of daily calcium.
†Calcium content varies widely by brand.
  1. Bradley L, et al. General guidelines in medical management. In: Resnick MI, Pak CYC, eds. Urolithiasis: A Medical and Surgical Reference. Philadelphia, PA; WD Saunders and Company; 2009:chap 11.

This information is intended to augment, not replace, the advice of your doctor. If you have any questions about this content, please talk to your doctor.