How Much Cheese

1 cup shredded cheese = 4 ounces* 1 cup grated cheese (Parmesan, Romano) = 3 ounces

*Eight ounces of milk is equivalent to V2 cup (2 ounces) of shredded processed cheese, or about V3 cup (1 V2 ounces) of natural cheese such as Cheddar or mozzarella.

Dairy foods are the best source of calcium—in fact, about 72 percent of the calcium in the U.S. food supply. But small amounts come from other food groups too. See "Calcium: A Closer Look" in chapter 4.

Calcium... From Dairy Foods

To boost the calcium, consume three cups or the equivalent from the Milk Group daily. Fat-free and lower-fat products are good choices. Use these food preparation tips to add a little more calcium here and there.

  • Fortify mashed potatoes, casseroles, vegetable purees, and thick soups with nonfat dry milk, evaporated fat-free milk, or plain yogurt. Dry milk in meat loaf won't be noticed! One-quarter cup of dry milk powder adds 375 milligrams of calcium to a recipe.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on salads, soups, stews, baked potatoes, and vegetables. One ounce of Cheddar cheese (!/4 cup) has 200 milligrams of calcium.
  • Make oatmeal, hot cereal, and hot cocoa with milk instead of water. One-half cup of milk adds !50 milligrams of calcium to your meal. You might fortify them with extra nonfat dry milk powder, too. Calcium-fortified soy beverage also adds calcium.
  • Puree cottage cheese in a food processor or a blender. Add herbs; use it as a dip or a spread.
  • Instead of black coffee (regular or decaffeinated) in the morning, try caffe latte (made with milk, perhaps fat-free). It's made with steamed milk. One-half cup (4 ounces) of milk added to coffee adds !50 milligrams of calcium.
  • Use plain yogurt for some or all of the mayonnaise in salad dressings, sandwich spreads, and dips.
  • If you boost calcium with reduced-fat or fat-free cheese, recognize that it doesn't blend or melt as well as whole-milk cheese. For best results shred lower-fat cheeses finely or use them in a mixture with whole-milk cheese. Blend them with other ingredients rather than just sprinkling them on top.
  • Boost calcium, not fat, with yogurt cheese. Made by draining the whey from the solids in yogurt, it may substitute for cream cheese or sour cream. See "Kitchen Nutrition: Yogurt Cheese" in chapter 3.

If you 're lactose intolerant, refer to "Lactose: Tips for Tolerance" in chapter 21.

• For something different, try goat cheese. It has a strong and unique flavor. A half-ounce portion of semisoft goat cheese has about 42 milligrams of calcium. Serve it on crackers, on salads, or as a vegetable garnish. A half ounce of hard goat cheese has !27 milligrams of calcium. Hint: You might find herb-flavored goat cheese in your supermarket.

Calcium... From Other Foods

  • Add vegetables that have more calcium to many dishes: soups, salads, and stews, for example. One serving of broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, okra, and turnip greens all provide calcium, although not as much as milk.
  • For main dish salads and sandwich spreads use salmon with bones as an occasional change from tuna. Fish with edible bones—salmon, sardines, perch— all supply calcium to the diet.
  • Make stir-fried dishes with tofu (soybean curd), preferably made with calcium sulfate. One-quarter cup of tofu with calcium sulfate has about !30 milligrams of calcium. The same amount of tofu without calcium sulfate has 65 milligrams of calcium.
  • Blend a delicious fruit smoothie with calcium-fortified beverages: soy beverage and/or orange juice.
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