Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by LACTAID®.

Quiz: Getting Calcium When You’re Lactose Intolerant

  1 of  
Current Score:  
Loading..Please Wait
slide image

If you're lactose intolerant, you can't have cow’s milk or dairy products.

slide image

If you're lactose intolerant, you can't have cow’s milk or dairy products.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Most people who are lactose intolerant can have some lactose without symptoms, so you probably don’t need to swear off dairy entirely. This is important since dairy and cow’s milk are a rich source of calcium. Experiment to see what works for you: You may be able to have small amounts of cow’s milk (like half a glass), or drink milk with a meal, without triggering symptoms.

 

Lactose-free dairy milk offers the same amount of calcium and other nutrients as regular milk. Other calcium-rich drinks include fortified nondairy beverages, such as soy milk and almond milk. Lactase enzyme replacements, sold over the counter in drugstores, can also be taken with cow’s milk or other dairy foods to avoid symptoms.

slide image

Which of the following can keep your body from absorbing calcium?

slide image

Which of the following can keep your body from absorbing calcium?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Eating a diet high in salt may lower the amount of calcium your body absorbs. So try to avoid a high-salt diet and high-salt foods. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is needed to help your body absorb calcium. Natural sunlight, in small amounts, is a good source of vitamin D. So are salmon and saltwater fish (such as cod and tuna), liver, egg yolks, and fortified milk.

An 8-ounce serving of skim milk or nonfat yogurt with fruit has about how much calcium?

An 8-ounce serving of skim milk or nonfat yogurt with fruit has about how much calcium?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

A glass of skim milk or a cup of nonfat yogurt with fruit delivers about 300 milligrams of calcium, which is about a third of the 1,000 milligrams an adult needs every day. Leave out the fruit and your yogurt packs nearly half of the daily requirement. Lactose-free dairy products have as much calcium as regular ones. Women over 50 and pregnant women need more calcium -- at least 1,200 milligrams a day.

Which of these foods has the most calcium per serving?

Which of these foods has the most calcium per serving?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

An ounce of almonds, about 20 to 25 nuts, has about 75 milligrams of calcium. While that's a lot for their size, it's only about 8% of what you need each day.

Which of these has almost as much calcium as an 8-ounce glass of milk?

Which of these has almost as much calcium as an 8-ounce glass of milk?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If you're lactose intolerant, you may have better luck avoiding symptoms with small amounts of cheese. Just 1.5 oz. of cheddar cheese or part-skim mozzarella can help you get almost as much calcium as a glass of milk -- with a lot less lactose. An ounce of hard cheese may only contain about 1 gram of lactose, while a glass of regular milk has about 10 grams. Lactose-free cheeses are also available.

Some foods can be fortified with calcium. But you won’t ever get calcium from:

Some foods can be fortified with calcium. But you won’t ever get calcium from:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If you're lactose intolerant, calcium-fortified foods can also help you get enough calcium in your daily diet. Orange juice, cereals, some breads, and nondairy beverages such as soy and rice milk often have calcium added to them.

 

Drinking diet sodas, on the other hand, may lower bone density and increase the risk of fracture. Researchers aren't sure if diet sodas actually draw calcium from the body, whether caffeine in the sodas could be to blame, or whether people who drink a lot of sodas don't get enough calcium to start with.

Calcium helps keep bones strong. So do some exercises. Of these exercises, what's the best for strong bones?

Calcium helps keep bones strong. So do some exercises. Of these exercises, what's the best for strong bones?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The more you exercise your bones, the stronger they get. Weight-bearing exercises -- ones like walking that make your bones and muscles work against gravity -- help keep bones strong. Other weight-bearing exercises include tai chi and yoga, tennis, even dancing. Lifting weights also helps build bone strength as well as muscle strength.

 

Exercises like swimming and biking can help you stay fit but don't build bone (unless you're standing up on the pedals while biking). If you have osteoporosis, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

How old are you when you start to lose more bone than your body makes?

How old are you when you start to lose more bone than your body makes?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Throughout your life, your body is always losing old bone and making new bone. Young people make new bone faster than they lose old bone, and accumulate up to 90% of "peak bone mass" -- when they have the most bone -- between the ages of 18 and 25. After about age 30, you slowly start to lose more bone than you make, and bone loss increases rapidly for women in the first few years after menopause.

 

So it's crucial to get enough calcium and vitamin D when you are young so you can build as much bone as possible -- and then work to keep as much bone as you can later in life. Weight-bearing exercises like walking and lifting weights are also good for strengthening your bones, whatever your age.

Other than dairy, which foods can help you get calcium in your diet?

Other than dairy, which foods can help you get calcium in your diet?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

There are other sources of calcium, but milk and dairy products, including lactose-free dairy, offer the best payload, followed by various calcium-fortified products like orange juice and some cereals. Without them, it can be hard to get enough calcium.

 

A cup of rhubarb has 348 milligrams of calcium, compared to 302 milligrams in a glass of skim milk. A cup of frozen turnip greens has about 249 milligrams, and a cup of frozen kale has 179 milligrams, while 3 ounces of canned salmon with bones has about 181 milligrams. If you don't eat dairy, ask your doctor about getting more calcium in your diet and whether you should take a calcium supplement.

You may be able to eat yogurt if you are lactose intolerant.

You may be able to eat yogurt if you are lactose intolerant.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some people who are lactose intolerant don't have trouble with yogurt, especially if it contains live cultures or probiotics, which helps them digest lactose. Look for labels that say "active yogurt cultures," "living yogurt cultures," or "contains active cultures." A cup of plain, low-fat yogurt has more calcium than a glass of milk, about 400 milligrams. You may also be able to find lactose-free yogurt.

Your body needs vitamin D to make the best use of calcium. Which of the following foods has vitamin D?

Your body needs vitamin D to make the best use of calcium. Which of the following foods has vitamin D?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Your body needs vitamin D so it can absorb calcium and build strong bones. Your body makes vitamin D when it's exposed to sunlight, but most people need other sources to get enough D. Milk, including lactose-free milk, and some orange juices are fortified with vitamin D, but other dairy products (such as cheese) may not be.

 

Not many foods contain vitamin D, although salmon, sardines, and eggs do.  But many experts think you may need a supplement to get enough D, especially if you are lactose intolerant and don't drink much milk.

Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
results image

Great job, you know how to get enough calcium!

You have some basic calcium smarts – brush up and take the quiz again.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you may need more calcium sources. Read up and take the quiz again.