Build Strong, Healthy Bones -- It's Never Too Early to Start!

Recent studies show that high doses of supplemental calcium - 1,200 milligrams or more daily -- can clog arteries and raise your heart disease risk 30 percent. Instead, try these smart and safe ways to keep your bones break-resistant (11 Photos)

Brenda Kearns on Jul 31, 2012 at 4:47PM

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Build Strong, Healthy Bones -- It's Never Too Early to Start!

Jeffrey Coolidge/the image bank/getty images

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Dare to Dairy

Women with the strongest bones are the ones who get at least half of their calcium (roughly 600 milligrams daily) in the form of food, say University of Auckland researchers. Meeting that mark is surprisingly easy -- you get 300 milligrams for every cup of yogurt or milk, 1-1/2 cups of cottage cheese or 1-1/2 ounces of hard cheese you eat. If your belly gets riled when you dig into dairy, start small (by adding 2 ounces per meal) and gradually build up your daily dose. In a study at Purdue University in Indiana, lactose-intolerant women who tried this trick were enjoying a dairy-rich, without belly backlash, within two months. You can train your digestive tract to break down dairy properly. You just can’t randomly hit it with a huge dose of dairy and expect it to adjust, explains Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at Knoxville’s University of Tennessee.

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