Calcium researchers recommend three to four servings of high-calcium milk products, containing about 300 milligrams of calcium per serving, per day. About 1 cup milk, 1 cup yogurt or 11/2 ounces hard cheese are the best examples. Here are some sources from "The Calcium Key" (Wiley, 2004):

FOODAMOUNTCALORIESCALCIUM

(GRAMS)

Buttermilk8 ounces91264

Nonfat milk8 ounces86301

Dry skim milk3.5 tbls.80330

Brie cheese1.5 ounces14278

Cheddar cheese1.5 ounces171307

2% cottage cheese1 cup203155

Hard parmesan1 ounce111336

Plain nonfat yogurt1 cup127451

Low-fat fruit yogurt1 cup225313

Other tips:

* Check the Nutrition Facts Panel on your food label. A good source of calcium contains at least 30 percent of your daily requirement. Also, check the calories and saturated fat: How many calories or saturated fat grams does it take to get more calcium from the food? For people watching their health or weight, the more nutrient-dense and the lower in calories and saturated fat, the better.

* If you're lactose-intolerant, remember yogurt is usually tolerated and cheese contains no lactose. You can also try lactose-reduced products or drink smaller amounts of regular milk products through the day.

* A note to vegans: Protein researcher Donald Layman says the equivalent of one cup of dairy milk would be 11/2 cups of calcium-fortified soy milk, in terms of the amount of leucine, an amino acid. No studies have been published on soy products and weight loss.

-- Katherine Tallmadge