Hmm… What is peak bone mass?
Peak bone mass is known as the stage where our bones would have reached its maximal level of strength and density. It is always advisable during our growing years to obtain high calcium rich foods to achieve maximal bone mass. This is to prevent any future risks of osteoporosis, as with age, bone loss occurs and we start to lose our bone mineral density. From birth to age 20, is known as the active growth phase. In girls by age 18, and boys by age 20 this is where 90 percent of their peak bone mass is acquired. Bone tissue will continue to grow right up to 30 years of age, this is where peak bone mass is achieved.
What if I have past the peak bone mass stage, do I still need to reach my daily calcium requirements?
Yes! As after peak bone mass stage, our bodies slowly start to lose more bones than you form. As you age, this process speeds up. Without adequate calcium intake, this can further accelerate bone loss than it is being replaced, resulting in weak and dense bones. Increasing greater risk for developing osteoporosis in the future, and being more prone to fractures. With the aging process, there is a higher prevalence of developing osteoporosis. Hence, it is of vital importance to ensure meeting your daily calcium requirements even past the peak bone mass stage.
Now I know! So, where are the richest sources of calcium found?
They are mainly from dairy products, milk, yoghurt, cheese. Other foods which contains rich sources of calcium are tofu, lentils, green leafy vegetables, fish with edible bones such as sardines and ikan bilis. Calcium fortified foods such as bread, biscuits and soybean milk.
But what if I am a vegetarian, or lactose intolerant where I can’t consume dairy rich foods?
Not to worry! You can always opt for non-dairy rich foods, and calcium fortified products listed to achieve your daily calcium requirements.
Below listed are food items containing detailed breakdown of calcium content in the foods we consume, try your best to consume a variety of different calcium rich foods to obtain your required daily intake of calcium. Take note of the calcium content in (mg), add it up to meet your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium.
So how does a day of meeting my daily calcium requirements look like?
Here you go, this is an example meal plan that will help to achieve the recommended dietary allowance of 1000mg for calcium daily!
Hmm.. other than adequate calcium intake, are there also other factors to consider to achieve good bone health?
Yes indeed, by taking into consideration:
- Adequate vitamin D
- Adequate protein intake
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Regular exercise
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit caffeine intake
- Avoid smoking
These factors along with adequate calcium intake all work together hand in hand to help bring you a step closer towards achieving healthier and stronger bones!
If you have any general inquiries about diet and nutrition, you can contact us at our
Call-A-Dietitian hotline 983-22-983 !
Brought to you by Natalie Yeo, Dietitian of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
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Health Promotion Board, Keeping Bones Strong, viewed 26 August 2019, https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/759/keeping-bones-strong
Health Promotion Board, Calcium – For Greater Bone Strength, viewed 26 August 2019, https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/216/calcium_greater_bone_strength
National Institutes of Health – Osteoporosis: Peak Bone Mass in Women, viewed 26 August 2019, https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/bone-mass
Nutrient Reference Value for Australia and New Zealand, Calcium, viewed 26 August 2019, https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium