Ask the Diva: Are Calcium Fortified Foods Any Better Than Supplements?

Are calcium-fortified foods a better way to get nutrients than taking supplements?

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,

Ask the Diva: Are Calcium Fortified Foods Any Better Than Supplements?

Q. I try to get as much of my calcium as possible from foods rather than supplements. But I was wondering about calcium-fortified foods like orange juice and soymilk? Does that count as getting calcium from foods or is it the same as taking a supplement?

A. I agree that you’re much better off getting calcium from foods than pills, and that supplements should only be used to close the gap between the recommended intake and what your diet provides.

See also: Are You Getting Too Much Calcium?

Fortified foods are somewhere in between. They usually contain the same form of calcium as supplements, so it’s really no different taking a supplement with some food. On the other hand, the other nutrients in the fortified foods might help you absorb the calcium better. But the biggest advantage I can see to calcium-fortified foods over supplements is that you’d be getting the calcium in smaller amounts spread out over the day rather than at all at once. 

See: Best Food Sources of Calcium

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Orange Juice photo from Shutterstock.

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